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Uber wants to keep you entertained while you ride

Third-party apps can now see trip details and build new features using them.

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Uber pretty much has the whole getting us from A to B thing down pat, but having recently dropped off its billionth customer, the company has cause to reflect on all the downtime its users spend in transit. Our always-on lifestyles don't stop when we step into the back of Prius, after all, and Uber wants to help us make more efficient use of our travel time -- or rather, it wants app partners to. Since launching its API a couple years back, Uber has made it progressively easier for developers to bake ride-hailing features into their apps, with popular services like Facebook Messenger and StubHub doing just that. The new "Uber Trip Experiences" dev tools, however, let third-party apps access the finer details of your trips (with your permission, of course) so they can entertain, inform and generally make life a little easier for you while you're on the road.

By knowing your estimated arrival time, for example, an app could suggest a ten-minute music playlist (Spotify, you're up), or a five-minute news bulletin for your short hop across town. Similarly, by knowing your destination, an app could tell you about local restaurant offers and attractions near your drop-off point, or order your connected gizmos to crank the heating up and turn your lights on as you near home. These are the kind of use cases Uber has in mind, anyway, but we'll just have to wait and see what Trip Experiences developers can come up with. Given the popularity of the ride-hailing service, we can only hope it's not long before we can order a pizza that arrives at our front door at the same time we do.

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