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uber

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Uber finally adds tipping, but only in select cities to start

Uber is in damage control mode following a string of negative stories in the press. It's gotten so bad that CEO Travis Kalanick has stepped down. So now, Uber is launching a program to appease its drivers called "180 Days of Change." The first change is tipping, which somehow Uber hadn't added in its eight years of existence.

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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick steps down following pressure from top investors


Photo credit: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Uber has become a household name in many parts of the United States (and world) in the eight years since its birth. It's become synonymous with hailing a ride in the places I go to, and the company has even severely supplanted the cab service in my hometown. But unless you've had your head under a rock in the last several months, you should know that all is not well in the upper management at Uber. Yesterday, the CEO of the ride-sharing service, Travis Kalanick, was pressured the resign amidst strong pressure from some of the company's top investors.

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Uber links up with Transit to show upcoming train departures from your destination

Uber wants to make things easier for people who choose to do part of their journey using its taxi service and the other part with public transport. To that end, the company has announced a deal with the journey planning app Transit. It's now possible to view onward train departure times without having to leave the Uber app.

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Waymo and Lyft to team up on self-driving car technology

As the race to build the first commercially viable self-driving car hots up, a number of major players in the technology and automotive industries continue to position themselves, hoping to grab a slice of the potentially lucrative pie. This has led to a number of high-profile alliances being formed. Alphabet has its own arm dedicated to the technology in Waymo, which was spun off from Google late last year, and it has been keen to form useful partnerships where it can. The latest test vehicle is a minivan built by Chrysler, for instance. Now Waymo has a new ally in the form of ride-hailing start-up Lyft.

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You can now save custom locations in Uber (besides work and home) with Saved Places

Today Uber announced their new Saved Places feature. The name is descriptive, as it gives you the ability to store selected locations inside the app, for quick selection before travel. Now you don't need to remember or search for addresses to frequently visited places via the service. Humorously enough, Saved Places even supports Emojis in names. I expect a coming flood of people labeling work as 💩.

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Uber now suggests corner drop-offs for POOL rides (in some markets)

Most of us who use Uber or another ride-share have probably been in this situation. You're in a carpool with a ton of people, and the next person up lives down a complicated string of one-way turns. You look at the route and see you're actually closer, right now, to their drop-off point than you will be for the next few minutes of bumper-to-bumper navigation. Nonetheless, you have to sit as the car winds around to the address, wasting everyone's time. Well, now Uber will recommend nearby drop-off locations for precisely these situations. Currently the feature is only live in a few places, but I can't wait.

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Uber attempts to improve its drivers' lives by overhauling the route navigation experience

While most of us think of Uber from a passenger's point of view and using the service to get somewhere, there is another side to that coin. Drivers are, obviously, quite fundamental to the success of ride-sharing services, so it's great when changes are made to make their jobs easier. Today brings a "new navigation experience" for Uber drivers, and there are quite a few things to note.

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Uber took a two-year ride to reach its destination on Android Wear 2.0

That was slow. Uber on Android Wear was promised during I/O 2015, a full 21 months ago. Okay, that's not exactly two years as the title states, but it's pretty darn near. However, in the time since the announcement, there has been no sign of Uber supporting Android Wear beyond the usual notification on your wrist. Requesting a ride? Not possible (without third-party apps). Checking your ride's map and progress? Nope. As a matter of fact, the internet is full of instances of people wondering what happened to that Uber Wear app, like so and so.

Today is the day that promise gets finally fulfilled: Uber is now available on Android Wear 2.0.

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Uber offers Calendar Shortcuts so that you can get to your events on time

After letting the redesign of its app sit for a few months, Uber is back at it with adding features to make commuting more convenient. This time, the ride-sharing service is adding "Calendar Shortcuts," which allow you to select your destination based upon your calendar entries. Whether it's a meeting, dinner, flight, or whatever it is you normal people do, these new shortcuts make getting a ride that much faster.

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Uber wants you to shower your drivers with praise through its new feature, Compliments

Tipping with real money has been something of a sore topic with Uber, so why not just tip your driver with a digital sticker and some kind words? If giving a 5-star rating is never enough, Uber Compliments is just the thing for you. Compliments are essentially glorified, digital thank-you notes.

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