Lyft has added a new feature enabling you to integrate either your native phone or Google calendar directly in the app. In doing so, the company has streamlined its ride request option, cutting down on the work needed to get from point A to B. This implementation comes nearly three weeks after Uber did a similar offering.
Proponents of ride-sharing services enjoy its simplicity — you summon a car and it takes you where you want to go, then get out and walk away. But one pain point is inputting the location of where you want to go. Lyft is reducing that stress, but only if the pertinent information is on your calendar.
When you want to request a ride, there’s an option for you to “add from calendar.” Grant Lyft permissions to view your events and it will import the meeting you’re going to. To make sure the app has the most accurate data, Lyft advises that you include the entire address when creating an event in your calendar, not just the venue name.
Lyft also plans to launch destination shortcuts in the future. These can be considered the equivalent of website bookmarks where you can label common destinations, such as church, school, friend’s place, and more. Currently you’re able to denote which address is home and work, but now more places can receive their own labels.
A difference between Uber and Lyft is that while the former leverages machine learning to automatically surface where you’re going when you open the app, the latter makes it more voluntary. You can simply tell Lyft where to go on an ad hoc basis — it’s a slightly different workflow, but with the same intended goal. Behind the scenes, both Uber and Lyft are syncing with your calendar.
Just like with Uber, one thing that may raise the ire of riders is giving a company greater access to our daily lives. Some may be cautious about the privacy aspect.
The release of this calendar feature comes amid changes affecting the Lyft sales team. Bloomberg reports that the company has either “dismissed or reassigned” more than a dozen employees as a result of being unable to gain traction among the business market. A study by business travel expense service Certify showed that Uber was the most expensed service for 2016 with 6 percent of all business receipts. Within the last quarter, Uber made up 52 percent of all work-related travel, while Lyft was 4 percent.
Calendar syncing is available starting today on both iOS and Android.