Uber app redesign puts Eats front and center

announced Thursday the first major overhaul to its rider app in three years. The ride-hailing company unveiled two possible versions of the app, both of which put more of an emphasis on its food delivery service, Uber Eats.

No longer just a ride-hailing service, Uber now has bikes and scooters for rent in several cities. In other places, it’s integrated public transportation into the app. It’s also partnered with tens of thousands of restaurants and chains for Uber Eats, including McDonald’s, Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s.

“We see a world where this will open up even more of the experiences you can get from the Uber app,” Nundu Janakiram, Uber’s director of product, said in an interview. “This is kind of the natural evolution.”

Uber debuted on Wall Street in May and has since been struggling as a public company. It’s seen plummeting stock prices, quarterly revenue loss, layoffs of more than 800 employees and an exodus of high-level executives. One of its businesses that’s performing better, and that stockholders may be counting on, is Uber Eats.

Uber Eats will now be front and center in the updated app. When users open either of the new versions of the app, they’ll be given the choice of getting a ride or ordering food from the home screen.

“We want to unify those into a common platform as much as possible,” Janakiram said. “Our highest hope is to deliver to our customers their daily needs.”

One version of the app has already been live in several cities in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. The home screen of this version still has a map and the rides and Eats options at the bottom. The second version, which hasn’t yet been released, takes out the map and has larger buttons for either choosing a ride or ordering food.

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