Apple Pay Promo Provides Free Postmates Unlimited Subscription Through End of 2017

Apple today sent out an Apple Pay email to customers, highlighting a Postmates deal. If you use Apple Pay to sign up for the Postmates Unlimited service, you can get free delivery through the end of the year on all orders over $20 without paying the $9.99 per month fee.

Postmates Unlimited is a subscription service that allows customers to get free delivery from any merchant in their city on orders over $20, essentially doing away with delivery fees. The Postmates Unlimited service costs $9.99 per month, though, and it does not do away with other service fees or the need to tip.


If you're a frequent Postmates customer, it's potentially worth the $9.99 per month because delivery fees can add up, especially from merchants that are not located nearby.

Customers will need to sign up for the deal by November 23 to get free shipments for the rest of 2017. Postmates previously offered a similar Unlimited trial, but the company says it has been extended for all customers using Apple Pay.
Special announcement: Just in time for the holidays, we've extended the Unlimited trial for customers using Apple Pay. Sign up before Nov 23rd and your subscription will be free for all of 2017. That means all orders over $20 have no delivery fee.
This appears to be one of the first Apple Pay emails Apple has sent out to customers. Apple also highlights several locations that accept Apple Pay, including Trader Joe's, Pizza Hut, and Crate & Barrel, along with the Jet, Etsy, and Macy's apps.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Postmates Announces New Grocery Delivery Service ‘Fresh’ Alongside iOS App Redesign [Updated]

Postmates today announced the dual-launch of a new curated groceries and essentials delivery service called "Postmates Fresh," alongside a revamp of the company's iOS app. Postmates has long allowed customers to order groceries for delivery on its app, but the company said Postmates Fresh is its "first-ever grocery product" offering the delivery of everything from paper towels to free range chicken to your door in minutes.


When ordering through Fresh, the average delivery time is estimated at thirty minutes, which Postmates said makes it a good source for last minute items. Postmates Fresh will also work directly with local partners to build out the new service, providing users with "curated, locally-sourced groceries," and more directly competing with grocery delivery services like Amazon Fresh. Postmates Fresh will launch first in Manhattan, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Our first-ever grocery product launched today in Manhattan, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The launch of Fresh— a new category that curates high quality groceries and ingredients, is rolling out the same day as our brand new app design. This means customers can now get pesto, paper towels, LaCroix, Halo Top, Kombucha, free range chicken, prosciutto, salmon filet, organic apples, avocados — and pretty much all the essentials they need, in minutes.
Postmates said that the goal of Fresh is to make "locally grown groceries more accessible," leading to the partnership with Farmstead in San Francisco, East Village Farm in New York City, and Urban Radish in Downtown Los Angeles. As the service expands to more markets, Postmates will look for more direct-to-consumer grocers who source from organic farms with the "highest-quality products" to integrate new partners into Postmates Fresh.


Additionally, the new app has been optimized for iPhone X and features a new collections view and scheduled deliveries section, where you can place an order for the future even if the grocery location or restaurant is closed. Postmates consumer product lead David Byttow told TechCrunch that the app's new design and features are the basis for "a whole bunch of things we'll be launching and bringing in the coming weeks."

Update: Bloomberg reports pricing for Postmates Fresh will be $3.99 per delivery or $9.99 per month.


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iOS Apps Postmates and DoorDash Testing Automated Delivery Via Self-Driving Robots

Popular delivery apps Postmates and DoorDash have announced a partnership with automated robot startup Starship Technologies, which will see a fleet of self-driving robots make courier deliveries for Postmates in Washington D.C., and food deliveries for DoorDash in Redwood City, California (via TechCrunch).

The robots built by Starship are designed to travel among people walking on the sidewalk and can achieve a max speed of 4 mph while carrying up to 40 lbs, all within a delivery radius of 2 miles. The personal couriers are powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries to ensure that they are quiet when running. Although "they primarily rely on computer vision and street map data to navigate," the robots aren't entirely self-operating as they require a human overseer to manage the fleet through an app.

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Images via @StarshipRobots

Postmates and DoorDash aren't the first clients of Starship, with overseas companies like Just Eat, Hermes Parcel Delivery, Media Markt, Swiss Post and Wolt previously supporting the robotic fleet of personal couriers. In total, Starship says at least 1.7 million people in 16 countries and 56 cities have been in contact with one of its robots.

DoorDash co-founder Stanley Tang made sure to state that the addition of Starship's technology doesn't mean the company is seeking to completely replace its human workers. Instead, Tang has a vision to use the robots as a way for its human workers to avoid small deliveries, and subsequently small tips, because the app tips workers based on the total cost of the order they deliver. His ultimate goal is to "use robots to alleviate “dashers” of the deliveries they don’t want to do anyway."
According to DoorDash co-founder Stanley Tang, testing out robotic “dashers,” doesn’t mean the company will attempt to replace human workers any time soon, or ever. He said, “We have people who use cars, bikes, scooters, motorcycles or walk to make a delivery. And each has a different strength and suitability for different deliveries. Robots will be another type of vehicle in our system.”
With DoorDash, Starship is expected to be integrated into the app from as early as the ordering stage: users will have to choose to have their order delivered by a robot instead of a human, and then they will receive a text message when the courier arrives at the door. Thanks to Starship's security measures, the robot's compartment will be calibrated to be opened through a link in the text message that the user receives, so no one else can take their food order.

starship-robots-2
Postmates is said to be preparing a similar system as DoorDash, with Senior Vice President Holger Luedorf saying, “we don’t have a grand vision that robots would be the ultimate delivery mechanism or something. It’s far too early to say. We do want to gather a lot of data.”

Automation in technology has been surging as a popular topic in recent years, from Amazon's successful first drone delivery with Prime Air last month to Apple's confirmation of its interest in a self-driving vehicle system. Companies like Uber and Google have expressed interest in self-driving cars as well, but recently began scaling back their ambitions due to trouble with automotive legislation.


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