The Apple Store is already way more efficient than shopping in most other stores — there are usually dozens of clerks walking around with handheld card readers, so you never have to wait in a long line for a cash register.But sometimes the store gets so crowded, it’s hard even to find a clerk to check you out.
That’s where the Apple Store App comes in. It was released last week for the iPhone 4 and 4S, and lets you buy small items like chargers, cases, or packaged software without ever talking to a single person in the store.
I discovered it this morning on a visit to the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco, where I was buying a replacement charger for my Macbook.
The clerk was having trouble getting my battered credit card to register. So he asked me if I had an iPhone 4.
Here’s what happened next….
Run a search for the Apple Store app, then download and install it like you would with any other app. It takes about a minute. (You could skip these steps if you download and install the app before you ever walk into the store.)
Immediately, it will recognise the Apple Store you're in. To buy something, click the EasyPay icon on top. You can also use the app to see how many people are in line, or to make a Genius Bar appointment.
When you click EasyPay, the camera opens. Hold the little white box over the barcode on the thing you want to buy.
Now, it's just like buying an app. Enter your Apple ID password. (You have to have an Apple account, with a credit card associated.)
You need to verify the purchase by reading the three-digit code from the back of your credit card. That's to prove you actually have the credit card, not just a number you got from somewhere.
I felt a little bit nervous as I walked out the door -- what if a security guard stopped me? But I had my receipt just in case. (Nobody said a word.)
You can also do tons of other stuff with the app, even after you've left the store. Like buy small items online. (You can have them shipped to you, or pick them up at an Apple store.)
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