Uber’s new app focuses on where you want to go

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Uber has evolved at a fast pace and it’s time they revamp its official app. With new functions like scheduled rides, fixed fares and multiple ride options being introduced, the current app layout has started to feel cluttered.

As time is precious and everyone needs to get going as quickly as possible, Uber is releasing a new version of its app that emphasises on the “where to”? That’s the first step and the rest will naturally fall into place.

The usability has been improved greatly. At the moment, you’ll need to pin your current location, select the type of ride and then request for a ride. To simplify the experience, the first thing it needs to know is your destination.

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The app is smarter too. Understanding your ride history, it can suggest where you’re likely to go next based on your usage. Also coming soon is calendar integration so you can get a ride to your next appointment seamlessly. If you’re meeting up with a friend, you can also set a contact as your destination. The system will prompt the user and upon approval, Uber will take you to his current location. You could also schedule rides in advance from this screen as well.

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Previously you would need to select between UberX, UberXL and UberBLACK before hitting the request button. Sometimes you wouldn’t know which is the best option as the available times and pricing may vary. With the new revamp, you can get a glance on estimated or fixed fares of all rides along with its estimated time of arrival. However, for the first phase, the fixed fares and ETA feature will be rolled out for UberX.

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When you’re in a ride, the new app also tries to assist you with your destination. In countries where UberEATS are available, you can order a meal and it will be delivered at your home upon arrival. There’s also Yelp and Foursquare integration to give you more tips at your destination. If you’re connecting to another mode of transport, it will also try to provide additional information such as bus and train schedules.

Like the current app, Uber still retains the same features like split fares and sending your ride’s progress and ETA times. However, in terms of communication, the Uber app still relies on the old-fashioned call and SMS feature for our local market.

For better privacy, Uber has implemented masking of phone numbers in other markets like Singapore and we hope that they would introduce the same for Malaysia. Ride-sharing rival Grab has implemented GrabChat which allows both driver and passengers to communicate with each other via instant messaging. Not only this is safer but it makes communication free of charge.

The new Uber app is rolling out in phases to iOS and Android users in the coming weeks. You can learn more over at Uber’s Where to site.

Alexander Wong