You can request an Uber directly from the Google Maps app on your phone. Heck, you might even be able to order a car directly from Facebook Messenger. So why not other apps? It seems like you could start doing that as soon as next month. Sources tell TechCrunch that Uber plans to launch an API soon.
What does this mean? Depending on how open the API is, we could soon have full-fledged third-party Uber clients that enhance Uber’s functionality. TechCrunch’s Josh Constine envisions a number of new things that the new API could make possible:
Maybe Yelp, Foursquare, or OpenTable could let you book a one-tap ride to a restaurant. Travel apps like HotelTonight could offer an instant Uber to your bed. Navigation apps like Waze, Bing Maps, and Yahoo Maps could get integrations just like Google Maps. Even social apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp could let you hail a ride to an address you’re discussing.
“There could be a cutesy version for kids that only lets them book rides home, or one for teenagers where a parent has to approve the fare quotes before the ride begins”, Constine writes.
Just like putting the Like button all over the web helped Facebook become the de facto social network, a “Request A Ride” button in all your major apps would put Uber miles ahead of competitors like Lyft and Sidecar — without resorting to nasty business practices, for once. [TechCrunch]