News in apps delivered weekly to your inbox on 🌮 Tuesday.




In this week’s What’s Appening, we cover the details of Starbucks Odyssey, the coffee chain’s web3 initiative that aims to redefine loyalty programs. It seems well-thought-out to us, and based on previous success of Starbucks tech, we think they’ll pull it off. We are also looking at iOS 16, bringing you details of all the new features and upgrades. We list stories on Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, as well as some details on the ‘Metaversity’. Our Stat of the Week is another tip of the hat to Starbucks’ and their mobile app. And What’s dAppening looks at the web3 world preparing for The Merge. 

What’s Appening is brought to you by 3Advance, the product development team that eats, sleeps and breathes apps. Not diggin’ the apps? You can opt-out below. Forwarding to a friend? Please do 🙏. They can subscribe here or y’all can watch our video episodes on YouTube📺.

Takes 🎬

☕🕸️Starbucks – Details Emerge on “Starbucks Odyssey” Web3 Loyalty Program

We covered Starbucks’ initial web3 announcement in a previous edition of What’s Appening, but new details have now emerged. The program is called “Starbucks Odyssey”, and it will allow customers to earn NFTs – Starbucks is calling them “journey stamps” – that will unlock perks and rewards. The company is keen to stress that this is no marketing stunt, promising to harness the power of web3 to build community and better customer experiences that go well beyond its current “stars” program. Interestingly, Starbucks points out that most customers will be unaware that they are interacting with blockchain technology, so there’s no crypto wallet required nor any complications like gas fees. Smart move in our view, as making web3 more accessible is one of the greatest challenges facing the movement. #StarbucksOdyssey Read more here.

🍏🆕 Apple – iOS 16 Arrives with a Host of New Features and Upgrades

Fresh off from the Far Out event, Apple has now released iOS 16. Compatible with 2017 iPhone 8s and up, there are big updates for your lock screen, Messages, Maps privacy, logins, and more. Here are some of the most interesting new features:

Messages: The ability to both edit and unsend messages is a neat new feature, allowing you to correct that embarrassing typo or recall a message sent in error. There’s also an email-like feature that we dig allowing you to mark threads and messages as unread.Lock Screen: It’s been talked about for a while, but the new customizable lock screens are here. You can change fonts, colors, and sizes, and add a host of widgets (in a similar way to Apple Watch). There’s a cool photo shuffle feature too.Wallet: More state IDs are coming to Wallet, and there’s a new security feature that allows you to prove your age without actually handing over your date of birth. Wallet also added a Klarna-like Apple Pay Later option.Visual Look Up: A demonstrable upgrade from the iOS 15, which identified objects, the new feature lets you lift subjects directly from an image and paste them into Messages and Mail. Proper Apple magic here.SharePlay: Another big upgrade from the iOS 15 version, as SharePlay – Apple’s watch/listen along real-time feature – can now work within Messages.Maps: There’s a big focus on making travel easier with Maps, including Look Around, which is a funky 3D city experience, and greater emphasis on public transit options.Security: Nobody likes CAPTCHA – that annoying game you play to prove you’re not a robot – so Apple is giving it the boot, allowing users to use seamless Private Access Tokens instead. #iOS16 Read more here.

📰 💪 The Best of the Rest – Other News:

Microsoft Hololens Adopted by US Army: Microsoft sees plenty of use cases for AR/VR hardware that have nothing to do with metaverses. One such case is providing specially adapted versions of its Hololens 2 for US Army troops. Read more here.

Welcome to the Metaversity: Colleges and schools got used to virtual classes via Zoom throughout the pandemic, so are classes in the metaverse the next step? Read all about it here.

Twitter Directly Sharing to WhatsApp: We got the edit button, so how about one that lets you share a tweet directly to WhatsApp? Twitter is testing it out in India. Details on that one here.

More Changes for Instagram: Story number 29348 about Meta stealing ideas from other popular apps. This one is about Instagram testing a retweet-like repost feature for Instagram. Check out that story here.

Netflix Disrupts Its Own Model: Netflix revolutionized the way we watch television, allows us to binge on entire series in one sitting. Now it’s apparently toying with the idea of drip-feeding us new shows weekly. That story is here.

🧐 Stat of the Week – 26% Mobile App Sales

An interesting stat we came across when looking at Starbucks’ web3 program was the incredible percentage of sales (more than a quarter in the US) conducted through its app. Americans buy around 120 million coffees a day in Starbucks, so there are a lot of cups of joe being bought in-app. It’s led to Starbucks, which has more mobile payment users than Google Pay, becoming a favorite case study of how technology adoption can drive customer loyalty. And it’s further evidence that it knows exactly what it’s doing with its web3 rewards program. #CoffeeInApp Read more here.    

🕸️ What’s dAppening?

A dApp is a decentralized app. Here’s the latest in web3, NFTs and blockchain apps.

🤝🪄The Merge – Pivotal Moment for Ethereum and Web3 Is Just Hours Away

There are two words on everyone’s lips in the web3 and crypto space right now – “The Merge”. Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) is almost upon us – Google has launched a nifty countdown clock to show you the exact hours and minutes – and the community is hoping things go off without a hitch. The Merge has been likened to changing the engine in a rocket when already in orbit, so keep those fingers crossed. At a stroke, it will make Ethereum up to 99.5% less energy-intensive, and it will thus decouple Ethereum from PoW Bitcoin and the narrative that all crypto is damaging the planet. Gas fees won’t be lowered, however, nor will transaction speeds change much. But many believe a successful upgrade will be a Battle of Saratoga moment for the revolution of dApps, smart contracts, DeFi, NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and web3. #TheMergeUponUs Read more here.  

Meanwhile at 3Advance…

We’re at DC Startup Week! So far we’ve been soaking up the Web3 Track, with some great panels and incredible speakers. Highlights include a fireside chat with Eowyn Chen, CEO of Trust Wallet and DC’s own Shailee Adinolfi, from ConsenSys. Check out the DC Startup Week Schedule to see what’s going on, and hit us up if you plan to attend.   

📺 Check out the What’s Appening video series!

Don’t forget, this week’s video episode will be released shortly on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn. There’s also the mini-recap on TikTok and Instagram. As always, we appreciate y’all following along on any of these social platforms and we’d love to hear your feedback.