Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) is known pretty much as the king of maps, and the search giant cemented that reputation even further today. Users of both the iOS and the Android versions of Google Maps will be able to see information from Uber inside the app as one of the potential travel choices, according to CNET.
How Google integrated Uber
For those who have Uber already installed on their devices as a separate app, the ride-sharing information appears next to the public transit, driving and walking directions choices. Users can then compare the estimated travel times using Uber’s car service with the other transportation options listed in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s app. Users can also jump right into Uber by simply tapping on the app’s icon, which now shows up in Google Maps.
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The way Uber works is fairly simple. Users place their location on the map and then select one of several driving services. The available services may include regular drivers who use their own vehicle along with the Uber app. They also include professional drivers who drive a variety of different kinds of vehicles. A driver then picks up the user and drops them off at their destination. Passengers pay for the ride through the Uber app using their credit card.
Google invests in Uber… in more ways than one
This update is certainly one that makes sense, as Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) has invested in Uber in the past through its investment arm. The two companies have had a relationship for some time, as Google clearly saw the potential in the information Uber provides.
Google Ventures invested $258 million of Uber’s last funding round of $361.2 million. That number is also significant because it is also 86% of the investment arm’s yearly spending cap, which is $300 million. Clearly Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) had big things in mind for Uber. After the second funding round, Uber’s valuation was $3.5 billion.
Other updates to Google Maps
This latest update to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s mapping app also has a number of other new features. Users who sign into the app with their Gmail account are able to actually save the apps so they can use them offline and also pull up saved destinations more easily.
The search giant has also tweaked the location filters so that it’s easier to find certain categories of places, like restaurants. This change makes Google Maps a little more like Yelp Inc (NASDAQ:YELP)’s services, except with the added bonus of Google’s turn-by-turn navigation.