Uber adds live location sharing and more for easier pickups

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So we're announcing a handful of updates to the rider app to give you one less thing to worry about this holiday season.

The company also introduced three new app features - offline search, request for a guest and call to ride. The driver will see their name and phone number, as well as their location, which the Uber user also specifies.

Additionally, Uber is adding a new "live location" sharing feature that's meant to make the pickup process go more smoothly. You can help them, too.

To use this feature, you simply turn on the "live location" feature via the tappable icon in the bottom right corner of the map display. When your icon is blue, you're sharing your location.

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Uber is also broadening its beacon program, which uses a hardware device in the driver's windshield to display a corresponding door to riders to help them find the vehicle more easily.

Daniel Graf, Vice President and Head of Product at Uber, said "As part of our efforts to enable global access to Uber, we're focusing on two key areas for riders - building solutions for those who don't have access to the Uber app and enabling our existing rider app to work better in emerging markets".

The update rolls out today and lets Uber users request rides for others who may not have an Uber account, or even a smartphone. The rider will receive all the information regarding the ride via a text message including ETA, auto type and driver's contact details. You've forgotten a gift for someone, and don't have time to run out to the store. Uber now lets you gift credit in-app. Select the amount, enter the recipient, and a personalized message.

The ride will be charged to the requestor's card on file unless the requestor selects cash as the payment. You can download Uber from the App Store for free.

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