Actions on Google, the developer backbone behind third-party Google Assistant integrations, is getting more and more capable with time. Last time we saw it get updated, it learned new languages, got better discoverability for the apps, and added notifications, a personalized experience, and more. With this new update, there's even more in tow, so let's get started.
First, in conjunction with the news that Assistant is adding 30 new languages, 7 of which are launching soon, developers can now create actions in these same languages: Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Thai. Along with the 9 existing languages, this makes the total 16, but Google knows that the mere fact that a language is supported isn't enough to get all the developers on board. Read More
A new version of Google Maps slipped out late last night, just in time for the weekend. While there are a couple of small cosmetic changes showing up, we haven't spotted any big additions yet. A teardown tells a bit of a different story. The Google Maps team is getting ready to add a new form for reporting road closures, and another for creating new accounts with Uber. There will also be a new notification for confirming your mode of transportations during commutes, and best of all, you'll soon be able to tell how full busses and subways are likely to be. Read More
The Uber app is pretty convenient already, but there's always room for improvement. Earlier in the year, the ability to message your driver via in-app chat was added, and now Uber has a few more enhancements that it hopes will help ease the stress during the festive season. Read More
Until now, Lyft drivers have had to set up a job in the Lyft app and then switch to a different one for navigation. The annoyance of having to do that will vary depending on the phone, but it's certainly not ideal. It's impossible to talk about the ride-hailing service without comparing it to its biggest rival, Uber, which has a proprietary in-app navigation system that's seen as a big advantage.
Lyft hasn't been ignoring the situation and has just announced that its own in-app navigation system is ready to go. Rather than go to the trouble of developing a solution, however, Lyft has partnered with Google to integrate its already full-featured technology. Read More
Up to now, the most annoying part of using Uber is when a passenger and driver can't find each other and need to get in touch. Or maybe you want to let your driver know a specific detail about your location ahead of their arrival. There exists the option to use each other's phone numbers for a text or call, but this will come up as an unknown number for either recipient and could go unanswered. The obvious solution to this problem has finally arrived, as Uber has developed an in-app messaging service. Read More
IFTTT keeps getting more powerful with time thanks to the addition of plenty of services that normally don't talk to each other but are made to do so thanks to its applets and automations. The latest to join the fold is popular — albeit recently very controversial — ride sharing service Uber.
The Uber channel on IFTTT isn't as capable as most others since it only provides Triggers and not Actions. So you can't have your ride automatically requested or canceled based on something else happening, but what you can do is trigger another service when your ride arrives, starts, or ends, and you even have the option to specify exact locations for pickup and drop-off for the trigger to work. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More