The holidays can be a stressful time of year. So, Uber is making four changes to the service designed to help. This includes live location sharing (hopefully implemented better than last time ), the expansion of its use of Beacons, requesting an Uber for a friend, and in-app gifting.
Uber has had a tough 2017. It started with claims there’s a toxic culture at the company, which led to the #DeleteUber movement. Travis Kalanick later resigned as CEO, and Uber then launched its 180 days of change, kicking things off by finally allowing riders to officially tip their drivers.
Moving On From This Annus Horribilis
Things are starting to look up for Uber though, and the company is trying to move on from its annus horribilis by improving the service. In a blog post, Uber lays out four changes it’s making to its app, all of which are designed to make using Uber less stressful for all concerned…
First, Uber is hoping you’ll embrace live location sharing. The idea being to make it easier for your driver to find you at a busy location. You simply tap the location icon on your screen to temporarily share your location with your driver. Tap it again to stop sharing your location.
Uber is also expanding its Beacon system. This is already live in a handful of cities, but will now be expanded to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. For the uninitiated, the Beacon is a device that displays a certain color on a driver’s windshield, helping riders to spot their Uber.
You can also now easily request an Uber for a guest. This is designed for people with friends of family members who don’t have the Uber app installed. Tap “Where to?” and then choose who’s going to be travelling. The rider will then receive an SMS text message detailing the journey.
Last but not least, Uber is making it easier to give the gift of Uber this holiday season. In-app gifting means you can send Uber credits to someone else in a matter of seconds. Just select “Send a Gift” from the menu, select an amount and the recipient, and write a personalized message.
Making the Uber App More Useful
Individually, none of these updates are worth writing home about. However, as a whole, they represent Uber trying to make its app more useful. The only people who won’t appreciate these changes are the traditional taxis Uber and other ride-sharing apps are putting out of business .
Do you use Uber? If so, why do you use Uber over the competition? Or even a traditional taxi service? What do you think of the changes Uber is making to the service? Which of them are you likely to make use of over the holidays? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Automobile Italia via Flickr
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