The Issue: There was barely enough time to get excited about Starbucks (SBUX) free Wifi for iPhones with AT&T before they tore it right down.
The Story: When Starbucks announced free WiFi for all AT&T customers, we iPhone users were ecstatic. Not only were we relieved to see Starbucks finally getting some sense kicked into them by slowly chipping away at the mountainous cost of Starbucks WiFi access, but we were just looking forward to enjoying a Venti Soy Caramel Macchiato Double in an art deco coffee shop while browsing the web with our precious iPhones. But the proclaimed “rich in-store experience” is no more.
Rather than being prompted with a login screen that asks your iPhone number, a screen pops up asking for a username and password. This service, of course, is a pay service.
Neither Starbucks nor AT&T (ATT) had given any comment as to why the free WiFi has been yanked. Perhaps they had realized that people can mask their laptop’s browser to be read as an iPhone browser, hence stealing the service. This is done with a simple alteration to the User Agent string of your browser. Follow these easy steps for Firefox or for Safari to learn how to do this.
Importance: In case you were planning to catch up on today’s video surfing during your 15 minute Starbucks break – don’t.
What says the:
Geek: RIP Starbucks free WiFi. You will forever be missed.
Socialite: Internet in a Starbucks? I go there for the ladies.
Soccer Mom: Doesn’t phase me – I get my coffee in the drive through.