Tag - Uber
Ridesharing service Uber has been fined €800,000 ($907,000 US) in a Paris criminal court for running its UberPop service illegally, despite being banned by a 2014 law that was subsequently challenged and then upheld last September. The UberPop service, similar to the company's US service, pairs non-professional drivers and users, which ran afoul of the law. Meanwhile, in Seattle, the company has begun a new Scheduled Rides service that allows users to schedule a ride from 30 minutes to 30 days in advance.
Governments should be more mindful of "sharing economy" services and must try to avoid banning them, according to draft guidelines created by the European Commission. European Union member states should be mindful of implementing restrictions on online services such as Airbnb and Uber, with the commission warning rules that work against these types of companies should be justifiable, and also proportionate to the public interest.
Uber users are more likely to agree to pay surge pricing for the ride-hailing service, if they are low on battery, according to company research. In a discussion about the "dynamic pricing" of its services, the company's head of economic research, Keith Chen, revealed that a user with a smartphone that has an almost empty battery is prepared to pay more for the ride than someone with more battery life available to them.
In a transparency report on its dealings with the US government, alternative ride provider Uber Technologies has revealed that it provided data on more than 12 million riders and drivers to the government -- but that nearly all of it was abstract statistical reports to various US regulatory agencies. The company did, however, show that it would provide details of trips, pickup and drop off areas, fares, vehicles, and drivers to law enforcement when requested, but had just 415 requests from such agencies on just 469 users -- mostly revolving around the use of stolen credit cards. Importantly, Uber said it had not received any FISA orders, or national security letters to obtain data on drivers or passengers.
Whether city dwellers or tourist, we know you've heard of it: Uber. For everybody else, what's Uber? Uber is a controversial taxi replacement which connects riders with drivers through an app, and we couldn't be more smitten with the idea. Here's how our experience with Uber has gone so far.
Swift, the programming language typically associated with iOS and OS X app development, may soon find a greater role within Android. A report claims Google is looking into potentially making Swift a "first class" language for Android, effectively making it easier for app developers to use the language to create software for the platform. The same report also suggests other major entities are looking to expand their usage of Swift on their respective technology platforms.
Uber is making it easier for families to manage payments for rides of specific family members, by slowly rolling out a shared payment system. Starting in Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix before an expected rollout across all markets, the Family Profiles allows for one person to designate contacts who can use the managing user's payment details to pay for rides instead of their own, with the app now allowing up to 10 riders to share a single payment method.
When we reviewed Citymapper back in March, we concluded that it was very impressive, and that it could only get more so as it added further cities to its list of supported regions. It's done that, but the developers have also released no fewer than 15 update releases, adding new cities and new features to reach Citymapper 5.12, and a total of 29 cities.
Uber is working to improve the routes taken by its drivers, by mapping the roads itself with its own fleet of vehicles. The ride-sharing company has confirmed it has its own Street View-style mapping vehicles traveling the roads and taking its own imaging data, following a photographic leak of the vehicle on Facebook, with the suggestion it is using the data generated to replace the Google Maps-derived data it currently relies on.
Google has revealed plans to increase the number of people going online in India, by providing high-speed Wi-Fi in railway stations. Working with Indian Railways and communications company RailTel, the scheme proposes the installation of the free hotspots in 100 of the busiest stations by the end of 2016, serving over 10 million passengers per day. The ultimate goal of connecting 400 of the stations across the country is accompanied by another to make it self-sustainable, enabling it to fund expansion into other areas.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE