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Livery service Uber releases official app on Windows Phone, still needs work

Uber Windows Phone

For those in near some major US (and even UK) cities, you may take interest in seeing the official Uber app (www.uber.com) land today for Windows Phone, both 7.x and 8. In case you don’t know, Uber is a livery service that is gaining popularity for embracing mobile technology—specifically you pull your location on your phone, access your account and ping a driver to pick you up. It’s fast, convenient and a great use of your phone.

Previously, we have had some decent unofficial apps in the Store, like Uber Towncar. Now, the fancy taxi company has embraced Windows Phone with a version 1.0 of their app, which of course is free and ad-free. That’s the good news (and it’s always good news when we get official support). The bad news is the app is a tad rough, even for a version 1.0.

Uber Windows Phone

For instance, the app feels more like a port than a conscious effort to embrace the Windows Phone design language.  That said, it is very minimalist which we suppose is the Microsoft approach but not in the case of surrendering functionality, which this app appears to do. As an example, there is no way to track your driver once he is dispatched. That’s one of the top “cool” features of this service and to have it missing is a bit of a travesty. In addition, there’s no mapping ability, which just seems odd.

Overall, it’s great to see an official Uber app but we think the company needs to go back to the drawing board for a redesign with more functionality before we can endorse it. Hey Uber, maybe call Nokia for development support?

You can pick up the official Uber app for Windows Phone 7.x and 8 here in the Store.Thanks to everyone for the tips!

QR: Uber

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Reader comments

Livery service Uber releases official app on Windows Phone, still needs work

24 Comments

awesome first comment :).. , I dont even need that app but happy for those who have waited for it.
 
have a nice day (praying for viber to come this week)

Viber is already in the store. I don't get why people keep asking for Viber! Just because their app sucks doesn't mean it's not there lol.

VOIP on Viber, not just a messenger. Right now, it's like having a Pandora app that can look up music but cannot play anything...it feels kind of useless.

Oh I agree the app is useless. I just think saying, "We want Viber!" can lead to a ton of confused people thinking that there's not even an app out there. It's like saying, "We want Pandora!" when what they mean is that they want an update for lyrics.

Do the 3rd party apps support the "cool" features?  I'm only curious as I'm not nearly fancy enough to call a car service. :)

The 3rd party apps mostly use the SMS/mobile site features and have the map for your location, but that's it.
And if you're fancy enough to call a cab, you're fancy enough to call Uber. They offer a service that taxi companies in most major cities should have offered for years but have not done so. Taxi companies are technological dinosaurs and rely on their cartel-like entrenchment, useless regulation and political bullying to avoid innovating for their customers. 

Its about a 25% premium over cabs in Seattle but IMO its worth it to know that your driver is actually going to show up and to not have to deal with cash. Its the 21st century and cabbies still look at you like you killed their dog if you hand them a credit card

Would have been better to take time like Pandora did and do it right. I'm not digging this rush to market approach.

I def understand what your saying, and I do somewhat agree with you.  I think half the battle is getting the app on the ecosystem.  Timely update can fix any app.  At least we can say we have it on WP8, even if it doesn't function properly.

As a IT Consultant that helps clients pick mobile hardware its hard to get WP8 sales when the app the client needs is on WP but its junk. I would rather say look at how well Pandora is on WP so it will be worth waiting for. If that was the case I feel confident I could get more clients onto WP.

This app is absolute crap. I am an Uber customer who really liked their iOS app. Now that I have switched to Windows Phone I have not ordered a car yet. It is an insult to their customers using Windows Phone to release something so half ass. If development for for WP8 does not make economic sense, fine. Do not release any app. This is an obvious jquery mobile or sencha touch phone gap job.
Daniel, it would be nice if you could do a better job at calling out when developers are using html5+javascript and phone gap technologies. This will help readers understand that as a result of using a non native development toolset, WP8 users will have to make do with a substandard app. You use the word "port", but that doesn't really explain the situation. Readers can then answer better for themselves why features on ios and android apps are not part of the WP version.
Maybe ask Uber for comment...for example "Hey Uber, noticed you are using a web framework and something like phonegap to build the app. Any reason why you did this? Are we going to see an app using the WP SDK?" I may sound patronizing but you have a platform where you can get answers. Please do so.

"Maybe ask Uber for comment.."

You're under the impression that these companies are forthcoming on their app development strategies and are willing to talk shop. Most of the time, they are not.

Regarding html5+javascript and phone gap, I'm not a developer so would not feel comfortable talking about those tools in any significant way. Not sure our readers need to know it either. All they need to know is it's not a good app.

Having just used Uber this weekend (this is great news for this extended winter cold). It is disappointing to see the track your driver feature missing (along with the map).
On the login page swipe and watch what happens (minor bug but funny). They should have really hired a Windows Phone developer (this feels like a bit of a rushed job).

Not all that happy that you "need" a cc in order to create an account.. what if I never want to pay with a CC# and only pay cash...? Sick of all these online services requiring CC#..
uninstalled.

LOL - giving uber your cc number is the beauty of the service. You don't need to pay the driver or add tip and the receipt is sent as an email.

If you try to pay for uber with cash, they will not pick you up. Their drivers cannot handle the transactions, uber's service does

Finally, this is something I was waiting for and shows the base and appeal of Windows Phone is still growing!