It’s hard to believe it’s been less than a decade since the first iPhone hit the market. In that time, the mobile industry has grown to include an incredible array of games and apps designed to take advantage of handheld devices that are virtually portable computers. Apps have completely changed the way the average person lives their life.
Users can now track traffic, stocks, and newsfeeds on the go. They can check their bank balance, deposit checks, and pay bills with a few taps and swipes. They can remotely manage electronics in the home, from lighting to alarm systems. Consumers can shop, date, and manage work projects, whether they’re at home, in the office, or on an airplane.
Even better is the fact the app revolution has changed the way many businesses operate and led to industry-wide improvements that benefit consumers. Uber is a prime example of a service that has used a mobile application to launch a whole new means of getting from here to there.
Who needs a cab when you can book an Uber ride, pay by phone (no cash needed), and watch on a map as the nearest available ride comes to you? Thanks to both driver and user ratings, good behavior is encouraged all around. Plus, the app offers job opportunities to anyone seeking extra cash for giving rides in their spare time (although some people do it full-time).
Why would such an incredible app need a redesign, you might ask? If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. That said, almost anything can be made better, and some of Uber’s proposed upgrades are sure to appeal to users old and new. Here’s what Uber has in store.
Every app upgrades over time, taking into account user comments and concerns in order to improve. Uber is no exception to the rule. Unfortunately, this often leads to increased confusion and visual clutter in the course of enhancing function.
Uber’s redesign aims to simplify by creating subcategories for ride types. What initially began as UberX and UberXL grew to include several more types of rides that differentiated cost and accommodations.
Now the app will go back to just two main categories from which further selections can be made. Under “Economy”, users can select between UberPOOL and UberX, while the “Luxury” section will feature options like Uber Select and Uber Black. This more streamlined approach makes the app quicker and easier to use.
Naturally, most users want to be picked up wherever they are. However, drivers can waste time trying to reach a difficult location, leaving users waiting at the curb. A new feature on the user side points out nearby locations, making pickup easier so that users can catch their ride faster.
Uber recently added a transparency feature to pricing that gives users a better idea of the costs for a given route up-front. Now they aim to add transparency to ride times as well, with an ETA feature that tells you when you’ll arrive by taking different types of rides. If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, you might be willing to pay a bit more for UberX, as opposed to the shared UberPOOL ride that saves you money.
Meeting up with friends is made easier when you have their precise location. With Uber’s redesign, this is made easier than ever before. Now, the app can pinpoint a friend’s location and set a course to intersect.
Don’t worry about privacy concerns like having your ex follow you around in an Uber all day, though. The app must first get permission to share the location of a user with others. It will ask for permission for every request, so you decide whether or not friends can see your location.
Perhaps the most radical part of Uber’s redesign is the vast integration they have planned. The Uber Feed is set to transform the largest part of your transaction: your ride experience.
Instead of simply watching the car icon move across a map to your destination while you’re on board, you’ll now have access to a sidebar featuring restaurants that could deliver to your destination as you arrive. Or you could see a popup menu for the restaurant you’re traveling to so you have your order in mind when you arrive.
Even better, the app can update other users you’re meeting when you’re running late. This is all thanks to third-party app integration, which is slated to include UberEats upon launch, followed by apps like Foursquare, Pandora, SnapChat, and Yelp, among others.