The Nitty Gritty behind an Uber like Apps Development

If you have an idea that will simplify and a process, or improve the quality of a service, making it cost-effective in terms of time and money, and can provide it on demand that you just might be the next Uber.

What is UBER?

Uber is a San Francisco born start-up that has forever revolutionised not only the taxi industry but the service industry as a whole. The Uber that we all know today is present in many parts of the world and is thought to be the most elaborate taxi service that is developing at a very rapid pace.

The reason for Uber’s success is simple – it opened up a smart, convenient and well thought out, communication system between the riders and drivers. It was also easily accessible. Anyone who had an iPhone or Android smartphone could download it and use it. The app not only facilitated an easy and smart way of booking a taxi, it also allowed users to track their taxi in real time. The app also has a payment gateway integrated such that payment is automatically deducted from the rider’s payment card or bank account.

The phenomenal success of Uber in such a short time has got entrepreneurs and companies thinking hard and fast and thinking of ways on how they can become as popular and successful as Uber. The next thing you hear is everyone wants to build an Uber. However, they soon realised that it was not cost effective to replicate Uber and started thinking along the lines of developing an app like Uber.

THE UBER TECHNOLOGY

Let’s look at how Uber works before we delve deeper into the complexities involved in developing an Uber like apps.

Any individual who is in need of transportation will simply log onto the app and put his request on it. The request, along with details of the pickup and drop off point is sent to the nearest driver. The driver can either accept or reject the ride.

The drivers are not licensed taxi drivers but individuals who have their own vehicle and are looking to make some extra money or have spare time which they put to good use.

If the first driver rejects the ride request, it is automatically pushed to the second nearest one and so on. If the ride gets accepted in the first instance, the driver will go to the pickup location to pick up the rider and drop them at their destination. Once the ride is over, both the driver and the rider have the facility to rate and review each other.

BEHIND THE SCENE TECHNOLOGY

Launching such complex applications is not easy, as they involve the development of the client as well as the server. Such applications require a central server which can:

  • Perform complex computations like commissions subtraction, expected arrival time, calculation of cost etc
  • Oversee multiple user interactions e.g. driver and passenger
  • Have data storage functions
  • Think logically like a business

The technology used to develop the app is the latest, whether it is for iOS or android. The iOS based app is developed using iOS SWIFT Technology supported extensively by Apple Company. Similarly, the Android app is developed using Native Java supported extensively by Google Company. Since our apps are highly optimized, you can either go with simple Shared Server or even Amazon AWS Cloud Server.

The on-demand taxi service is dependent heavily on various frameworks and APIs for online payments, navigation and communication. Google Map’s API’s are used for maps, geolocations and paths, although the facility to integrate Waze maps is also available as an alternative to Google Maps. The Stripe Payment Gateway has been integrated for payments, Twilio for text messages, and push notifications are sent via Apple Push Notifications Service for IOS apps and Firebase Cloud Messaging for Android apps. Transactional emails are sent via mailgun integration.

The client apps is actually a partnership of two apps – a driver/supplier app and a passenger/demand app. Both apps have their own set of features.

COMMON FEATURES OF DRIVER AND PASSENGER APPS

1. REGISTRATION
Sign up and sign in facility. For drivers, there is the additional facility for the profiles to be verified and approved before the final registration process is completed.

2. EDITING OF PROFILE DETAILS
Both drivers and passengers should be able to edit their personal details as and when required. The driver app also has details of his license and his vehicle. The passenger and the driver should be able to view each other’s profile. This feature helps them to recognize each other at the pickup point.

3. MATCHING
The function allows a passenger to be automatically connected to the nearest driver. The driver has to accept the ride in about 30 seconds after which it will automatically be forwarded to the second nearest driver.

4. NAVIGATION
The GPS technology is the heart of any location based app. Everything else is built around this technology. This feature is used by both passengers and drivers to locate each other, draw paths and track the cars. It also enables the fares to be calculated, along with the estimated time of arrival.

5. NOTIFICATIONS
Important notifications are sent via email, text messages or push notifications. There are various free utilities provided by vendors that you can use.

6. CALCULATION AND DISPLAY OF FARE
Both the driver and the passenger know the estimated fare in advance. The actual fare is actually calculated by the server, by studying parameters such the distance between the pickup and drops off point, traffic, type of car, fuel cost etc.

Sometimes when the demand for rides increases than “surge pricing” technology comes into play, thereby increasing the normal fare. This is an optional feature which you can have.

7. PAYMENTS
Uber technology has been designed to accommodate a cashless system of payment. As soon as the ride is completed, the payment is automatically deducted from the registered mode of payment. Online payment providers like Stripe can easily be integrated into the mobile apps and they provide powerful APIs. They also support all the major credit cards like Mastercard, American Express and Visa and are optimized for mobile, web and in-app purchases.

8. FEEDBACK/RATING

To maintain an exceptionally high level of service, passengers and drivers should be provided with the facility to rate and review each other. Drivers with low ratings will find it difficult to get a fare, whilst passengers with low ratings will find it difficult to get a ride. Passenger feedback is usually displayed on the driver’s profile to make it easy for everyone to see.

The ratings provided by both will give an indication of the strengths and weaknesses of your business and where there is room for improvement.

9. PAYMENT/BOOKING HISTORY
The facility to view details of their previous trips to driver/passenger name, date and time of travel, type of car etc should be available for both the driver and the passenger.

10. CANCELLATION
Both drivers and passengers should have the facility to cancel a ride. You may wish to instill cancellation charges.

THE ADMIN PANEL

The web-based admin panel is the engine of the whole system. It manages the whole system including the drivers, passengers, back-end system, requests, transactions, views the movements of drivers and passengers, report generation etc. It also manages the finances.

WHAT WILL IT COST?

To develop an app like Uber means developing two apps and a web-based admin panel. Therefore your cost will include:

  • Design
  • Android and iOS app development (A driver and passenger app for each platform)
  • Web development
  • Back end development
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance

The total time is taken for the app developing includes around 5000 hours of back breaking work. The hourly rate varies between $20 to $150, sometimes even more. This brings your total cost to be between $100,000 to $750,000. Therefore it is important that you do your groundwork too before choosing the company that will develop your app.

However, if you do some serious research, you will get companies who will develop your app for as little as $2000 and give you some freebies with your app too. These may include:

  • Installation, configuration and launch of your app
    –    A free lifetime license
    –    A white-labeled solution
    –    Customization of one language and currency of your choice
    –    Support for minor bugs
    –    24/7 support any time, any day.

Are you ready to launch your Uber now? Create an uber like apps that will be as good as Uber and revolutionize the on demand industry.