Sometime in early 2017, Google Maps introduced a neat feature where users could book an Uber without opening the online ride-sharing app. The development was handy for many reasons; people who are new in a given city or town could check for directions, distance and the estimated fare to their destination should they choose to take a cab. Secondly, all the processes that are performed within the Uber app were replicated to Google Maps, meaning users could pay for the service without switching apps.
The feature is now gone.
While I do not use e-taxi apps that much, I understand this is a step backward for people who may have gotten used to the feature.
Also, we are not aware of the exact time the feature was dropped. I use Google Maps several times on a normal day and haven’t spotted the service so it is likely it has been killed for some weeks now.
It should be noted that the feature has not been scrapped off completely; you can still view fare estimates via the budget-friendly UberX or the classier UberSELECT, but cannot perform any other action within Maps. Instead, you will be redirected to the Uber app and complete the process there. It is not a big deal for some, but a minor annoyance nonetheless.
The cause for the axe is unknown. Like most apps, if a feature is hardly used, the developer may see fit to drop it as it adds no value to the software. Also, we cannot rule out some bad blood between the two tech companies – but were that the case, the whole thing would be gone by now. It is also possible that Uber wants people to use its app more. Either way, the e-taxi app still sources a lot of services from the robustness of Google Maps that has established itself as the go-to navigation platform.