With the latest update, you can message your driver right inside the Uber app. No more awkward calling, and no more running down the street to holler at your driver.

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As the company points out, “every great ride starts with the pickup” – I, for one, have had some very awkward and confusing experiences in the past. Sure, Uber’s app offers calling capabilities between drivers and riders, but it’s definitely not the best user experience out there: if you are a rider, you need to manually type in your phone number to call the driver, and you never know whether it’s your driver calling because everything happens via a third-party app.

As Uber explains, both riders and drivers will see whether their messages have been delivered and read, and all communication will be done in a driver-friendly way.

Well, starting today, Uber is rolling out an update which will add in-app messaging between drivers and riders, right inside the app. Once you’ve summoned a ride, you will see the usual “Contact” button below the driver’s name. Tapping that will bring up a brand-new chatting window. If you need to call the driver, the option is still there on the top right corner. As Uber explains, both riders and drivers will see whether their messages have been delivered and read, and all communication will be done in a driver-friendly way:

When drivers receive a chat from the rider, it will be read aloud to them. Drivers can acknowledge receipt with one tap to their app to send a “thumbs up” to their rider. That way, they can stay focused on the road.

Not only does the new in-app chat eliminate the need for awkward phone calls, but it allows for an easy and direct way for drivers and riders to decide on a precise pickup location. On top of that, as Uber Product Manager Jeremy Lermitte explains, in-app messaging lets drivers and riders communicate with each other in a safe way even in places where voice and SMS plans aren’t readily available.

The update is rolling out globally over the next few weeks, so be on the lookout for it. If you want to download Uber or check for the update, simply click the button below:

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Previous updates

Book an Uber for someone else

June 28: Uber has released a new feature that basically allows you to book a ride for someone else. To make sure your loved ones are able to get to wherever they want to go, you can simply open up the app and book a ride by setting the pickup away from your current location, at which point Uber will ask you whether the ride is for you or someone else. You can then select the rider from your address book, set the – Source