In the coming weeks, a major redesign of Uber’s app will make its way to users around the world. If you’re one of them, you’ll probably like it; when Uber demoed the update for us yesterday morning, it was significantly faster, smarter, easier to navigate, and more upfront about things like cost and estimated travel time. No—the most compelling thing about Uber’s reimagined app is a new feature the company calls Uber Feed.
Historically, Uber has focused on getting you from point A to point B. Uber Feed fills the space between. “As soon as the driver starts the trip, the app experience transforms,” says product manager Yuhki Yamashita, who led the redesign. As your car pulls away from the curb, a scrollable feed of cards appears from the bottom of the screen, covering the old-school map of your trip in progress. Swiping up moves you through a stack of services Uber thinks you might find useful during your trip. Feeling peckish on your ride home from work? Swipe left on the UberEats card to see which restaurants can deliver to your house in sync with your arrival time. En route to a restaurant in the city? A Yelp card lets you side-swipe to browse photos and reviews of popular dishes. Running late? Relax: Right there in your Uber Feed is a Snapchat card with custom filters, including one that updates your neglected dinner date on your ETA.
It’s something riders will have to want, and opt-in for, but if Uber can own your in-transit engagement, it makes it much easier for the company to fulfill this role, even when there’s no one behind the wheel.