How many drivers here remember what the Uber Driver App was like a year ago? How about two years ago? Five years ago? Whether you’ve been driving for a year or five years, you have undoubtedly noticed a dramatic change in the form and function of the Uber Driver App.
The Uber Driver App in 2019
Now, I won’t start by stating that the app is perfect. It is not by any stretch of the imagination. It has, however, come a long way in no small part because of driver input.
With that in mind, as I review the newer features, I enjoy about the Uber Driver App, feel free to comment below. What do you dislike? What do you like? Are there any major SNAFU’s you’ve come across? Let us know.
The Old Uber Driver App
When I got on board with Uber three years ago, the Uber Driver App wasn’t working all that well. It crashed often, lost connection, failed to update me of new ride requests, and it chewed up data and battery. With all the problems I seemed to be experiencing at the time, I’ve made it a poiint to keep Uber’s support hotline handy.
In short, the app was not friendly to the driver. But that all changed in the later months of 2018. Make no mistake Uber has been attempting to update the app for years to make it better, but up until late 2018, my personal opinion was that they had failed. Then came the new-look app.
User Interface & Design
The first thing I noticed and loved was the precision and minimalistic look of the app. It is clean, loads fast, and doesn’t cause a ton of eye strain. As soon as you boot it up, you are greeted with a shiny blue GO button that gets you right on the road.
The carousel at the top of the app allows you to quickly check your daily earnings with Uber, trips, Uber Pro Points, Quest tally, and more. Throw in some destination filters and quick and easy access to your Driver Profile, notifications, and account settings pack a ton of utility into a very compact U.I. Overall the U.I. is brilliant and most likely the best feature on the app.
High Demand Notifications
Though I have seen less and less of these types of notifications in my market, I do appreciate them when they pop up. Uber drivers asked for this feature for many years, and in late 2018 they got their wish.
If you happen to be near a high demand area, the app will notify you that there is an opportunity nearby. You can then select the opportunity and automatically navigate to the area while remaining available for trip requests. This is exceptionally useful for urban and metro centers.
For a long time, the only way to go was to use an external navigation app like Waze or Google Maps. This was because Uber’s navigation interface was abysmal.
When I took time away from Uber and came back and noticed this upgrade, I was stunned. Not only is the navigation app far more stable than it was before, but it also seems to be at least on part with Waze and Google Maps in its accuracy.
Don’t get me wrong, it is far from perfect, but it is much, much better than it used to be. You can set auto-navigation to make the job even more manageable. If you are a stickler for Google Maps, Waze, or other navigation apps for rideshare drivers, the option remains viable.
Auto Trip Acceptance
This is the latest feature to be dropped in the Uber Driver App, and it is controversial. Many drivers despise the auto-trip acceptance feature amidst claims that it is merely another way for Uber to keep drivers online for hours at a time. I personally like the functionality of it as it gives me a safer option to accept requests in stride.
This isn’t really a feature, as all apps should, in theory, be stable. However, the old Uber Driver App was terrible. It often crashed, no matter the service or phone you used. This app has been incredibly stable, with only a few hiccups here and there which can be easily overcome with some patience.
Even if you are running on 3G service, the app is pretty quick to deliver the route and information necessary to pick up and drop off rides.
I recently ran out of my 4G data and was forced to use 3G. It was slower, but the app still functioned quickly. Overall the speed of the new app is drastically improved.
Messaging and Communications
This feature was a little wonky on the old app, but now it is clean and super functional. I particularly enjoy the Thumbs Up you can give to a passenger who texts you.
Data is a major part of any driver’s game, and the new app helps you stay underneath your thresholds. In contrast with the old app, not so much.
This ties into the improved navigation system that Uber implemented. Since you don’t need to run two apps at once, your battery usage is not as impacted as it once was. Another pretty big win.
If I could grade the old app, I’d give it a solid 2 out of 5 stars, no joke, it was garbage and was a big reason I stopped driving even part-time. However, the new app and the continued work that Uber is putting into form and function have impressed me.
As I said, it is not perfect, but it is, again, in my opinion, light years ahead of the Lyft Driver App and similar rideshare apps. I’d rate it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. What do you think about it? Let us know!
If you’re not a rideshare driver yet but thinking of getting on board with the rest of us, check out our ultimate guide to becoming an Uber driver.