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The app that changed the way we get around just got a major update for the first time since 2012 — and it looks drastically different. The new Uber app, which was released today, has a new interface and design, and the first time you open it, it might be pretty shocking. Starting today, the new app is rolling out on iOS and Android — if you don’t already have it, you should see it pop up within the next several weeks. And if you’re new to Uber, you can currently score a free ride (up to $20) by signing up via a referral link (such as TPG’s here).
Uber released a video that outlines the changes:
The biggest improvement with the app is the level of personalization. The app will learn where you travel to most — home, work, your favorite bar — and you’ll see those “shortcuts” at the bottom of the home map screen. Essentially, with one tap, you can request a ride to one of your favorite destinations. In addition, the Uber app will sync with your calendar so you’ll be able to click on a meeting based on its location rather than switching apps to get the right address and inputting that in the destination field.
In addition, to continue simplifying the process of requesting a ride, Uber will soon have a setting for finding a destination based on a contact’s location. Say, for example, your friend is at a restaurant across town. If both of your contacts are synced with the app and you’ve both shared your location, you’ll soon be able to tap their name and a car will take you directly to their location — no need to exchange addresses.
The last big change to the Uber app is the ability to get greater details about your ride. You’ll now get to swipe to compare the price for all Uber options — UberX, UberPool, UberBlack, etc. — up front as well as what time you’re expected to arrive at your destination.
In the future, Uber’s planning to integrate other relevant service details within the app. Say, for example, you’re taking an Uber to New York’s Grand Central. In the future, the app will show upcoming train times — no need to search the schedule online or through a different app. Similarly, Uber’s teaming up with Foursquare to share tips on what you should do around your destination, Yelp to show you the reviews of the restaurant you’re going to and more.
Overall, while change isn’t always the best thing — especially for something that works so well — this update appears to improve the overall Uber user experience. The ability to customize your interface and the new capabilities really help to set Uber apart from its competitors.
Have you downloaded the new Uber update yet? What do you think?
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