Scaled down versions of apps are nothing new; Google has made plenty of "Go" apps specifically for emerging markets where internet connections are unreliable, phones are generally less capable, and plans offer less data. Uber is now getting in on the act, too.
Uber Lite has been built with India in mind — where it's currently being piloted — but it will be coming to other regions around the world later on. It's been designed to save space, weighing in at only 5MB (or about three selfies as Uber helpfully points out), and run on any Android phone. Even when on a network with poor connectivity, a response time of just 300ms is touted, so you should be able to book a ride almost immediately. Read More
During times when a lot of people are requesting rides, Uber prices go up. It makes sense: higher fares incentivize drivers to be available to give rides during high-traffic times, which keeps customers happy. If you have more time than money, though, you'll probably be pleased to hear that the ridesharing company is testing an option to call a car for later at a lower cost. Read More
Google has removed the ability to book an Uber ride from inside Google Maps. You can still look up the route in Maps and then “request the ride from the Uber app,” Google suggests, but it has removed direct Uber booking without providing a reason. Read More
Residents of San Francisco will soon see something new in the Uber app: the option to rent a car. Uber Rent will allow users to rent nearby cars from established car sharing service Getaround right from the Uber app, the companies announced today in a press release. Read More
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