Why Uber Is Buying Its Own Mapping Solution

Read original story on: Mashable

Uber has confirmed that it is acquiring the mapping and search startup deCarta for an unspecified amount.  Uber’s functionality relies on accurate locating and mapping technologies, and this acquisition seems to signal the company’s first step toward decreasing its dependence on the mapping services provided by Google and Apple.

This isn’t the first time that Uber has shown its interests in developing its own mapping system. Previously, Uber was reportedly planning to integrate Baidu Map for users in China through Baidu’s strategic investment. In light of recent news that both Google and Apple are developing their own car technologies, Uber might is clearly looking to step up its mapping game, starting with this acquisition.

Christmas Comes Early With On-demand Local Services

Read original story on: VentureBeat

This holiday season, Banana Republic is in a giving mood, partnering up with not one, not two, but four local services. The national retailer is providing its customers with free credits for services on Shyp, Deliv, Curb, and TaskRabbit. The best part? No purchase is required to receive these perks; you just need to walk into a Banana Republic store.

With such generous offers, the company aims to make the holiday shopping a little easier for its customers, while giving the local services a boost. And when shopping is made easier, shoppers naturally tend to shop more. It is a win-win-win solution for all parties involved, and that’s why more retailers, especially the brick-and-mortar ones, should get closer to on-demand local services.

Why Spotify Is Riding With Uber

Read original story on: Spotify Blog

Earlier today Uber announced a high-profile partnership with Spotify for a deep integration that will make Uber rides more customizable. Starting November 21st, users in ten selected global markets, including New York City and San Francisco, will be able to link their Spotify premium account with their Uber profile, set a playlist for the ride, and wirelessly control the music from either the Uber or Spotify apps during the trip. Support for podcasts are also hinted at in leaked app images.

This partnership signals Uber’s first official entry into connected car, which, if proven successful, could potentially open up new opportunities for on-the-go, hyperlocal marketing,

Redesigned Google Maps Boasts New Hyperlocal Features

Read original story on: Business Insider

Earlier today Google unveiled the latest update of its Google Maps app for both iOS and Android. Revamped with a colorful new design that aligns with Google’s newly introduced “material design” concept, the app added new features such as embedded restaurant reservations enabled by OpenTable and deeper Uber integration that now displays the price for the rides right in the app. Convenient and business-friendly, these new hyperlocal features are sure to be embraced by users and merchants alike.

Starbucks To Explore Ecommerce Next Year With Coffee Delivery

Read original story on: The Verge

Starbucks will be tipping its toes into ecommerce next year with plans for launching an on-demand delivery program in select markets. The delivery service will be available to loyalty program members through a new “Mobile Order and Pay” app, set to debut later this year. Given the success its mobile app has enjoyed, along with the rise of on-demand economy, it seems reasonable for Starbucks to double down on mobile-focused initiative.

Uber Experiments With On-Demand Healthcare

Read original story on: Engadget

After experimenting with picnic baskets and grocery delivery, Uber is now introducing a pilot program named UberHealth that looks to leverage Uber’s logistical power into on-demand health services, starting with the flu shots. Users in Boston, Washington DC or New York City can order an on-demand flu shot to be delivered and administered by what Uber refers to as “roaming nurses.” Maybe in the near future, Uber can do more for healthcare like bringing doctors straight to the doorsteps of bedridden patients.

Uber Opens Up “Corner Store” and API

Following its experimental campaign to deliver Lay’s-sponsored picnic baskets last week, Uber continues its dive into the on-demand economy by launching “Corner Store”, essentially a grocery delivery service embedded in the Uber app. The service is currently in beta and limited to Washington, DC area.

In addition, Uber also announced its decision to open up an API to let app developer integrate its service into their app. Brands including Starbucks, United Airline, Trip Advisor, and Open Table have reportedly signed up as partners. It is clear that Uber want to be more than just a platform for on-demand car service, and it will be interesting to see if such ambitious extensions will scale.