Google tight-lipped about rumored app, Starbucks retrofit

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not commenting on rumors that first emerged last month regarding its work on an application designed to ease access to its public Wi-Fi hotspots. The company also does not have much to say regarding its ongoing upgrade of Wi-Fi service in certain Starbucks stores, though users have been posting positive reviews on social media.

Rumors about the Wi-Fi app began with an Engadget article that stated Google has built both Android and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS versions of an app that enables automatic authentication and connections to Google hotspots located within Starbucks stores or anywhere else they might be deployed. Engadget indicated that Google is debating whether to link public release of the app to its replacement of AT&T's (NYSE:T) Wi-Fi service in 7,000 company-owned Starbucks locations in the United States.

FierceWirelessTech this week asked Google to confirm or deny the existence of this app and, if it exists, to share any information about how it would work and when it might be rolled out. "We don't comment on rumor or speculation" was the emailed reply from Google spokeswoman Jenna Wandres. 

She also declined to share any specific information regarding Google's Starbucks hotspot initiative. "We've been working to upgrade company-owned Starbucks stores across the U.S. to Google WiFi since last summer and we're making good progress," Wandres emailed.

However, a Twitter search for the combination of "starbucks," "google" and "wifi" revealed a number of tweets from users who claim their local Starbucks has received the Google upgrade, which is delivering improved service from what AT&T had been providing.

For example, on March 11 a user with the moniker Noelle (@nmpdx13) posted three screenshots of an Ookla speedtest, purportedly conducted from a Google-enabled Starbucks hotspot. The final image showed a download speed of 101.05 Mbps and upload speed of 12.14 Mbps.

For more:
- see this Twitter search

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