U ber recently updated their passenger app with a major redesign, something they had not done since 2012. In this review we shall to learn how to request rides, maintain a high Uber rating score and more. If you’re an Uber driver, you’ll also find out how you can still use the updated app to scout out the competition and snag more requests. We however have a full Uber driver app review here, so don’t hesitate to check it out but for now lets have a full Uber Passenger App Review.

Lets get started

If it’s your first time using Uber, click here to get an account and also get a discount on your first ride. You will also need to enter you details, like name email, phone number and create a password. Finally you will need to download the Uber app to your smart phone or tablet by searching for “Uber” in your app store or Google Playstore.

When you first open the app, you will be prompted to enter your phone number and password you used when you Signed up. Then, you will be taken to the main screen. Here the app will show you up to 8 drivers closest to your location.

Request a ride

Uber Passenger App review_1
Requesting Uber ride, ETA and Options that follow
FROM OUR SPONSOR- Continue for more content

With the new Uber app, you are able to request for a driver immediately, or schedule one for the future. Tap the calendar icon to the right to schedule a ride or tap where to if you are ready to go right away. My experience with scheduling a ride is that if you stay in areas with few Uber drivers, you must at least expect a 10 to 30 minute delay especially during rush or peak hours.

The App will use your phone’s current GPS location. To fill in the address where you would like to be picked up, please give your phone’s GPS some time to settle until you request for a ride. This means, double check to make sure the address being provided by your GPS is correct. You can edit or move the location pin if needed.

Something for the drivers

If you are a driver, you can use this screen to scout out the competition. After you tap the starting location line, you will be able to see the map again, from here you can scroll and zoom to show you the 8 drivers closes to the new pin location, this will also help drivers scout out the competition and position yourself away from a dense park of drivers thus maximizing your chances of receiving a ping when a new passenger request comes in.

Smart Features

Once you’ve got your pick up location set, you will need to enter your destination. You can enter an address or search for places by name but double check to make sure you have the right one before you get going. Sometime there might be several different destinations with the same name. Two new features in the Uber app are Smart Address suggestions and Location sharing. The app will save locations that you travel to or from as shortcuts and suggest them at the bottom for easy access. You will also see the option to ride to your friend’s current location (may not be available to everyone).

Trip fare known in Advance

Once you’ve selected your destination, Uber will show you a preview of your ride on the map. Uber recently changed their billing method to a more customer friendly variant where one gets to know how much their trip will cost in advance. Even if this angered most Ugandan Uber drivers initially, it was best for the customers. Now you can see the actual fare that you will pay for the ride. Fares for a given ride may vary depending on the time of day. Pricing is based partly on current demand and driver availability, so expect to pay a bit more, when heading home from a big event, when it rains or during the busy hours.

If you haven’t yet entered a payment method, the app will prompt you to do so at his point. Keep in mind that the app gives you the option to share the bill with your friends (max 4) and you can pay with either your debit/VISA card or cash with Mobile money options coming soon in the near future. In our review and interactions, we’ve noted that some drivers prefer cash to card payments and will cancel trips or rate passengers low based on this.

Lets get riding

Once your request is accepted by a driver, the app will show you their Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) along with their first name, picture, car (get ready to see all kinds of Toyota brands ever made) and license plate. If you have special instructions for your driver, tap the bar at the bottom. Tapping contact will give you the option to call or preferably SMS your driver (wondering when WhatsApp integration will be added). If your pick up address is a bit vague like most address are in Uganda, you can help your driver to get to you quickly by telling them exactly where to meet you once they arrive. Most Uber drivers in Uganda will always call you to confirm your pick up place, but be warned they are not mandated to do so.

If the driver delays or any other issue happens, you have the option to cancel the trip, however if you cancel after 5 minutes, a standard charge of UGX 3,000 will be billed to your account.

When your car arrives, confirm the driver’s name and you will be on your way. During the ride, you can view your progress on the map. Please be warned that at this stage the app uses a lot of your device’s resources so don’t be worried if the device get a little bit warm. Scrolling down, you can see your current trip details. Tapping the Change button next to your destination allows you enter a new destination. Your driver should receive a notification and their GPS should update accordingly. You can also share your ETA with a friend by tapping Share Status. When you keep scrolling down on the same page you will find new Uber promos and services if any at that particular time.

Rating time

When you’ve reached your destination, your driver will end the trip and your app will ask you to rate them. If all was well, please give your driver the full 5 stars and he will do the same for you. Uber is very strict about ratings. So drivers try hard to make every trip a 5 star experience. In some countries if a driver’s average rating falls below 4.6 they will no longer be able to work on the platform. But, in Uganda, I have been driven by drivers with ratings as low a s 4.4.  You can also write complements or write a thank you note to your driver. Drivers can see both notes and compliments but they are not factored into their ratings.

Uber Passenger App review_2
Uber Menu, Rating and Trip Details

Should I tip my driver?

A few passengers in Uganda wonder if they should tip their drivers, although tipping is not required remember that tips are not included in the fare. Drivers very much appreciate anything extra you can give especially for shared rides or short minimum fare trips below UGX 5,000. When you take the booking fee into account, Uber winds up keeping a percentage of every fare and they don’t reimburse drivers for any gas, maintenance or other expenses.

Understanding the Uber Menu

Tapping the icon to the top left opens the main menu. Under the payment section, you can add different credit or debit cards or choose the cash option. Companies and Individuals can also set up a business profile to easily charge all of your business trips to a different payment source.

If you need to report a problem that occurred during the ride, go to the menu and tap, Your Trips. Tapping a trip will show you a list of common issues including lost items, payments problems and more. If the issue concerns multiple charging, scroll to the bottom and report that particular issue.

The Free Rides menu option allows you to invite friends to signup for Uber using your unique invite code in my case its rogerb3253ue. So if they decide to use Uber, you’ll earn a credit on your account.

The Help menu offers assistance on a variety of topics at the top, you will see your most recent trip, tap it to report an issue. The help menu also contains explanations, and instructions for resolving various issue related to accessibility. If you have an issue that is not addressed in the help menu, you may have to contact Uber directly. There is no way to do this from the app itself, instead you will have to visit the Uber website and fill out a contact form.

If you want to find out your passenger rating, Uber has now put it conveniently next to your name in the menu profile. We already have details about the Uber passenger rating system here, so feel free to check it out.

In the main menu under settings, you can change your personal info, including your email address and password. You can also add shortcuts to your home and work address, and these will appear on the main screen, for easy access.