Been busy working out in the field for the past few weeks helping out clients an recovering countless gigs of “lost” data. While we’ve got lots out happy customers out there, I haven’t had an opportunity to post our favorite apps. This week that changes, with the return of Free App Friday.

Starbuck App Icon

Worth It iOS App of The Week: Starbucks

The Starbucks app has been around for years, but only recently has Starbucks started rolling out mobile ordering. Admittedly, I’m not sure how widespread this is across the country (world?) yet, but it’s become fairly ubiquitous here in Los Angeles over the past couple of weeks.

Now, with the powerful combination of having a Starbucks card linked to your app (which surely you already use with Passbook (soon to be Wallet), you can now place your order and pay for it before you even get to Starbucks. Simply walk in and grab it off the counter. If you’re a Starbucks regular, and used to waiting in lines, have trouble describing an intricate coffee order, or want to modify drinks in ways you never dreamed possible, this app is for you.

It’s worth noting that I’m sitting in a Starbucks at this very moment writing this post, and there are ten people in line waiting to order. If I were inclined to order my usual drink, I could fire up the Starbucks app, and in several quick taps, my order would be placed and paid for – bypassing the line entirely – and ready for me to pick up in before I finish writing this post.

For those of you who question the value or inevitability of mobile payments and ordering solutions, I think with one use of this app, you’ll be sold. The future has clearly arrived – in handy Frappuccino form.

Worth It Mac App of The Week: App for Instagram

Pretty much everybody is using Instagram these days it seems, but until lately, there haven’t been any solid app-based solutions for viewing your Instagram stream on your Mac. Well, that’s changed. With App for Instagram (not the catchiest of names…) you now have access to your Instagram stream right from your menu bar.

A $2.99 upgrade to App for Instagram Pro (an even catchier name!) gets you the ability to enlarge the app from a menu bar app, to larger desktop mode, hotkey capabilities to access your Instagram feed from anywhere in the OS with a mere key command, and the option to conceal the Dock icon if you’re looking to save space down there.

With your stream on view, you can easily comment, favorite, drill down into individual user photos streams. About the only thing you can’t do, which is restriction place on all apps by Instagram, is upload photos to your Instagram stream – that’s still a phone-only thing.

If you find yourself checking Instagram a few dozen times a day, this app might just free up some time for you, because the stream is right there, always at the ready. Enjoy!