Uber has redesigned its app “ground up” to inculcate shortcuts which predict where its users are headed taking into account previous trips. It will also let users merge their calendars with the app. The calendar merge will let users see their appointments as shortcuts on the Uber app instead of manually filling out destination addresses.
Uber also plans to integrate trips with other utility based apps, social media and news aggregators etc. These changes will be rolled out globally on iOS and Android in the ‘next several weeks.’ Note that the changes are not visible in India yet, we checked on Android devices in multiple Indian cities.
Uber users will also be able to “set a person as a destination” on syncing their contacts list with the app. However, Uber states that once they type their friend’s name into the search bar, if the friend has shared their location, the original user can set that as their destination and get a cab to there. Upfront fares will let users compare fare prices across Uber’s X, Go, Black and Pool services. (Read about Uber monitoring the driver app for driving patterns here.)
In the future (timeline not mentioned) Uber will also inculcate train, bus and subway departure times in case a user is headed to the stations. Users can also browse Yelp reviews of the places that they’re planning to go to. In the US, users can also use Foursquare for “points of interest” (more on its partnership with DigitalGlobe for mapping data here), use exclusive Snapchat filters and stream songs from Pandora (like with Gaana in India). Likewise, they can also order food from UberEATS.
In February this year, Uber redesigned (after a 2010 redesign) its black and white logo to one with “bits” of green and connected “atoms.” Note that 5 months ago, Uber raised $3.5 billion from Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
Uber app permissions
Note that the Uber app can already access to identity (accounts, add or remove accounts, read contact cards), read user contacts, approximate and precise location, send, read and receive SMS notifications, phone for calling, read, modify or delete SD card content, take pictures and videos, view WiFi connections, read phone status and identity among others.
UK court rules Uber drivers are employees
Earlier this week, a UK Office of the Tribunals court ruled that Uber drivers have the rights of full time employees in Britain, and are entitled to earn national minimum wage, holiday and sick pay and other benefits.