GrabShare now accepts more than two parties in the car at a time

Carpooling will take a bit longer than usual



Image credit: Grab

Since Uber went offline in Southeast Asia, Grab has been the go-to ride-hailing app for most users. This has caused a surge in Grab riders but the number of Grab vehicles on the road can’t keep up with the demand. To address this, Grab is making changes to the app’s booking process, specifically in the GrabShare service.

If you haven’t heard of or tried GrabShare, it’s Grab’s on-demand carpool ridesharing service similar to Uber’s UberPool. Since it’s a carpool service, you’ll be sharing the ride will another passenger headed in the same direction and you’re only allowed to bring one friend. Grab promises 30 percent lower fares compared to the regular GrabCar service.

Advisory pop-up within the app notifying passengers of the changes in GrabShare service | GadgetMatch

Back when Grab and Uber were competing in Southeast Asia, GrabShare had a distinct advantage over UberPool: GrabShare trips only had one additional drop-off, unlike with Uber that constantly looked for another passenger as long as there was an available seat in the car.

That’s not the case anymore. If you use the app regularly, you probably already have read the advisory saying GrabShare will start accepting more than two parties in a car at the same time. This means there’s now a possibility to have a third passenger depending on the availability of seats.

Here are two possible scenarios based on the previous GrabShare scheme:

The two possible scenarios of GrabShare service | Image credit: Grab

Now that GrabShare will accept up to three bookings in a single trip, here’s a new possible scenario:

A new scenario involving third passenger | Image credit: Grab

We reached out to Grab to confirm the new model of GrabShare. According to Cindy Toh, Country Marketing Head of Grab Philippines, this is a new initiative as part of their product enhancement testing to optimize the available registered vehicles while they wait for the Philippine government to allow the entry of new cars.

With the existing traffic in the city, an additional stop will cause another delay. Is the 30 percent cheaper fare even worth it? That depends on the price difference of GrabShare from the GrabCar service at the time of your booking. There are times when the GrabShare fare isn’t even 30 percent cheaper than GrabCar’s, so it’s best to check which service suits you before booking your next ride.

SEE ALSO: Uber merges with Grab: What happens now?


Google discontinues Datally, its mobile data saving app

It’s gone from the Play store



Using the Datally app from Google? It’s time to move one and find another as Google officially discontinues its mobile data saving app.

In the official support page of Datally, Google notes that the app is not available on the Play store. True enough, visiting the link to Datally throws the app not found error.

Users of the mobile data saving app can continue using it, but the app will not receive future updates. To speed up its discontinuation, the app is giving a warning that it is incompatible with Android 10. So, users who upgraded to the latest OS can’t use the app anymore.

Datally launched last 2017 to help users control their mobile data usage. The app shows the data usage of every app as well as overall data usage metrics. It also let users block background data.

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Google Maps will now show you speed traps

You can also report road closures and accidents



Google Maps is borrowing several features from the company’s other popular navigation app, Waze. Google today announced a series of new features that will allow drivers using the Maps app on iOS to report accidents, speed traps and traffic jams.

Hazard reporting was introduced on Android earlier this year, but this is the first time that iPhone users can also help crowdsource traffic snarls. Google has also expanded the types of road hazards that can be reported through its incident feature to encompass ‘construction, lane closures, disabled vehicles, and objects on the road.

These features have been unique to Waze and many users preferred to use it over Google Maps. It was long-speculated that when Google purchased Waze for US$ 1.1 billion five years ago that the features would be swiftly migrated to Google Maps. The transition has been extremely slow, but it’s finally happening.

To report an incident, open Maps and start navigating to your destination. You’ll see a small location pin with a + sign button on the left side, tap it. Now, you’ll have multiple options that include speed traps, construction, lane closure, and more. Simply select one and you’re done.

Google’s algorithm constantly looks out for these reports and helps in rerouting other riders. These crowdsourced features made Waze a perfect alternative to Google Maps and many users claim they’ve reached faster.

A few months back, Google also added augmented reality support for pedestrian navigation. The feature has been highly appreciated since GPS accuracy may not always be very on-point.

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Hong Kong protests: Apple succumbs to pressure from China

Trying to please both the sides



Every international company, whether based in China or the US, is now stuck in the middle of the Hong Kong protests. While the people want pro-Democracy ideals to govern their city, China refuses to back down and continues its passive-aggressive push.

Apple has reportedly removed the Quartz app from the App Store at the request of the Chinese government. Quartz’s Investigations editor John Keefe confirmed the app has been removed from the App Store and even the website has been blocked in Mainland China.

The publication has been covering the Hong Kong protests in detail and this hasn’t gone down well with the government in Beijing. China has a long history of suppressing free speech and it’s not surprising to see them block off content that doesn’t suit their narrative.

Though, users are furious at Apple for not taking a stand and bowing down to pressure. A few days back, the Cupertino-based giant removed the Taiwanese flag from its keyboard for some users to please the Chinese officials.

Apple was also in the news this week due to its initial rejection of an app that kept a tab on police movement in Hong Kong. Back in 2017, Apple removed the New York Times app from App Store after the Chinese government requested its removal because it was “in violation of local regulations.”

It is necessary for Apple to stay on good terms with China because of its business interests. Almost every other product designed by Apple will find its roots back in China, where everything is built — components as well as finished iPhones.

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