It’s a very sensible move, making the Uber app much easier to use for customers looking to get from here to parts elsewhere in a hurry. And, Uber gets an assist from Foursquare, which is turning itself into a local search vehicle.
In other new features, Uber also is attempting to mollify concerns about rate sticker-shock as it has added a fare-estimator tool.
Again, the iPhone’s GPS feature detects your current location for pickup, and then you can search for a drop-off destination, with this newly integrated functionality powered by Foursquare. After selecting Fare Estimate in the Uber app, you see that your black car ride will cost you $96-$121, for example, for a ride from northern New Jersey to a Starbucks on W. 23rd Street in Manhattan.
That should give customers some reassurance that Uber will not be playing “gotcha” over its rates. Uber has been the brunt of occasional criticism for using surge pricing at times during peak-demand periods, with passengers surprised at their bills.
Underneath the Fare Estimate tool, Uber warns: “Fares may vary due to traffic, weather, and other factors. Estimate does not include discounts or promotions.”
Uber also has updated the iPhone app to enable customers to view a detailed receipt from within the app after the drop-off, and it has fine-tuned the view of your route in transit.
The free app is optimized for iPhone 5, Uber states.
In an email to customers yesterday touting the new iOS app, Uber reassures users who belong to a different mobile church, stating: “Don’t worry Android users, your app is next in line for a tune-up:)”