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Uber merges with Grab: What happens now?

Let’s try to answer some questions

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Earlier today, we woke up to the news about Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia. This is perhaps the most surprising news for commuters lately and, like you guys, we have some questions as passengers of ride-sharing services. What should we be concerned about and what’ll happen next?

Shortly after the official announcement from Grab’s headquarters in Singapore, the company also posted an FAQ page to address some common questions.

We took the liberty to help you guys out and here are some of the key questions answered by Grab:

What does this deal mean for passengers?
In the immediate term, nothing will change and operations will continue as normal. As we work together to combine the Uber and Grab platforms, you can expect better service with more drivers and transport options available on one app.

Will I still be able to use the Uber app?
The Uber service will be available in Southeast Asia for two more weeks until 8 April 2018, as we board Uber drivers to the Grab platform. Uber riders can immediately download and use the Grab app to book rides for your traveling needs in Southeast Asia.

Will fares change?
No. For services that are on dynamic fares, such as GrabCar or GrabShare, fares will continue to be calculated based on a base distance, with a dynamic surcharge that will be applied based on factors including demand and supply in that particular point in time, traffic conditions, and estimated time taken for the journey. This is a fair calculation for drivers as they navigate varying road conditions throughout the day. This means fares are lower in low-demand periods — and vice versa — which helps match drivers to passengers efficiently throughout the day.

Will I be able to get a ride faster?
We’re working hard to board Uber drivers onto the Grab platform. We appreciate your patience during this transition timeframe if there may be any service disruptions. In the following weeks, you’ll be able to enjoy a faster booking experience, as we welcome more drivers to the Grab platform.

What happens to my account information in the Uber app?
Your information will not be shared with Grab. If you are new to Grab, we will still need you to register your account with us to start riding,

I am an Uber for Business customer. How will this change affect me?
Uber for Business services for employees of local and global companies will not be supported for trips taken in Southeast Asia after the transition. Uber rides outside of Southeast Asia will still be supported through existing Uber for Business agreements.

According to Grab, passengers of Uber in Southeast Asia can still use the app until April 8. Passengers and drivers alike have two weeks to migrate prior to the shutdown of Uber’s local operations including UberEats if available in your region.

Keep in mind that Uber is only merging with Grab in Southeast Asian countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Cambodia. This means you can still book an Uber and use their services in other parts of the world, so don’t delete the app just yet.

For the complete FAQs, head over here.

Apps

Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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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.

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EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

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.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!

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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.

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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