The popular transportation service Uber has quickly been growing this year with new features like adding your destination right on the smartphone app when requesting a ride and poaching long time Apple engineering manager Chris Blumenberg who managed the Maps team. The service is even integrated into the Google Maps app on iPhone and Android, and check out the Uber care package the company sends new employees.
Today Uber is taking a major step toward integrating its service into even more apps and services as it introduces an API for developers to use in their own apps and a list of partners already planning to take advantage of it.
As of today, we officially open—to all developers—access to many of the primitives that power Uber’s magical experience. Apps can pass a destination address to the Uber app, display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history and more.
Uber says its targeting “any app with a map” as a potential partner, and its API is open to all developers. To back that up, Uber has launched a developer website focused on learning how to use its new API featuring documentation and tutorials from the company.
In addition to its new open API for other developers, Uber has also introduced a new affiliate program for earning credits toward free rides with the service. Not a bad way to promote the product, right?
While its API is open for all developers to use, Uber has partnered with 11 companies ranging from airlines to retailers to booking apps. These companies include Expensify, Hinge, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Momento, OpenTable, Starbucks Coffee Company, Tempo Smart Calendar, Time Out, TripAdvisor, TripCase and United Airlines. This means you can potentially plans an Uber trip from your calendar to the airport to the coffee shop to the hotel to the restaurant.
OpenTable, for instance, is shipping integration with Uber using the API starting with the latest version released today. The dinner reservations service describes the integration on the new version: “We’ve partnered with Uber to allow you to request a ride when viewing your upcoming reservation (where available). We’ll even tell your driver where to take you so you can just hop in and go!”
In addition to the features supported by the API listed above, Uber also says it will support requesting a ride in other apps as well, but support will require being whitelisted to approved apps that request the feature for now.