After about 18 months of letting you book Uber rides from within the Google Maps app, the plug seems to have been pulled on the feature. Till recently, it was possible to look up an Uber fare and book a ride all from within the Google Maps app itself, without you having to leave the app. Users can still look up an Uber through Google Maps and receive a fare estimate as well, but completing the booking will require you to go into the Uber app.
The process remains easy, with an ‘open app’ tab now visible within Google Maps when you want to go forward with an Uber. In order to use the feature, Google Maps users have to look up a location in the maps app, and choose the ‘directions’ option. Google Maps will then provide step-by-step directions to reach your location using various modes of transport. Within this option, you can choose to look up ride-hailing services, which include Uber, Ola and Meru Cabs (when we tried the feature in Mumbai).
While Ola has always taken users to the app to complete the booking, Uber allowed the booking to be completed from within Google Maps itself. It’s unclear why the feature has been discontinued; likely reasons could be Uber wanting bookings to be routed through its own app, particularly since the process only adds a single step to the overall experience.
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When you choose ‘open app’ you’ll be directly taken to the relevant app, or to the Google Play Store to install it. If you do have the app installed and logged in, the pick-up and drop-off locations are already entered, and price estimates for different types of vehicles are displayed. Proceed as you would normally to complete the booking.