Uber gets a huge new iPhone feature (but you might never use it)

Uber logo in car window
(Image credit: Uber)

Uber has begun to roll out an upgraded iPhone app that adds a new feature, but there's a good chance that few reading this will actually use it.

The updated Uber app includes support for Apple CarPlay, meaning it can be used on in-car displays while driving. Obviously, the new feature won't mean much to passengers — this update is solely for those driving.

Uber reportedly sent an email to registered drivers to inform them of the new update, confirming that it is now rolling out to drivers across the United States. That rollout is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Drive on

TechCrunch reports that the app's new CarPlay addition means that drivers will no longer have to switch between apps when on the move, all while dealing with a smaller iPhone screen. Drivers often have to change apps to see mapping information and ride queues.

Drivers using the Uber app via CarPlay can expect to enjoy "easier to view features of Uber's navigation system, including heat maps where demand is high, more routes and the sides of streets."

CarPlay is available on all modern devices, not just Apple's best iPhones, as is often the case with some other features. So all you need is an iPhone 5 or newer running iOS 7.1 or later, and you're good to go.

While some cars support wireless CarPlay, most require that the iPhone be connected to the in-car infotainment system using a Lightning cable — something that also happens to mean the phone will continue to charge while being used.

The app doesn't mention if or when international Uber drivers can expect to be able to make use of the CarPlay functionality unfortunately.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.