So let's say you really enjoy the taste of a good honey-glazed donut, but you can't be bothered to actually click off the computer, haul yourself off your office chair, and walk across the street to the local coffee shop. And let's say you're an iPhone or iPod Touch owner. Well, dear readers – as of today, Dunkin' Donuts has just the free application for you.
"Dunkin' Run," as the app is called, is being billed a form of social media, not unlike Facebook. Here's how it works: one user logs on, and identifies herself as the "runner." The "runner" then sends out a quick email blast to her coworkers across the cubicle wall, asking them if they need anything from Dunkin'. The app compiles all the orders, and spits out a quick list, making the job of the "runner" that much easier.
"Bring the goodies back, and enjoy the deliciousness, along with the hero worship from your friends. It's that easy," reads the short list of instructions on the iTunes store. (For iPod touch and iPhone users, type in "Dunkin' Donuts" to bring up the app.)
Apple's iTunes store features hundreds of apps for hundreds of different activities. You can search for restaurants on your iPhone; you can count calories on your iPhone. You can manage your checking account, play the piano, paint pictures, calculate your student loan payments, and identify the song that's playing on the radio. That's the genius of Apple's famously lax licensing policy – if you can do it, odds are, someone has already designed an app to make it easier.
"Dunkin' Run" is designed to facilitate those group coffee runs, when one person stands up in his cubicle, and makes a coffee drinking motion, and then everyone rushes out the door. And therein lies the fatal flaw of "Dunkin' Run." Someone in DD HQ obviously thinks that office workers want to stay in their cubicle, while their coworkers fetch them coffee. Which is all kinds of wrong.
People make coffee runs not necessarily because they want coffee – although sometimes they do – but because they want a breath of fresh air.
"Dunkin' Run"? Fail.
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