The Uber app is getting its most major update since 2012, bringing a radical redesign focusing on maximizing the usefulness of the Uber Feed.
The changes are only for users, not drivers, and aim to deliver a cleaner, decluttered interface that would reduce, if not eliminate, confusion regarding which service to request. At the same time, the redesign also brings shortcut options for frequent destinations.
"Since our last redesign in 2012, our app has become complicated and harder to navigate," Uber explains. "To recapture the clean and simple aesthetic of the original Uber experience — without sacrificing the choice our riders now expect — we rebuilt a faster, smarter rider app completely from the ground up."
The redesign should make all information more easily accessible, organizing everything around a basic question: "Where to?"
While the old Uber app gave customers a menu of choices such as UberX, UberSUV, Uber Select and others based on their city, the new app folds all those options into three main categories. The Economy option includes UberX and UberPool, the Premium category includes Uber Select and town cars and the Extra Seats option covers SUVs and large cars. Another option allows users to request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle or a child's car seat from the More section.
Even better, Uber also added arrival times to all its options so that users have an estimate on when they're likely to reach their destination. The app will still tell you how much your trip should cost before you confirm your request, but be careful: Uber surge pricing information, when applicable, is buried in fine print under the fare quote.
The previously mentioned "Where to?" question at the center of the app replaces the "Pickup Location" and "Destination" fields, and it also offers some neat time-savers by listing your most frequent destinations for one-click requests. With the new app, users can add shortcuts for Work, Home or some other frequent destination and save some precious time when requesting a ride.
Moreover, Uber will be adding another option in the following weeks, allowing users to link their Uber with the native calendar app on their smartphone so destination shortcuts appear according to their daily schedule. For instance, when it's time to go to work, the destination shortcut for work will show up.
Rather than just focusing on getting users from point A to point B, Uber now wants to fill the space in between as well, and that's what Uber Feed is for.
As soon as you start your trip, Uber Feed will kick into gear and show a scrollable feed of cards from the bottom of the screen, replacing the old map of your journey in progress. If you swipe up, you'll find a stack of services that might come in handy during your trip. If you get hungry on the ride, just swipe left on the UberEats cars and see which establishments that deliver to your destination would synch with your arrival time. If you're on your way to a new restaurant, Uber Feed will show a Yelp card you can swipe for more info on your destination, including popular dishes, reviews, photos and such.
Lastly, Uber is also adding a location-sharing feature that lets users share their location with other Uber contacts. This allows users to turn friends into "locations" basically, so if you have to meet up with George, you can simply enter George as your destination. If they're shared their location with you, your Uber driver can take you straight to where George is. Referring to this new feature, Uber says that "people are the new places."
"Just sync your contacts with the app, type their name into the search bar and once they've shared their location, you'll be on your way."
The new Uber rider app is rolling out now on iOS worldwide and will reach Android within the next few weeks. To learn more, head over to the dedicated website or check out the video below.