Why I Find Uber Cab Unreliable and Uncomfortable?

uber screen

In last one week I have used cab services for at least 7 – 8 times, mostly between Uber and Ola. I have been using Ola as goto option and Meru as fallback option. For last week I made it Uber and Ola. So here is why I find Uber’s way of working is uncomfortable.

No Advance Booking

Uber doesn’t have advance booking, you book and you have a cab in 15 to 30 mins. It sounded great until a situation which happened last night. I was out for valentine’s day dinner, and I really wanted to use Uber. Throughout the dinner I had to keep a tab on Uber to see whether cabs are nearby. Everytime I saw, it showed me ETA of 20-25 mins, so I thought to book it 30 mins prior leaving. And when I was about to book, the cab disappeared and I was left with “no cab available“. Then I had to book an Ola to go home. In case of a Ola or a Meru, I would have done advance booking and stayed peacefully at the event.

Enforcing Low Wait Time

For some reason drivers want you to take off as soon as they arrive. Though I only asked them to wait for 10 – 15 mins.

No different from a typical rikshaw driver in peak time

When I tried booking at around 7 last evening, Uber said because of high demand fare at that moment has been doubled! Reminded me of rikshaw driver demanding “Meter one and half agathe saar” (1.5 time the meter). I was disapponted with Ola for charging Rs.50 extra during peak hours, but asking for double is unacceptable for me.

Apart from this, service of Uber lives upto it’s name. But may not be a good option if you want reliability and peace of mind.

Simplenote – note taking app that works for me

simplenote logo

My biggest requirement in a note taking app is accessibility. And hence Google Docs used to be my favorite until I discovered Simplenote. I think it is a well polished note taking app with excellent featureset which I am going to talk below.

Accessibility

It is available on Android, iOS, Kindle, Mac and Web. I have used Web, Mac & Android personally and the interface is identical. Everything is synced. I have a pinned note called “Clipboard” which I use whenever I need to copy paste long text from one device to another. Simplenote also features a nice search box using which one can quickly find what they are looking for.

Sharing & Collaborating

Sharing a note is dead simple. In a note tag if you enter an email address it autotically share the note with that email. Recepeint has an option to view the note without signing up, but one needs to register to edit and collaborate.

Versioning and backup

All the notes are backed up and have timely versions. This is a great feature especially when collaborating with others. If something goes wrong just switch back to older version of the note.

Publishing

Notes can also be published to web for public access. Anyone with the link will be able to access the note. Simplenote also supports “markdown” which makes writing experience better (for people who are used to markdown).

P.S: Simplenote was aquired by Automattic, makers of WordPress, the most popular blogging platform.

Android – Play Store
iOS – App Store
Web – simplenote.com
Mac – App Store

Alternatives

I am slowly switching over to Evernote whenever there is more research involved and collaboration is involved. Some of my colleagues use Google Keep also, but somehow I couldn’t get used to it. So basically Simplenote for quick note taking and Evernote for more research oriented notes.

Idea – Go back in time with your friends, before you became friends!

idea image

When I make new friends, I always wondered how many times we must have passed by each other, living in the same city, travelling in same bus….without even knowing? You know when you met your best friend for the first time. What if you could know wehere all the places you were together, without even knowing.“Holy Shit!!! I was also there for that Russel Peters show that night!”. I learned that låna pengar means to borrow money there, and got robbed in Sweden on traveling excursion once, rather an useful quote if you are stuck in the same situation. In a way it becomes catalyst for relationships of all kinds making people know each other better.

CAN WE MAKE THIS REAL?

Though this kind of thought was there in my mind since my childhood days, I never thought it could be made real until a recent light bulb moment. Thanks to Android and Google location history, our everyday whereabouts are now tracked. Thanks to mass adoption of Android, almost everyone I know use it these days. So, I started thinking if we could take location history of 2 people and super impose one on top of other, by time and see which all places they could have been together without knowing? Sounds quite possible right?

DOES GOOGLE GIVE ACCESS TO THIS DATA?

First thing which came to my mind was to check for APIs. And after digging I figured there was none. That put an end to my thougth process for a month. Then another “light bulb” moment occured (few moments ago) and I realized “I have access to my data!”. We dont need APIs, we need people to download their location history (hmmmm…..kml?) and upload to our server.

WHERE TO START NOW?

I have no clue. Do connect with me if you are interested in taking this further.