Google makes it possible to book Uber or Grab via mobile search

Google continues to make life easier especially for commuters in Metro Manila. Now, one does not need to open his/her Uber or Grab mobile app and create a booking for a ride. It has just been made as easy as using the Google Search app in any smartphone.

This way, one need not simultaneously make bookings on both mobile ride-hiring apps. Through the mobile search service, it is now possible to instantly see available Uber and Grab cars nearby, compare prices, and actually book a ride.

How does this work? You can instantly type “Grab taxi/car/bike to (destination)” or “Uber to (destination).” When this author tried it for the first time, the keyword “taxi to SM Megamall” was typed into the Google mobile search box.

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In just a click, the search result opened, containing a snippet of Google Maps shot. Underneath it, there are ‘Taxi services’ options that featured both Grab and Uber options.

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Upon clicking the right arrow icon along Grab’s logo, several Grab ride options appeared on screen (including GrabCar Sedan, Premium, and 6-Seater). Corresponding estimated fares appeared as well. Clicking on the ‘Order Now’ link instantly opened the Grab app and proceeded to the usual booking process.

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The same happened when the Uber option was clicked. The list of options provided included uberPOOL, uberX, uberHOP, and uberBLACK. The corresponding fares also appeared.

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According to Google, any user who still does not have an Uber of Grab app installed will instantly be redirected to a link to a corresponding app store where he/she can instantly install the app. That link can also be found in the search results page.

Earlier this year, Google Maps integrated this service on its iOS and Android app versions. Thus, when a user search for directions going to a local destination, Google Maps not just provides information to options like ‘car,’’transit,’ or ‘walking;’ it also provides options for the fastest routes with available rides from Uber and Grab. Thus, the need to open multiple apps at a time is scrapped.

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