3 Awesome Things That The Uber Mobile App Does Besides Drive You Around

driver holding out cellphone with uber app

Since its launch in 2009, the Uber mobile app has grown into an on-demand service provider, operating in more than 60 countries and 370 cities worldwide. At the same time, it has popularized and become the poster child for the sharing economy. However, entrepreneurs have only been able to launch and build successful companies, such as Uber, in the last decade- thanks to the popularity of mobile devices and mobile apps. Below is a look at three awesome things that the Uber mobile app does besides drive you around; as well as the convenience of mobile apps in general.

The Power and Convenience of Mobile Apps…

According to data from App Annie, mobile device owners downloaded more than 200 million mobile apps from the Google Play Store in 2015. Additionally, Apple’s iOS App Store registered about 100 million app downloads over the same period. In total, the iOS App Store has about 1.5 million apps and Google Play has about 1.6 million apps. However, the Google Play store has notched 70% more cumulative app downloads compared to the iOS App Store, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Time Spent in Mobile Apps…

A study done by Nielsen found that the average amount of time Americans spend inside mobile apps increased from 23 hours and two minutes during the last quarter of 2012, to 37 hours and 28 minutes in the last quarter of 2014. This means that the average amount of monthly app usage increased by 63% within two years. In addition, a report published by Flurry in September 2015 shows that the average US consumer spends 198 minutes per day inside apps compared to 168 minutes dedicated to TV. Some of the major activities consumers undertake via their mobile devices include, browsing the web, streaming audio and video content, purchasing goods and services, posting and consuming content on social networking sites, booking air tickets and holiday accommodations, as well as checking and responding to emails. As such, mobile apps have become the premier channels for accessing and consuming web content.

What Constitutes A Successful Mobile App?

Figures from the Nielsen study done in 2015 show that most consumers spend up to 84% of their time inside five non-native apps (installed from the relevant app store). With that in mind, successful mobile apps tend to excel in the following categories.

A. Satisfy/solve a consumer need…

Popular apps usually satisfy or solve a specific consumer need. For instance, the Uber app makes it easy for consumers to hail cabs without resorting to trial and error methods, such as whistling and flagging passing taxis. Other wildly successful apps, especially in the social media sector, have made it easier to communicate and make friends.

B. Ease of use…

Unlike PC-based software programs, apps ushered in an era of user-friendly interfaces. For example, navigating the Uber app is easy even for a first time user, thanks to minimalistic UI design, easily accessible buttons, and easy to understand instructions. Other apps such as Tinder only require users to “swipe” left or right.

C. Content…

Successful apps address all the main aspects of content delivery. This means they enable users to access appropriate and relevant content when they need it and in the right format. According to a ComScore study, 95% of streaming radio content is consumed via apps compared to 5% of the same content consumed via PCs. Furthermore, apps account for 85% of gaming activities, whereas PCs account for just 15%. On the social media front, 72% of social media conversations occur inside mobile apps, relegating PC-based interactions to just 28%.

3 Things That Make The Uber Mobile App Successful

1. Easy cab hailing and cancelling

To request a ride via the Uber mobile app, all you need to do is type your address in the search bar or search for a venue by tapping the pickup location bar. Moreover, you can select a car model that suits your preferences via the slider at the bottom of the map. This is important because the rates for the available vehicle options vary. After submitting these details, the Uber app will connect you with a suitable nearby cab. At the same time, you can cancel a ride request without charge within five minutes of submitting the initial request. Any requests cancelled after five minutes attract a penalty that Uber uses to compensate affected drivers. Although several competitors have rolled out similar features, none has managed to replicate Uber’s success.

2. Fare estimation

Consumers can access fare information by tapping the “Fare Estimate” button. Furthermore, a potential rider can check fare estimates for different cars by simply tapping the vehicle icons displayed at the bottom of the Uber app. If you tap the “Minimum Fare” option, you will access full fare information for your trip inclusive of the selected vehicle option. It is advisable to use this feature whenever you request a cab, because fares vary depending on factors such as the weather, demand, traffic, and distance from pickup to final destination.

3. Splitting fare and sharing ETA

The Uber mobile app allows consumers to ride in the same car with others and split fare equally. After submitting the details of your fellow riders, they will receive notifications to accept to split the trip fare. If you select this option, Uber charges each rider a small fee that varies from country to country. Since cab riders may not reside in the same locality/neighborhood, the Uber app allows sharing of expected time of arrival (ETA) details via the “Share my ETA” button. This enables other riders to avail themselves at the selected pickup locations at the right time.


Uber has redefined the way businesses in the sharing and on-demand sectors operate. Along the way, Uber has become the most sought after Silicon Valley unicorn, worth more than $55 billion. Some of the features that have endeared this taxi-hailing app to consumers include, easy cab hailing and cancellation, fare estimation, as well as fare splitting and ETA sharing. For more details on mobile apps, click here.

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