Catching up a brilliant and unique idea is the same as a popular English idiom “once in a blue moon”. There is certainly someone out there with the same ingenious thought. According to the latest statistics, brand new and original inventions are implemented at least once in a century. Of course, rules would hardly exist without exceptions.
Uber is a good example of such brilliant idea. Introduced in 2009 by San Francisco-based entrepreneurs, this award-winning invention hit the headlines becoming a very popular car service. What was founded as a taxi booking service has eventually grown into a global transportation enterprise?
Now the service operates in more than 35 different countries and over 100 cities around the globe. It enabled numerous competitors to introduce actually the same idea, which is another evidence or repeating great ideas. We all know such popular services as Taxify or Cabify that appear to be the main Uber’s competitors representing Estonia and Spain respectively. Those are certainly some good examples of taxi booking services. Whenever you decide to develop your own application, check them and opt for some great features to benefit from. What features define a good taxi app? What makes Uber so popular with users?
Geography always matters
Maps and locations are essential for any application that deals with delivering goods and services directly to a client. When we speak of taxi app, we keep in mind that mapping is actually a vital part as it totally depends on geography and geo-location. Such apps usually proceed following several steps:
- Identification of your device location.
- Developing a route featuring directions for a driver.
- Integration with additional mapping programs and software
These are the key points of successful transportation service for both customers and service providers.
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Advanced location by Uber Technologies
A taxi driver should have all possible tools letting him determine the exact location of his passenger. How does Uber technology handle that task? The app is able to locate the user by means of CoreLocation framework. It contains all necessary protocols making it easy to configure and supply location events directly to the server. The framework is rather handy when it comes to identifying a region. Advanced technologies enable device-monitoring process highlighting user’s movements. iOS devices are tracked by iBeacon while Google Location APIs are for the Android devices.
MapKit was used to develop a precise route from one point to another. These technologies can be integrated with iOS apps. Android routes and directions are supplied by Google Maps Android API v2. Whenever you need to draw a new route, you will hardly face any difficulties as the process was modified to become even easier. Uber developers decided to use proven trustworthy Google Maps for both platforms. By the way, they can be integrated with the application.
The application can boast another great feature that comes with text messaging system. Whenever a driver is one minute or less away from you, he will receive a notification in form of a message. The same message sis sent whenever a taxi was cancelled for any reason.
A smooth payment integration is another essential feature of every taxi booking application. With so many payment options to choose, opting for the right wireless and cashless method will hardly be a challenge. Advanced technologies let passengers pay using their credit/debit cards as well as benefit from additional discounts enabled by promo codes. Uber can also boast such a great system making it possible for customers to leave tips. Keep in mind, that 20% charge for tips is already included in your payment!
However, paying with credit or debit cards is not as easy as it may seem at first sight. The customer is obliged to follow PCI requirements. They are established for any US-based enterprise or service provider that deal with processing, storing or transmitting cardholder’s data. It means that every transaction or operating is supposed to be 100% secured. Moreover, every merchant is obliged to have a unique and valid ID.
Uber has established cooperation with Braintree. The company is a leading representative of the online payment niche. It lets the application proceed with the card transactions. PayPal cards are also available for Uber users. The payment option can be integrated with your application letting order taxi and pay for it using your PayPal account.
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Be aware of the rules and legislations
Whenever you plan to promote your app within several countries and geographies, you should be well aware of all rules and legislations of established by the local authorities. Otherwise, you will hardly avoid those mistakes made by Uber. Some of you may have heard that the company was accused of illegal transportation operations. It actually violates the rules of several jurisdictions at the same time. On the other hand, the law prescribes that the application cannot be regulated the same way as traditional offline taxi services. You should always be ready for a tough competition, as every company will try its best to put you down and grab the niche. The key idea is to take into account all possible legislative issues no matter how boring and senseless they may seem.
In other words, developing and promoting a taxi service application comes with not only legal but also hidden challenges. A growing number of taxi booking services enables a rapid development of the niche in addition to a tough competition. Even such reputable and huge services like Uber often have their backs against the wall in search of better and more efficient solutions. On the other hand, it does not mean that such a brilliant idea cannot be modified, developed and advanced. You have some great examples you can use avoiding mistakes and obstacles. Who knows, maybe you are the one to implement the best booking app on your hometown or even region!