Google first introduced price estimates for Uber back in 2014. Last year the company added a new ride services mode to Google Maps which was a big step forward but it required you to switch between apps.
Yesterday the company announced that the latest version of Google Maps lets users request a Uber ride and pay for it directly within the app. It will also show an actual real-time location of Uber drivers around to make it a bit easier to decide whether to take a cab, use public transit, drive, walk or bike to your destination.
This is the comparison between the old version (left) and the next version of the app (right):
The update will be rolled out for both Android and iOS but in order to use it you’ll have to sign in with your Uber account info, which will pull up your stored payment info and other details.
With this update Google Maps strengthens its leading position among multimodal navigation apps that list all your possible transportation alternatives. It is interesting that the company decided to release the app in parallel on both platforms. Normally iOS users had to wait for at least a couple of weeks to get the latest features available on Android. It seems that the growing competition from HERE and Apple Maps pushed Google to change this strategy.