Hail Uber, book restaurants through Google Maps

Johannesburg - An update in the latest version of Google Maps will now allow its users to hail a cab, make a reservation at a restaurant or even book into a fitness class. 

Google Maps which initially launched as a GPS navigator on smartphones will now let users find services from directly within the app. 

Through cab hailing partners, Uber and Lyft, an app for 200 cities in the US – Maps users will now be able to hail a ride through the app. 

“When you open ride services mode, instead of a long list of ride service providers and ride options, you’ll see the map you know and love, along with a carousel of ride service providers in your area,” Google’s senior product manager, Sara McKinley Torti said in a statement. 

“Just tap on your preferred provider to see a complete list of ride options and special offers or promotions,” she added. 

READ: Google Maps may soon lead you to ... more ads

On Thursday Google started rolling out the updated to enhance ride service experiences on both Android and iOS globally.

For local users to access Uber through Google Maps, users should launch the app, select their destination and a hailing icon is available from the selection of methods of transport. 

Once tapped, the options of types of Uber vehicles is displayed and once selected the Uber app is launched. However Google's plan is for all users to book and pay within Maps.

“We’re also trying out a new integration that lets you book, complete and pay for an Uber ride without ever leaving Google Maps—even if you don’t have the Uber app installed on your device,”  McKinley Torti said.

“Once you sign into your existing Uber account (or create one), you can book an Uber ride, track your driver on the map, and connect with your driver—all from within the Google Maps app,” she added.

Maps will now also provide information such as menus, operating hours and reviews for destinations while en route, details which can be ‘swiped away’ within the app. 

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