Uber users in the Philippines woke up today to an alternate reality in which their favorite ride-sharing service no longer existed. While the service is recovering as the story develops, those who rely on Uber for their daily commute are forced to look into other alternatives to get from one point to another.
Here are five alternative choices that you can check out:
While four-wheeled cars get stuck in Manila’s terrible traffic situation, motorcycles swoosh their way through it. That’s the advantage of Angkas, a ride-sharing booking app for motorcycles, more locally known as habal-habal. Riding a motorcycle on a highway might be scary for some, though.
Grab is the closest competitor of Uber in Southeast Asia with its GrabCar services. It gained its popularity in the Philippines by being the first to offer a cash payment option, thus making it friendlier for those who don’t have credit cards. Grab also has a network of regular taxis that you can book as an option — just in case.
MiCab is relatively new in Metro Manila, but it’s already operating in Cebu and Iloilo City. The service is similar to GrabTaxi wherein you book a regular cab on your phone. With its growing ties with existing taxi fleets, MiCab could address the plight of taxi drivers facing tough competition.
Wunder fulfills the main purpose ride-sharing apps, and that’s carpooling. If you want to share a ride to work and/or back home, you can find a listing of available carpoolers in your area that are on the same route. You’ll also gain new connections and friends in the long run. The downside is that the drivers are not available 24/7.
If it gets really tough to book a ride on your phone, you can always take the usual public transportation modes like jeepneys, buses, and trains. Fret not! There’s also an app to help you take the correct route to your destination.
Not necessarily a booking service, but Sakay.ph is a great companion to help you get around the city without the need to constantly ask around. Metro Manila — despite being the great capital of the country — doesn’t have a well-structured transport system, so it’s always logical to check out your route and stops first. The app shows you how much it’ll cost and how long your commute will take.
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Google is under investigation for abusing Android
Dominating the market comes with a price
Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.
Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.
India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.
The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.
Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.
Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.
Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.
EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends
To battle with Fortnite
EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?
Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.
Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.
“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.
There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.
Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.
Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page
For just two Bumble coins!
You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.
You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.
Hi Martin! Spotlight is designed to advance your profile to the top for the stack to be viewable by more people instantly. When you use two Bumble Coins to activate Spotlight, for 30 minutes we will shuffle your profile to the top without anyone knowing. 💛
— Bumble (@bumble) February 6, 2019
Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.
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