You know what sucks? The outdoors. All those people, the light, the strange sounds – no thanks. But you can only subsist on delivery food for so long. Postmates is a service that promises deliveries of just about anything you want, and there's a new Android app to go with the service. The catch is that you can only use Postmates in San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, and Washington DC for the time being.

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The Postmates app lists all the nearby restaurants, bakeries, delis, grocers, and so on (pulled from Foursquare). There isn't a supported list of locations – it can be just about anywhere. When you've selected your target, it's time to build an order either from suggestions (in some stores) or by creating a custom list of items with a text note in the app. It doesn't have to be a food item, but that seems to be the main focus. This universal approach is what sets Postmates apart from the likes of Google Shopping Express or Instacart.

We tested Postmates with an order from the local Whole Foods. The app can be used to track the progress of your order as a Postmate is assigned to pick up the items. If they have a question, they can give you a ring and vice versa. It kind of works like Uber in that you can follow your delivery around via a map in the app.

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When your items arrive, the total fee is automatically charged to your card through the Postmates service. Postmates also sends out an email receipt with a picture of the physical receipt from the store. So what do you pay for this service on top of the actual items? There is a $5.75 flat fee for the 1-hour delivery and a 9% convenience fee based on the total cost. The Postmate who brings your stuff gets part of the 9% convenience fee, but you can tip extra if you like. The $5.75 delivery charge is being waved through February 3rd to get people interested.

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Artem is happily munching on his corn nuts and guzzling whole milk right now thanks to Postmates. His opinion of the service is positive, though he is more agreeable when he's been fed recently. If you are in a supported area and want to give Postmates a try, you can get a $10 credit with the code t7yf. This is Artem's code from the app, which is the only way we have to give you free money. If you use it, he gets $10 too.  

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    This is totally awesome. Finally there's a service with an app in San Francisco that lets me order from *any* place in the city.

    My favorite pizza place (Pizzeria Delphina) doesn't deliver, so this is definitely going to be the way to order from there from now on, rather than drive, double park, get stuck waiting for the order which is undoubtedly 20 minutes late, get a parking ticket, and then eat in shame.

    I can see myself using this to get stuff from a local grocery store when I'm sick or busy.

    The fact that you can freestyle the entire order instead of being confined to certain places and products like you are on Google Shopping Express or Instacart is fantastic. My postmate had a question, so he called me up to clarify.

    A+ so far.

  • No + Face =

    I'm a courier for Postmates in SF and I've been told that the Android version is still in a Beta phase, so I'm sure there will be lots of improvements coming soon. They've got it pretty dialed in for iOS so you can take a look at that to get an idea.

    • didibus

      So, is it on a voluntary basis to be courier for Postmate? Like can anyone who wants to do it just do it, or do you need to be hired by them specifically? I mean, like Uber versus Taxis for example.

      • No + Face =

        There is a hiring process, but you work for them as an independent contractor. However, they give you an iPhone to use if, like me, you have an Android, and they give you a card that they can add money to so you can pay for the orders you're delivering.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      The beta phase was lifted the day we posted it. It was in beta for the month (or more) prior to that.

  • Adrien Assadian

    Wait someone must've messed up the timeline : a french app ported in San Francisco and not the other way around ? No way ! :) http://toktoktok.com/