Riding in an Uber car should not be accessible only to those who happen to have an Android or iPhone device. Sure, if you had signed up weeks ago and you didn’t have a phone that had access to the application, the only way you could have ridden in an Uber is if you decided to text your address/location to them (UBR-CAB). This seemed a bit crude, but made it a bit more accessible to those who didn’t want to splurge to pay money for a smartphone. But how often have we forgot that you could text to reserve an Uber? I bet you probably didn’t know about it until I mentioned it in this post, huh? Did you know that before Twitter had any mobile apps, you could text your status updates in using 40400? You can probably still do that now, but the point is that you probably didn’t do it frequently or knew about it at all.
Uber probably realizes this dilemma and understands that they need to make their service more accessible to those who might not have an iOS or Android device in order to use the service. That’s why, starting today, they’re “excited to announce” a brand new feature to the Uber service–a mobile-optimized version that will work perfectly for all phones. This brand new site will work perfectly for those with Blackberry, Windows Phone, Symbian, and other mobile platforms. All you need to do is go to m.uber.com, and you will get a similar experience as you would if you had been using their iPhone or Android app.
This new rollout by Uber is going to help spur user growth with this two-year old service. Obviously, the majority of the users are probably on iPhone and Android, but now with the mobile-optimized version, there will surely be a bigger market segment for the startup to reach out to. Currently, the service is available in many of the major metropolitan cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Toronto, Paris, and Seattle. While many consider Uber to be more of a “hipster” or something that is fancied by technology enthusiasts, the truth is that the car service can cater very well to practically anyone. With their new mobile service, Uber will be able to go after the business market by allowing anyone going to meetings to simply reserve their car without needing to go back to the office in a taxi. When time is of the essence for lawyers, doctors, businesspeople, and anyone else, being able to find a ride is crucial–Uber’s mobile site looks to help alleviate that pain. Oh, and it’s gotta be cool being able to roll around like you’re high profile in a Lincoln towncar without having to pay the enormous amount too, right?
Uber’s foray into a mobile site looks to trump all the other transportation apps currently available in the mobile marketplace. While most taxi reservation apps like Cabulous, Taxi Magic, etc all ask you to download the mobile app, Uber’s mobile-optimized site takes it to a new level and empowers their customers to make their reservations without any limitations. You can do it through a simple SMS ping or use the app, or the mobile site. They’re promoting being platform agnostic and, in turn, extending their reach and reputation.
If you’re interested in reading more about why Uber is looking to change the way you get around, may I suggest looking at this incredible article in The Atlantic magazine?
Photo Credit: BGR