What to Look into While Developing an App Like Uber

Developing Taxi Business Based on Uber for X — 5 Things to Bother You

Taxi apps are just mushrooming everywhere. Almost every small to big investors are trying to bathe their hands in the revenue stream of taxi apps. And why won’t they try to do so?

Since these taxi apps have been a boon to people who wants to avoid the hassles of heavy traffic and no refusals. So, taxi businesses are blindly apptizing themselves to deliver great customer services. But the real reason behind people developing apps like Uber is — Moolahs!

But is it true — apps like Uber and Lyft are meant only to rake moolahs? Hope not. But some recent incidences is really proving a threat to the taxi app industry. There was a possible brewing in Ola few months back, which was put out on Twitter.

It claimed that approximately 12,000 cab drivers used a software to dig up freebies offered by the company without serving any passengers. Drivers and four riders, with 500 SIM cards and with one Ola registered phone, were all set to dupe customers. The app was showing a cab is near them, when in actual it isn’t. The fraud team made 30,000 INR/day. Can you imagine? Ola sensed something wrong after seven months and blacklisted the cabs.

Now, the point is: being one of the big players in the market, if Ola faces this type of technological glitches, don’t you think that your taxi app solution can also have such or bigger issues? So, if you want to get a Taxi app developed, you should look not only at the features but also at, lots of other things including performance, security and user experiences. Decide your development partner based on all these criteria.

Taxi apps features are more or less same whether it is Uber, Ola, Lyft or Hailo. So if your aim is to develop a billion dollar taxi app solution or launch another Uber for X (Wanna know what it is? Hold on — I will be talking about it soon), it is important to ensure that your cab app is secured and qualified for bigger audiences.

It’s the taxi app platform which forms the backbone of these transport apps. And for that I will recommend you to check all types of taxi app platforms before you start your own taxi business.

Tales of Taxi Apps — When It All Started?

In the year 2008, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick, two entrepreneurs from San Francisco, founded Uber. Now Uber has expanded to more than 35 countries and to more than 100 cities. But this great idea tends to be repeated and we started to have similar apps like Lyft, Hailo, Gett (they have the guts to mention that they “have better pay than Uber”), Easy Taxi, Didi Dache (taxi app based in China), homegrown Ola. Even some startups have successfully turned out to be the competitor of Uber such as Cabify based in Spain.

The success of Uber has definitely encouraged other firms and similar taxi businesses to adopt their marketplace model. Today, there are dozens of firms who describe themselves as Uber for X. But do you think that this model works for everyone? If every taxi app solution starts producing uber clones, won’t this market become saturated soon?

Taxi app platforms thus needs to deliver a taxi business with a twist that will keep them ahead of the competition. Copying isn’t cool — so if you jump on the trend of Uber for X, think twice. Are you craving for an uber like app template or something at par?

Trust me, you need a taxi app platform that will help you show what unique things you can provide your customers. How your taxi apps can bust the myth of “startup business are temporary”?

Here’s the technology stack that can rock your taxi business like no one -

1. Geo-Tagging is in Craze — Have You Opted for It?

Taxi apps rely on the geolocation and mapping features to identify the device’s location, provide driving directions and to highlight routes. Whatever may be the application whether taxi app or restaurant app it must deal with maps.

Determining the current location is no doubt an important factor and you can accomplish this with CoreLocation Framework for your iOS apps. It allows to define geographic areas, and monitor a device’s movements as it crosses specified boundaries. For Geolocation in Android version, one can implement Google’s Location APIs.

In order to display point-to-point directions on a map developer uses MapKit and for Android they use Google Maps Android API v2.

As for Maps, you might not put much stress and can integrate Google Maps for both iPhone and Android versions.

Is the taxi app solution you are building, confirms the use of following technologies when it comes to maps, routes and geo-location targets for your taxi app?

2. Which Payment Integration You Should Go For?

Taxi apps main selling point is in-app payments, which has simply obsoleted the use of small bills, tokens, waiting for change and overcharges. It’s all sorted. One can easily get a pre-ride estimate and decide whether to take the ride or not. Even the dynamic pricing (discounts or add on fare) concept depending on the traffic and car availability are some of the overwhelming features that will give your competitors a sweat.

Though the feature of dynamic pricing is up on you. Since there are users who does not mind paying extra on the fare for a guaranteed ride. Even this feature is popular among large service brands including AirBNB, Trivago, and other service providers.

To offer in-app payments you need to choose an optimal payment gateway integration like Braintree to split the fare and allow simple PayPal integration. One more successful payment integration gateway is Stripe, which is doing rounds of good for most mobile apps for cabs. For additional payment options Apple Pay and Google Wallet can be considered, so ask your taxi app developers are they going to confirm you with these technology stacks if you come to them.

3. Got a Bad Design? You are Going to Fail!

There’s no doubt that whoever came up to me for developing a taxi app wanted a pretty app, better looking than Uber. Since they were walking on the path of Uber for X, so they wanted an app to Uberify. Better to say all functions like Uber, just the look should be different. Give me a quick answer, what will be the future of that taxi app?

Having a bad design can make your business fail, but simply copying and giving a facelift is seriously going to hurt in the long run. What I get is that a taxi app solution must help business develop a simple, intuitive and smooth app that can convey all information in few steps. And not an uber clone.

In this instance, I will love to boast on the core principles of great UI/UX a little. They are none other than familiarity, consistency, efficiency and flexibility. If your taxi app platform confirms all the design principles, you are sure to set the taxi market on fire!

4. User Profiles, Registration and Login Page — You Have a Lot to Do There

All taxi app platforms must try to build an intuitive app that has an awesome backend. These makes user profiles, login page and registration does not appear like a mammoth task. So the taxi app developer whom you have chosen must look after the proper functions before developing the app.

You may wish to allow “no-profile” bookings at an early stage to grow the database and ask/suggest the user, to create a profile when he or she finds a ride and wishes to finalize the pay.

To gain the confidence of the customers, the taxi app platform must enable privacy features. Like it must make sure that app requests access only essential user data and clearly states that it will never post anything on their behalf. Social media integration or email registration whatever you choose must abide by the rule of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights).

Whereas developing a driver’s app, the taxi app development company must ensure that they are strict enough on this aspect. The process should have a little more complicated registration process like an immediate request for photos, car license plate number, a copy of the driver license.

Moreover, to start your taxi business using apps, the presence of a rating system is essential. It leverages the app’s security and boosts customer satisfaction. Let your users rate and comment on the behavior of the driver take respective actions. To make it a little different you can add a bit of gamification such as awarding badges, special bonuses etc.

5. Push Notifications, Did You Bother to Care For It?

As we all know that passenger and driver need to exchange some basic information such as pick-up point, estimated time to arrive, short updates on delays and more. For solving these, Uber has installed a lighter version of chat app like Whatsapp.

But I must mention that developing this takes a lot of time, so you may leave this in the initial product development stage. But sending out a standard push notification to users on their ride details and drivers, are something essential and your taxi app developer must not miss on this.

Google Cloud Messaging or Apple Push notifications for iPhone and for real-time text messaging, a taxi app platform can use Twillo. However, instead of GCM for the Android version your taxi app developers might use Google Firebase Framework and instead of real-time messaging SMS could be an option. But it depends since SMS integration is an additional cost since you need to buy it from a third party service provider.

Now, pulling the brakes.

You want an Uber Clone, but not exactly all the similar features like it. You do want your taxi app to look like the way you want and not a second Uber, copying it from A-Z. Will developing an app like Uber or Lyft help you survive the stiff competition of taxi business?

What I suggest is into the backend. The taxi app platform you choose must make you excel. It is not Uber, but the platform in which it is built made it what it is. And to give those taxi startups a taste of success we came up with the idea of Inno Ride.

We developed this robust taxi app solution that is easy to use and customize as per your business needs. Inno Ride gives a complete control of your taxi app, from domain name to colors, content to layout and instant access to the best looking themes.

With years of dealing with taxi apps both as developers and users, one can easily count us. We are not a new player. We have been turning great ideas to reality since inception.

But keeping all things aside. It’s time to make up your mind on — Why will you develop another app like Uber or Lyft? Is it not a better option to choose a taxi app platform that will establish you as a brand in itself.

Are you daring enough to take the plight?

What’s Your Take?

To be or not to be Uber — the choice is yours. But the fact is — Taxi apps are not created overnight and if you want to make it successful, you have to look at the technology stacks that your taxi app developer is going to use.

At Inno Ride, thus I have kept everything transparent. I like to provide my clients with options that will certainly make their app better than Uber. So what do you think after reading this, will you like to try an app like Uber for yourself? And if you are already on the path of developing one, reconsider these things and have a chat with your taxi app developer.

Will like to hear your experiences?


Swarnendu De is the Co-founder of Innofied, a specialized Mobile apps, Web apps, and Game development company. He manages the technical operations and leads the design and development teams there. He is the author of an advanced JavaScript book: Backbone.js Patterns and Best Practices.

Swarnendu is also the Technical Director of Crossindia Adventure Tourism and he leads the IT and Digital Marketing operations of the company. He regularly writes at his personal blog, company blog, LinkedIn and the Tuts+ network. Swarnendu lives in Kolkata — the city of joy. He loves travelling, photography & fishing.

Follow him at Twitter at @swarnendude.