Tag Archives: iPhone

uber

Uber and UberX a Travelers Perspective

If your anything like me, you’ve probably only heard of a new ride sharing service called Uber from their exposure to irate European taxi drivers.

It seems like every time I open the BBC newsreader app there is an article about a strike in London, Paris or New York by taxi drivers in protest of Uber. So what is Uber? and why is it causing such ire? Uber is a on-demand taxi service that uses technology to revolutionize the cab experience.

Uber uses its own application for iPhones and Android phones to allow perspective riders to “call” a ride. The ride can be serviced by UberX (amateur part-time drivers in their own vehicle), Uber Taxi (standard taxi’s), Uber Black (Town cars), or Uber SUV. The beauty of the system is its simplicity: you get a “fare quote” for each of the services before you actually order the ride, when you place the order – you are shown in real time the location of your driver, his license plate, vehicle, photo and name – all within seconds of placing your order. When your ride is complete, the application immediately shows you how much your credit card was billed – and allows you to rate your experience. Its all so seamless that most users are left wondering – how did I live without this?

I’ve been using Uber for my business travel in Dallas Texas, and my personal travel in Toronto for the last month. In total I was in Dallas for 3 weeks, and Toronto for 1, all of which without a car of my own. I was using both UberX (for client travel – less expensive) and Uber Black (for airport runs, and the odd night out) – wracking up close to 300$ in Uber related expenses last month. After all that usage I can say that my impression of Uber is extremely positive.

Briefly:

UberX: Personal Cars, amateur drivers
Pro: generally pretty clean/reliable. Very Affordable.
Con: crap shoot on vehicle, had several rides in a pickup truck. Crap shoot on driver quality: Sitting on a dog blanket in the back seat and smelling the heavy odor of a pack-a-day smoker. Not available in all markets.

Uber Black: Town Cars, Professional Drivers
Pro: great cars, professional drivers, prompt, have bottled water.
Con: Expensive

Do I think Uber will change the for-hire taxi Industry? Absolutely: its safer, faster, and far more efficient. Unfortunately, it requires a credit card so a large segment of the elderly and poor will not be able to use it, and it requires a smart phone (instead of the traditional phone call) Рagain eliminating the poor and elderly. I do worry that it may further segregate our economy Рbetween the haves and have-nots Рespecially if it decimates the current taxi industry.

Despite my misgivings – I will continue to use it – its just TOO good :)

How to get the those amazing iPhone 5s Photos

iPhone5sThe iPhone 5s is a lovely piece of kit, and is generally very easy to use. One area of functionality I get a lot of questions about is the photo taking capabilities of the phone.

You’ve probably seen those lovely photos of people jumping off a dock where they seem to hover over the water? Or those photos of people of talking to each other that seem so natural? If you’ve tried to take photos like this you’ve probably run into issues with timing and staging – it just seems impossible to get the timing just right. The good news is the iPhone 5s includes a feature called burst mode – that is deceptively simple to use – if you know its there.

The secret? Hold down the shutter or take picture button in the iPhone’s camera app – this will take a burst of photos.

You’d be amazed at the quality of shots you can capture using this trick.