DUBAI // A new Uber app that shows customers the time to their destination and allows a cost comparison from a selection of cars was welcomed in the UAE as convenient and quicker to navigate.
However, users were unhappy and unwilling for the ride-sharing app to request a user’s personal data as part of the launch.
They described as intrusive a new feature by which the Uber app could send a note to friends and family to ask if they would share their location.
Uber said that users would have control over all information shared.
“To clarify, integrations in the new app are entirely opt-in and riders can choose whether or not to integrate the app with their calendar or to sync their contacts with the Uber app,” an Uber spokeswoman said.
The app would not collect location information all the time, only from when a rider orders a car until five minutes after the trip ends.
“In both Android and iOS, riders can opt-out of this feature. Riders can turn their device’s location services off, or they can change the Uber app’s access permissions to never access location information.”
The redesigned app was promoted on Twitter by Uber UAE with a video that announced: “The new Uber app — A faster way there is here.”
A short clip showed how ride routines were studied and suggestions made of home, office or gym. A customer could select a car from fares ranging from premium to economy and are told the estimated time for each car.
Monirul Kabir, chief innovations officer of a digital company, downloaded the redesigned app on Thursday and said he would share his calendar but not contacts. More info