Google Maps for Android can no longer book an Uber directly from the app
19 June, 2018, 20:36
In case you didn't know it, Google Maps has an in-app function that lets you book a ride from your favorite ride-sharing service without having to leave the navigational app. On Monday, Android Police was one of the first to notice that Google has updated its online documentation to clarify that the ability to request a ride via Uber within the app has been deactivated.
The feature was pulled by the technology company after months after it was rolled back on GoogleMaps app for iOS. At that point, Google Maps was showing different vehicle types for each ride sharing service - such as UberX or UberXL - together with an estimate of how much the selected trip might cost. Maps now has a "request" shortcut that hands off to Uber in place of the "book" button. The feature is still live in India, but we are sure when the company will remove it. It pumped the then-nascent cab service with $258 million, the investment was seen as a massive success as Uber grew rapidly after that. The change means that, in the U.S. at least, only Lyft is integrated as a route option when using Google Maps for directions.
One possible explanation for this is that Uber doesn't want users to be able to book rides without using the Uber app. If you don't have the app installed, you will be sent to the Google Play Store where you can install it. It remains unclear when the change actually took effect.
It's worth noting that Alphabet has a stake in Lyft, which is Uber's biggest competitor. If Google was looking to cut ties with Uber, why not go all the way?
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