Uber's app update offers message translations and makes pickups clearer

The feature tackles problems caused by language barriers.

Uber is introducing a couple of new features designed to make ride pickups easier for both drivers and passengers. Firstly, the app interface has had a refresh to put more focus and transparency on ride arrival status, and secondly, a new translation tool has arrived, making it easier for riders to communicate with drivers that don't speak their language.

The redesign brings with it a sequence of actionable notifications for riders to follow to make sure they're at the right pickup point at the right time, including a more prominent minutes to arrival alert and walking directions to the correct collection spot. The app will now also include instructions for navigating common pickup points that are typically very busy, such as airports, arenas or event venues.

As for the translation tool, the app will now let both riders and drivers tap to instantly translate a written or pre-generated message into any one of more than 100 supported languages -- helpful for drivers whose primary language isn't native, and for riders traveling outside their home countries. Both updates will roll out to riders around the world in the coming days.