Uber introduces in-app messaging so riders can connect with drivers before the pickup

It takes a fair bit of coordination with the Uber driver after booking a ride. Uber has now made this easier by introducing an integrated messaging service within the application itself. This can be used to communicate directions, or let the driver know that you are on your way. This will prevent users getting SMS or messages through other applications, without context and information on where the message is originating from.

Once a ride is booked, users can tap on the driver, to get a button that says contact. This opens up a chat window where riders can initiate a conversation. The communication is read out loud to the drivers, who can respond with a one touch response that shows a thumbs up. This is to ensure that the drivers can keep their eyes on the road. A small status indicator under the message shows both the rider and the driver when the messages have been received, and when they have been delivered.

Uber has indicated that the update will be rolling out globally in the next few weeks, and has asked users to update their applications when the update drops. Uber has also hinted at more updates coming soon. Although the messaging application can prevent the need for sharing of numbers, at least in India users default to calling as a more reliable option for communication. Integrated chat is a great feature, but the application could do with in app calling as well.

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