Uber has announced a major overhaul of its mobile app that will enable users to set their destination as a person rather than a place, and control the music from the back seat.
The taxi service also revealed users will now enter their destination first and see all pricing options before booking, as part of a plan to “simplify” the service.
Uber has been regularly criticised over safety and discrimination concerns, and also lost a legal battle over the rights of employees in London last week.
However, the firm is now looking to make using its app more “seamless” and “intuitive” for customers.
This includes the ability to set their destination as a person. The app will send a request to the person you are meeting, asking if they can share their location. Once they have accepted, this will be used as the destination for the journey.
Price options for the different types of cars available will now be clearly listed, and a new Trip Feed is being introduced that gives more information on a passenger’s driver, as well as local area guides and reviews based on a destination.
So-called “Shortcuts” are also being added for regular routes users take – appearing as suggestions on the app home screen.
Uber added that it will soon also introduce a feature that will enable users to sync their calendar with the app and have upcoming meetings appear as Shortcuts.
The app will also integrate with third-party services such as Transit, Yelp, Foursquare, Snapchat and Pandora, as well as Uber’s food deliver service UberEATS, so you’ll be able to order a takeaway, check upcoming train departures, or change the music while you’re on the move.
“Since our last redesign in 2012, our app has become complicated and harder to navigate,” Uber said when announcing the changes.
“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.
“Gone are the days when everyone’s app looks the same. The new Uber experience is re-imagined around a simple question – Where to?’.”
Uber confirmed the update would begin to roll out to users on both iOS and Android globally from today.