Nearly a year after Google Maps integrated ridesharing pricing, the ability to book an Uber without leaving the app is now here.
On Thursday, Google announced the ability for both iOS and Android users to request a ride from Uber directly in Maps. Users simply need to tap on the figure that looks like they are trying to hail a cab (appropriate enough) to load various Uber options in their area. From there, an Uber can be booked just as seamlessly as its done in the native app.
The Google Maps Uber integration enables users to track their incoming driver, just as the Uber app does, and allows them to give drivers a call before they arrive as well.
Uber already has a similar integration with Facebook Messenger, which was introduced back in 2015. Obviously, Google Maps & Messenger offer different entry points for Uber (one social, one travel)—but, it shows the company’s realization that simply offering a ridesharing service isn’t enough to own the market. They need to provide as many possible lead-ins for those with numerous options at their disposal, as well.
While Uber’s main competition in the space, Lyft, still appears in Maps as an option for riders, there is no integration being offered at this time; tapping on a Lyft ride will still kick users out to that company’s own native app. However, that may soon change, especially if Uber finds success getting more riders to click on a car, rather than stick out their thumb, when they are already viewing directions in Google Maps.
The app integration between Google Maps & Uber is technically live on both platforms now; however, depending on your location, you may not see the update immediately.