In its effort to provide a more effective app to complement its ride-sharing service, Uber has introduced two new features on Dec. 21.
Uber To A Friend
The first feature involves the use of a friend's location as an Uber destination. The process entails syncing your existing phone contacts and once this is done, the Uber app will let you type in a contact's name and a request will be promptly sent. After a static location is obtained, you can then use the location as a destination.
This feature has other nifty functions such as the ability to provide estimated time of arrival updates.
"To help your friends and family know when they can expect you to arrive, we'll share your ETA with them after you're on your way to their location," Uber said in a press statement. "They'll get updates just like if you decided to share your ETA on any trip."
Overall, the feature should enhance your experience with Uber by ensuring that you will no longer have to deal with complex procedures in the event that you forgot locations or addresses when meeting friends and family members.
Snapchat For Uber
This feature probably entailed some negotiations as it requires collaboration with Snapchat. Whatever the case is, Uber is now able to offer its users dedicated Snapchat filters that can be unlocked for a brief period of time. One should note that it is only available while inside an Uber vehicle.
To use this, simply head to the Uber feed and tap the prompt that will let you unlock the filters. This action will redirect you to the Snapchat app, where you can then take an Uber selfie, complete with a graphic showing your ETA.
Despite the official narrative of enhancing the Uber experience, there are some observers who are raising the issue of privacy. The Snapchat partnership is particularly troubling for those who are wary about two massive tech companies sharing data of its users. The photo-sharing company also offers location-based services.
Uber has already attracted some controversy early this month after it announced that it will begin tracking rider location. This activity will purportedly run even when the Uber app is merely running in the background. Early this year, it was already fined for its God View geolocation tracking tool.
The bulk of Uber users must already be aware that the app underwent a major makeover last Nov. 2. The changes implemented were aimed at streamlining user experience. For this purpose, the app's UI is already straightforward, lacking the clutter of the previous version that had the tendency to confuse users.