Google Maps on Android no longer allows users to book Uber rides directly inside the app after Google Maps on iOS lost the feature last summer.
Google Maps still supports Uber under its ride-sharing tab. However, users who were fans of the feature will notice that a significant change was quietly implemented.
Uber In Google Maps No Longer Works
In January last year, a massive Google Maps update allowed users to book Uber rides directly from the app. Users were able to search for locations, book Uber rides to that destination, and pay for the trip all within Google Maps without even needing for the Uber app to be installed.
However, that feature has been quietly taken down from Google Maps, which was first spotted by Android Police in a support document. It remains unclear when the change actually took effect.
When users search for a place on Google Maps and ask for directions, they can select if they are walking, driving, biking, taking mass transit, or going on ride-sharing. Uber is still found in the ride-sharing tab, but instead of directly booking a ride request, Google Maps provides an estimate for the fare and offers to switch the user to the Uber app. This is similar to how Google Maps treats other ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Gett.
Why Were Uber Requests Removed From Google Maps?
Google did not provide an official reason why it removed the feature to request Uber rides on Google Maps.
Alphabet, Google's parent company, recently led a $1 billion investment into Uber rival Lyft, so there may been a conflict of interest in integrating Uber into Google Maps. The investment allowed Lyft to push for more aggressive growth in its bid to provide more challenge to Uber in the ride-sharing industry.
There is also the possibility that Uber itself requested for the feature to be taken down, as it may prefer its customers to book their rides from its own app instead.
Of course, it is hard to ignore the turbulent legal dispute between Uber and Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car division. In February, Uber agreed to pay $245 million to Waymo over the alleged stolen self-driving technology, but the relationship between the two companies may have already been forever scarred.
Uber, meanwhile, said in January that it will have self-driving vehicles on the road in 18 months, attain profitability by 2022, and launch flying cars within the next 10 years, according to new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.