Here’s a first look at Google’s RideWith app for ride sharing [SCREENSHOTS]


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Yesterday we told you guys about Google’s pilot program for a ride sharing service that would help drivers and passengers connect for gas-saving commutes. Unfortunately the service — which is being called RideWith and is powered by crowd-sourced mapping app Waze — is only available in Israel to start. If things go well we could see it expand to other areas very quickly.

That doesn’t mean we can’t get a good look at the app ahead of its arrival, though. What we found was a neat, clean and easy interface for which to check up on your ride. You’re first whisked through a brief introduction:

And then it’s time to get a ride. For starters, there’s your standard profile view, which shows your photo, phone number, email address, commute type (and destination, if the app had let us enter our address) and whether you’re a “verified” user (it’s not clear how verification is determined).  We imagine the driver will be able to get a look at some of this information to make sure they know who they’re picking up.

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There’s also a Maps section which gives you real-time updates on the location of your ride. It likely uses the driver’s GPS so there’s next to nothing to do for either side to do in terms of overhead.

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Finally there’s the “Rides” tab, which presumably helps you find a driver who is capable of taking you to a destination on their way to work. Unfortunately this is where our access ended as you need to have an invite code to be able to use it. We do know that users will be able to pay for their ride through the app once they’ve gotten to their destination, though, so there’s no hassle when it comes to paying your driver.

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For what it’s worth, the app will use your phone number for signup purposes, though we’re assured this info is not shared with anyone and is only used to create a secure account (which we imagine means they’ll use some sort of SMS verification periodically).

If you’re curious to try the app for yourself you can actually download it through the Israeli Play Store by using a VPN, though without Google supporting service anywhere but that specific area it might not be worth your while. At the least, you now know what to expect if RideWith ever sees the light of day where you are.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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