Google today updated its Google Maps iOS app to include a ride-sharing tab it introduced for Android owners just last week. The new tab, which shows up under a taxi icon between walking and biking options, shows both the available ride-sharing options and price quotes. Clicking one of the available tiers, such as UberX or UberSelect, takes you to the Uber app. While Uber is the partner here in the US, Google has teamed up with 99Taxis in Brazil, Ola Cabs in India, Hailo in the UK and Spain, mytaxi in Germany and Spain, and Gett in the UK. Uber competitor Lyft does not appear to have a partnership with Google at this time.
The feature isn't too different than one introduced nearly two years ago that put Uber price quotes at the bottom of the public transportation section on Google Maps. However, giving ride-hailing apps a dedicated section of their own is one strategic way for Google to keep users opening its own mapping software instead of simply opening Uber instead. Given that most large cities have now accepted ride-hailing as a central form of getting around, it's become a bit redundant to plot a route using Google Maps before calling a car. This way, at least, Google can make it as easy as possible to use its app for getting around, however you choose to do so.