Google has offered one of the easiest ways to book an Uber ride—until now.
The tech giant has quietly removed Uber ride booking from its Google Maps app on Android, CNET reported. When you try to book a ride in Google Maps now, you’ll get a price range from Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing services, but you won’t actually be able to book your Uber ride inside the app
In 2017, Uber acquired the ability to book rides in the Google Maps app by pulling up the account window and signalling the ride without any need to launch the Uber app, saving users time from hopping between app. Now, the feature gone from both the Android and iOS versions of Google Maps.
Google Maps’ support page has been updated to reflect the change, but provides no explanation on why the feature was removed, but help page said: “You can no longer book Uber rides directly in Google Maps. But you can still look up the route in the Maps app and then request the ride from the Uber app”. Also added during an interview by Uber spokesperson in respect to the matter that “We’re always experimenting with new features for Google Maps. Based on feedback, we determine whether these changes roll out permanently,”
To be clear, Google has removed the direct book feature from their Google Maps app, but Uber integration hasn’t been wiped out from the Google Maps apps. You can still get an estimate on how much an Uber ride will cost and how long it’ll take for you to get to a location. But if you want to complete the booking, you’ll now have to open the Uber app.
Uber is now highlighted with other ride-sharing apps such as Lyft and Gett, along with cost estimates, though all require you to open the respective app to complete a booking.
It’s possible Uber pulled this to make people use its own app, but there’s also the possibility that this has something to do with Google’s parent company Alphabet having a stake in Uber’s biggest competition, Lyft. The company has worked pretty closely with them lately on Material Design and Waymo has a significant deal with the ride-hailing service, too.
It’s unclear if the feature will return in the future, but the fact that Google has updated its support page to reflect the new update suggests it may not.