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In 2014 Uber released an API that enables integration of its on-demand ride-hailing service with several third-party apps. In this article, we’ll go over Uber API features, advantages, the integration process, and some pitfalls to avoid.
Uber API integrated into your existing app can serve as a food delivery app or taxi app.
This is especially useful for all restaurants, cafes, hotels, shop or custom events apps that allows the users to order some food or goods delivery by taxi or more commonly order a taxi to that place right from the app.
These all can be done within your app just by integrating Uber API, what popular brands have already done, and take advantage of. Some of them are Hinge, Expensify, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, OpenTable, Momento, Starbucks Coffee Company, Time Out, Tempo, Smart Calendar, TripCase, TripAdvisor, and United Airlines.
That’s not surprising as according to recent surveys, 51% of Americans use delivery services to purchase meals from dining restaurants and 26% persons order takeout or delivery at least once a week.
Moreover, in accordance with the latest survey in London, there are around 300,000 taxi journeys per day just in this city.
So, let’s dig deeper into the advantages of this technology and how to implement it into your app.
Uber API Use Cases
Well, we’ve already mentioned some of the benefits of using Uber API, but let’s cover some other powerful ones:
- There’s no need to build an application from scratch
New apps cost money to develop. That is especially true if you’re making one from scratch. Uber has already created much of the infrastructure for delivery or taxi app. So, if you need to add such functionality into your existing app, what is left is the connection and system setup, which is easy enough with Uber API.
- The Ability to Solve Transportation Issues
You can cover your current clients’ travel demands by integrating Uber API into your app. Building on-demand delivery solutions are useful for food businesses, local retailers, shopping mall, hotels, beauty salons, and even hospitals.
Adding the Uber API into your solution, you help your users to solve their driving in a much convenient way. By integrating the API in your app, user destination points are just a click away. You can use it for anything from an event app to a pizza delivery mobile service. You can hail a taxi from the user's home screen. As a bonus, once integrated, the Uber API lets you offer new users up to $30 off their first ride.
- Additional Revenue
Integration is also a way to make money. Uber will pay you $5 in Uber credit for every new ride. Let’s say you have a small internet business. You can solve your product delivery needs with a single click.
- Comprehensive Uber API Documentation
The extensive documentation on API integration for different types of platforms and in different ways make the development process much easier for engineers. The simplest integration takes a couple of hours. In results, your app likely opens up a wide range of new capabilities.
What Capabilities Does Uber API Integration Provide?
Let’s first start with the API definition. If you’re not familiar is an acronym that stands for an application programming interface. It’s a set of mechanisms and rules by which one component or application interacts with others.
An API acts as a transmission party. It pulls the necessary data requested by a user from a given application. There are various API types like one made by Facebook for fast logging via social media profile or APIs for healthcare that can connect the data from users’ devices to doctors systems
Some core capabilities of the Uber app are available through the API. Those include:
- Selecting a service, like UberX, Uber Black, etc.
- Specifying a pickup and drop-off location
- Viewing time and price estimates
- Requesting a ride
The Uber API uses REST. REST means representational state transfer. You should keep in mind that REST is not a protocol or standard. Instead, it’s an architectural style or approach for writing the API.
The server and client are independent software parts. The REST format allows the use of any programming language to modify or code these project parts. The Uber API can, therefore, be applied in different coding environments. Similarly, the Uber app uses the Google Maps API to pull out location data.
The Uber API documentation is a full-featured platform serving for exceptional user experience. The features include trip history, a fair price estimation, car ordering, ride time estimate, a destination address, and more.
Uber API Types
- Rides Uber API
This is an API that improves your interaction with the current service and ability to receive extra profit. The Rides Uber API offers quick trip request functionality. It can be built with custom integration with Client Libraries or the Ride Requests API.
- Drivers Uber API
The Drivers Uber API allows you to build certain solutions for on-demand service issues. It has documentation about estimates, trip data, payments, ratings, and more. This API increases productivity and simplifies the work for the driver. Once you get the driver's permission, you can use ratings, earnings, and trip data to shape the future of the on-demand economy.
- Uber API for Business
This Uber API documentation allows you to receive access to organization automation services. These include billing systems, business reporting, user management, and more. This API is available for various enterprises and businesses.
- Uber Rush API
The Uber Rush API scales and modernizes logistics for on-demand services. It offers features like signature confirmation and real-time tracking. Early adopters of this Uber map API had been dissatisfied with the demand prediction feature. However, steps have been taken to correct the problem.
- Trip Experiences Uber API
This Uber driver API documentation connects clients with various apps during their commute. Before Uber integration, the client is asked for trip detail access permission.
How to Integrate the Uber API with Your App
There are different types of Uber integration. For your mobile app, you can choose the one depending o the customization you need to do with it and your development resources. Our BA team made a short overview of each type that you can choose the one that meets your requirements:
This Uber API integration option requires enough low development efforts but doesn’t offer any customization. This is the simplest way to integrate Uber API into your application. Then you will have the Ride Request Button in your app, which works a simple yet powerful call-to-action. Then users can see a pickup ETA and fare estimate in real-time. When someone taps it, it opens the Uber app with deep links to the destination, pre-set pickup, and product information. It’s essentially the full-featured Uber ride experience.
Deeplinks are similar to the Ride Requests Button. They allow you to directly launch the Uber app from your application. Your users will get the full Uber ride experience, including destination, pre-set pickup, and product information. However, when you use Deeplinks directly, you can apply custom logic and visual treatment that is uniquely yours. There is minimal development effort and not much opportunity for customizability. And here is how it’s look likes:
- Client Libraries
With client libraries, there is minimal development effort and not much opportunity for customizability. You can deeply integrate the Uber experience into your app with this type of SDK. It is available in a wide range of languages, including Python, iOS, Android, and Java. You get to control every aspect of the end-to-end flow. This creates novel user experiences unique to your brand and application. Unofficial client libraries built by the community exist. They make it much easy to integrate Uber into your apps on Go, Node.JS, Php, and Ruby. The development effort is medium, and the customizability is full.
- REST APIs
If you don’t see a library for your chosen language in the client libraries, REST APIs would be the way to go. You can get full control and create a unique, customized user experience with REST APIs. The development effort is high, which some might consider a drawback, but the full customizability makes up for it.
This API allows you to integrate directly into the rider and driver experience. The development effort is once again high, but you have full customizability.
A Step-by-Step Uber API Integration Tutorial
Step 1. You’ll first need to register an app using the Developer Dashboard. This is where you’ll find all of your tokens and information about the application.
Step 2. The creation of the app and authentication are next. You must create an app via the developer dashboard. Once you’re done, the app will be registered and ready to be set up. You’ll just need its Client ID for authentication.
Step 3. Choosing the right scopes is next. There are two varieties of scope, general and privileged. Scopes grant permission to different API app endpoints. The user will see them during OAuth. You should limit your needed scopes to the minimum so that users can be confident in your app and the amount of data access.
General scopes let you access user information. They don’t allow for more advanced actions, like asking for an Uber on their behalf.
Privileged scopes allow more advanced actions. You can use them to request a ride. However, they require team app approval before a wider audience can use them. During development, your account can authorize these scopes without whitelisting, as is true for any dev account you list on the dashboard.
Step 4. Add SDK or library to your project.
Step 5. Configure the SDK. During this step, you must define the Uber app details you obtained from the developer dashboard.
Step 6. Finally, the team sets up the SDK and adds the needed functionality. That might be the trip request button or an intention to book a ride predetermined by app navigation.
Uber API integration can take as long as four days. However, it brings significant advantages to your mobile application.
If you followed this Uber API integration tutorial, your app should now be able to work with the popular rideshare and food delivery service.
Uber API Integration Examples
Cupper is a specialty coffee app. With it, consumers can find and experience different coffees that are offered in their area. Integrating with Uber made it much more convenient for users in need of a coffee fix to get from place to place.
Hoodline is an app with a technology platform called Atlas. It identifies and validates the best signals, and it analyzes terabytes of unstructured data. Uber integration allowed users to travel to the locations where the best signals were present.
Uber has an advanced feature synchronization with your Google Calendar app. After that, you will see automatically displayed Uber"shortcuts" right in your calendar. It will allow you to order a taxi to the place of your appointment saving you the time of opening the Uber app and typing again your needed destination address.
The Hyatt Hotel app lets users explore and search for hotels with location-based technology. Integrating it with Uber was an obvious move. Once a user has booked a hotel, they can immediately from their account order for an Uber to the hotel in one click:
Read also: How to Make an App like Airbnb
Hound is one of the many voice-powered digital assistants that are getting more popular these days. You can ask it questions, and it will perform various tasks. Integration with Uber lets you call for a ride through the app with minimal effort.
The StubHub app lets users buy and sell tickets to concerts or sporting events. Uber integration made sense since someone who wants to go to a show or a baseball game is likely to need a ride.
The Alexa app was made to be a companion to the Amazon Echo and similar devices. Alexa is another hands-free voice-powered assistant. Like with the Hound, you can call an Uber through it once integration has occurred.
Other Uber API Integration Ideas
Here are a few different use cases of other Uber API implementations for various businesses, so you can pick an idea for yours:
- Healthcare Services Providers
The Uber Health API is a service that allows patients in need of care to call an Uber so they can go to a doctor’s appointment. It can also give rides to staff and caregivers. Using an Uber SDK is a must for health apps with scheduling doctor appointment feature, that allows your patients not only book a doctor visit but instantly order a taxi to the hospital.
See also how to integrate healthcare APIs.
- Local Food and Grocery Delivery
The UberEats API is purposed for food and grocery apps and providers. Having implemented it into your app, allows you to offer customers one more food delivery method with Uber vehicles. This is much helpful if you don’t have own logistics or don’t provide delivery to the destinations where Uber does.
- Delivery Service for Online Retailers
Uber Freight API can help you to makes your user’s shopping experience stress-free and without any hassle about how to get to store or where is parking. As users can book a car right from your app or get notifications that they are in 5 minutes by Uber from your store, for example.
- Travel and Hotels
If you are in the travel or hospitality industries, Uber API, as we mentioned before should be a must for your app. With it in place, your clients have no worries about how to get to your hotels from the airports or any other place.
But aside from that, there is an additional option for you to engage more clients within your app. And you can do this with the Uber Voucher ap. Uber Voucher is a part of the Uber for Business API. It lets companies engage with customers more and pay for their trips with vouchers. Additionally, there’s one more solution for hotels: Uber Central. It enables hotels to deliver reliable rides to guests, either immediately or through advanced scheduling.
- Beauty Industry
The other industry that can benefit from Uber API and Voucher is the beauty industry. Beauty salons can integrate Uber API. This way, their clients can instantly arrange a trip to visit them. The industry can use the Uber Voucher API as well.
- Event Planning
Uber Events would be the best API for this purpose. It’s a service that gives event guests flexible door-to-door transportation. You could also empower your event app with the "remind me to request Uber" feature. It always sends the user notification beforehand.
So, as you can see almost any business can benefit from integrated Uber API into its own app and making users experience much easier.
Besides, if you have any questions about what types of integrations will meet your needs, feel free to drop us a line and our BA and developers with rich experience in mobile app development will back to you with the best solution for your case.
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