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Uber’s new API lets developers integrate their app features during trips


Uber has launched a new API feature called “Uber Trip Experience” which other app developers can integrate to offer various features during a trip. The company had first launched its API for third-party app developers in August 2014, letting developers list ridesharing services and display pickup times.

Uber cites examples like developers of music apps can set a playlist for the duration of a Uber trip, connected apps can turn on the heating of the user’s home just as they arrive, tourism apps can offer destination relevant information etc., basically, offer functions to the user relevant to their trip.

The new API will provide developers with information about how much free time users have during the trip, the state of the trip (in progress/arriving), time left on the trip, location of the cab, where the user is coming from and the user’s destination. Developers can use this information to provide an in-app notifications, promotional email etc., to the user. Developers can find the documentation to the new API here.

Uber mentions that users will need to provide specific permission before apps can access their trip details, and if not useful, users can turn off the feature on an app by app basis. Other than this, the Uber API also lets developers request rides, a feature Uber introduced in March 2015. It recently also started allowing developers of Android and iOS apps to integrate Uber’s “Ride Request” button on their apps.

The new API is pretty interesting, and should let developers integrate some pretty neat features. Developers benefit by offering extra features to users even during cab rides, while Uber gets to offer unique ‘services’ on its platform, making it more attractive to users.

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Ola API: In September, Ola opened up its API for developers, letting them integrate the platform’s services on their apps. The API allows platforms to integrate ride availability, booking and tracking and time estimation services based on Ola’s data. However, Ola does not yet provide a way for developers to provide services during rides.

Other developments:

– Earlier this month, Uber launched UberCOMMUTE, a carpooling solutions for private car owners, in Bangalore. This was a follow up to its service in Delhi, which was launched last month.

– Last month, the company put a hold on its uberAUTO service, after its launch in April this year in Delhi. The same month it launched UberASSIST, a service which provides additional assistance for the differently abled and senior citizens, in its UberX service in Delhi.

– In November, Uber launched a performance based loyalty programme for its drivers called UberCLUB.

– In September, the company launched UberPOOL, a ridesharing product which let users share Uber cab rides.

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