Uber is already a ludicrously convenient way to get around a city, but it's about to get even more addictive thanks to a big update to its app.
The new app isn't just about making cryptic service names like UberExec easier to understand - among a host of new features, it promises to help you navigate directly to a person rather than a place, entertain you during your ride, and tap into its machine learning to help you get home quicker.
The redesign, a basic version of which is available to download now on iOS and Android with new features to roll out in the coming weeks, has also managed to add these extra perks without making the interface busier. Here are our eight favourite features coming to the 21st century taxi service:
1) It knows where you're going before you do
All hail machine learning! Uber's new app learns from your habits and starts picking up on your most-driven-to destinations and when you go to them, presenting each as a small shortcut button in the cleaner-looking interface. The new app is built entirely around the question of, "Where to?" – you can still enter an address or a place and pull it up manually, but they'd rather save you the extra typing and tapping.
2) It'll give you upfront costs and ETAs
In the previous app, you'd need to switch modes on the map to choose between different car types – UberX, a Black Car, or UberPOOL, for example – and then follow the prompts to compare and contrast the times and costs. But with the new app, you start with the destination and then can just scroll through the different car types (via handy sub-genres like 'economy'), getting a new estimate on both cost and arrival time in an instant.
3) It can take you to people, too
This feature isn't live yet, but it's coming soon: Uber is adding the ability to not only get to a place, but also a person you know. You'll be able to sync up with friends, and instead of having to pick an address or landmark to meet up at, your app will be able to locate your mate's phone and, with their permission, point you in their direction. While not a massive addition, it's just one more way the app tries to shave seconds of fumbling and planning out of your trips.