Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.
In her hit anthem Friday, a 13-year-old Rebecca Black sang about the torture of not knowing where to sit on the way to school. “Kickin’ in the front seat. Sittin’ in the back seat. Gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?”
If Rebecca Black, now 21, remade Friday with new lyrics, what transportation-related woes would she sing about? I’d imagine the indecision of not knowing whether to order a Lyft or an UberX.
“Surgin’ in my Lyft app. Surgin’ in my Uber app. Gotta make my mind up, which surge do I take?”
But, then again, perhaps not. And not least because those are some truly bloody dreadful lyrics.
If Rebecca Black installed Anyride onto her phone, she wouldn’t feel such confusion. This app, available for iOS and Android, connects to your ridesharing accounts, allowing you to compare the cost of Lyft and Uber rides in real time, with fares based on real-world surge and traffic conditions.
Fares are pulled directly from Lyft and Uber’s servers, and show the full range of services, including shared and private rides. Therefore, the price you pay shouldn’t be too far removed from the price you’re initially quoted. It also automatically applies any eligible discounts and savings (kind of like what Honey does for online shopping), so you don’t have to pay more than you need to.
Anyride doesn’t add a markup to the original price, display adverts, or charge the user to download the app. In fact, at the time of publication, Anyride is yet to make a single penny. Like many early-stage tech companies, it’s still trying to figure out a suitable revenue model.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that Anyride isn’t purely concerned about cost. It takes great pains to show you which provider would arrive sooner, which is helpful when you’re pressed for time, and not especially concerned about price.
So far, Anyride only offers price comparisons between the two major incumbents. That’s only really of use to customers based in the US and Canada (Lyft launched in Toronto in 2017). However, the company aspires to add support for Via, which is increasingly popular in the UK and Europe, as well as “ethical” ridesharing app Juno.
Later down the line, the company hopes to make it easier to understand and estimate cancellation fees. Another feature being brewed would allow users to monitor their ridesharing usage, allowing them to see how much their Uber addiction is costing them.