With the latest update, you can message your driver right inside the Uber app. No more awkward calling, and no more running down the street to holler at your driver.
As the company points out, “every great ride starts with the pickup” – I, for one, have had some very awkward and confusing experiences in the past. Sure, Uber’s app offers calling capabilities between drivers and riders, but it’s definitely not the best user experience out there: if you are a rider, you need to manually type in your phone number to call the driver, and you never know whether it’s your driver calling because everything happens via a third-party app.
As Uber explains, both riders and drivers will see whether their messages have been delivered and read, and all communication will be done in a driver-friendly way.
Well, starting today, Uber is rolling out an update which will add in-app messaging between drivers and riders, right inside the app. Once you’ve summoned a ride, you will see the usual “Contact” button below the driver’s name. Tapping that will bring up a brand-new chatting window. If you need to call the driver, the option is still there on the top right corner. As Uber explains, both riders and drivers will see whether their messages have been delivered and read, and all communication will be done in a driver-friendly way:
When drivers receive a chat from the rider, it will be read aloud to them. Drivers can acknowledge receipt with one tap to their app to send a “thumbs up” to their rider. That way, they can stay focused on the road.
Not only does the new in-app chat eliminate the need for awkward phone calls, but it allows for an easy and direct way for drivers and riders to decide on a precise pickup location. On top of that, as Uber Product Manager Jeremy Lermitte explains, in-app messaging lets drivers and riders communicate with each other in a safe way even in places where voice and SMS plans aren’t readily available.
The update is rolling out globally over the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for it. If you want to download Uber or check for the update, simply click the button below:
Book an Uber for someone else
June 28: Uber has released a new feature that basically allows you to book a ride for someone else. To make sure your loved ones are able to get to wherever they want to go, you can simply open up the app and book a ride by setting the pickup away from your current location, at which point Uber will ask you whether the ride is for you or someone else. You can then select the rider from your address book, set the final destination, and request the ride on their behalf. The rider will receive a text message with the driver’s details once the car is on its way, along with a link to track its route.
Updated rating system
April 27: Uber has updated its app’s rating system to try and make it fairer and encourage better rider behavior. Rider ratings are now more visible, as they are placed directly under their names in the app menu. The new placement will act as an ongoing reminder to users to be respectful on their journeys.
The update also brings changes to POOL trips so that driver ratings aren’t negatively affected by forces outside of their control. When you rate a POOL trip less than 5 stars, you can select additional reasons why. And when the reason is something like the route or co-rider behavior, the rating won’t be applied to the driver’s average.
April 14: Uber has added a new “cross street” feature for pickups and drop-offs designed to help protect your privacy. Simply enter a cross street in the app or if the app doesn’t recognize it, just enter a nearby address and then drag the pin to the nearest intersection.
The company also launched a new partnership with Getaround, finding a way for budding Uber drivers that don’t own a car to still join the fleet.
Uber comes to Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches
February 5: Uber finally added the ability to install Uber as a standalone app on any smartwatch running Android Wear 2.0. First teased all the way back in 2015, this feature means that you won’t depend on your phone to hail a ride, pick a destination from your favorite list, or check for the arrival of your car.
Let Uber take you straight to your friend
December 22: Uber added the option to tell your Uber driver to take you straight to a location shared by a friend. Just sync the Uber app with your contacts, ask a friend to share their location, and enjoy the drive. On the way there, enjoy some special Uber Snapchat filters.