Latest Uber update brings live location sharing, beacon expansions, and much more

Uber is introducing a number of new features to its Android app that will make finding your ride much quicker.

If you’ve ever tried to find your Uber in a busy location – like at a mall or in an airport – it can be difficult for you and your driver to find each other’s exact locations. That’s why Uber is rolling out live location sharing. Now, your driver can see exactly where you’re located in relation to your pickup spot. To turn on live location, tap the grey icon in the bottom right corner of your app. When the icon turns blue, that means the driver can see your location.

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Uber is also expanding its Beacon functionality to New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago. When you activate a Beacon, you can select a specific color that will only light up on your Uber’s windshield, allowing you to spot the right car more quickly.

There’s another new feature coming to the Uber app that will make requesting rides for other people much easier. Say, for instance, you’d like to call a ride for your parents but they’ve never used Uber. Just tap “Where to?”, then choose who’s riding in the car. Your parents will then receive an SMS with ETA details, car type, and the driver’s contact info. 

Last but not least, Uber is allowing you to give Uber credits to your friends and family as a gift. How nice. To send Uber credits to someone, tap the menu button, then “Send a Gift.” Select the amount, enter the recipient, and a message. The gift will then be charged to your card on file.

To get access to all of these new features, download the latest Uber update at the link below.

Previous updates

In-app chat between drivers and riders

August 10: Uber issued an update in August that allows riders to communicate with drivers much easier. No more awkward calling, and no more running down the street to holler at your driver.Uber is rolling out an update which will add in-app messaging between drivers and riders, right inside the app. Once you’ve summoned a ride, you will see the usual “Contact” button below the driver’s name. Tapping that will bring up a brand-new chatting window. If you need to call the driver, the option is still there on the top right corner.

Book an Uber for someone else

June 28: Uber has released a new feature that basically allows you to book a ride for someone else. To make sure your loved ones are able to get to wherever they want to go, you can simply open up the app and book a ride by setting the pickup away from your current location, at which point Uber will ask you whether the ride is for you or someone else. You can then select the rider from your address book, set the final destination, and request the ride on their behalf. The rider will receive a text message with the driver’s details once the car is on its way, along with a link to track its route.

Updated rating system

April 27: Uber has updated its app’s rating system to try and make it fairer and encourage better rider behavior. Rider ratings are now more visible, as they are placed directly under their names in the app menu. The new placement will act as an ongoing reminder to users to be respectful on their journeys.

The update also brings changes to POOL trips so that driver ratings aren’t negatively affected by forces outside of their control. When you rate a POOL trip less than 5 stars, you can select additional reasons why. And when the reason is something like the route or co-rider behavior, the rating won’t be applied to the driver’s average.

Cross-street pickup

April 14: Uber has added a new “cross street” feature for pickups and drop-offs designed to help protect your privacy. Simply enter a cross street in the app or if the app doesn’t recognize it, just enter a nearby address and then drag the pin to the nearest intersection.

The company also launched a new partnership with Getaround, finding a way for budding Uber drivers that don’t own a car to still join the fleet.

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