Uber has taken over the world by storm, it created a new genre of apps in mobile app development which is the taxi apps.
There’s a huge growth in demand for mobile apps like Uber, mostly uber like applications with minor changes here and there.
Some even try to apply the uber like business strategy in other industries too. But the question is…
How much does it cost to build an app like Uber?
But before you know the answer, or actually the estimation. Do we need to know how does uber work? How is the current mobile app development scene?
So how does Uber work?
Well, Uber is an app by which you could order a taxi service and the nearest taxi will pick you up.
And one of the main reasons for uber being famous is the taxi service could be provided by any part-timer, he doesn’t have to work full-time for Uber. You could be one too!
Uber nearly has a billion users in approximately 77 countries, the Uber services cost way cheaper than a traditional local cab. And also the service time is lightning fast.
These factors made uber really successful, but how are they able to do it?
Ever thought about that?
Yes, it’s the mobile application which is the main tool for their success, which has brought a revolution in the taxi services.
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So what about the cost to build one?
Remember that Mobile app developing companies have come a long way since the Uber app was first developed, many factors have changed and many new features were also added on Uber.
Factors like App architecture, developer rates also play an important role, keeping all these factors in Mind we are going to estimate the approximate cost of building this app in the current environment.
Before we do that let’s talk about its features, shall we?
You should know that an app like Uber is different for a Driver and a passenger, so basically there are two apps for Uber with two different interfaces which will help them coordinate comfortably.
The Passenger app is used for booking a cab of course and the Driver app is used for the driver to receive service requests from the passengers.
User interface looks something like this on the Uber iPhone app.
Discussing the Passenger app first, the cost of the app will vary mainly because of the number of features you want to add to your app.
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The List of features a passenger app contains are:
Registration and Login page
A user has to be registered to start using Uber, you can either login with your email ID or Login with your Google or Facebook accounts. Most importantly you need to attach your Credit/Debit card to your user account for the bill payment.
Most importantly you need to attach your Credit/Debit card to your user account for the bill payment.
This part of the page will give you access to view all the available cabs and to book a cab, you need to enter the address where you would like to travel and also set a location to pick up.
Before the booking process you can check the driver’s current location from you and After the booking process you can keep a track of your journey, which is shown in the form of an animated car moving in the map.
I personally find it really cute!
The price calculator helps you in estimating your ride cost from your location to the destination, the price varies depending upon different conditions like
• The amount of time taken due to traffic conditions
• Whether it’s night or day
• Toll taxes and state taxes if you are traveling cross country
• The type of ride you have chosen (Uber has different categories of rides available)
Cashless payments and in-app payments are paid automatically with the registered credit card or an e-wallet, the user would receive and In-voice for the payment, even if you pay by cash.
Push notifications will give the information of the cab which they are allocated, order status, estimated time of arrival, and other driver information.
Apart from this information they are also used for promotions like promo codes, special offers and any important information like unavailability.
Messaging, rating, and reviews. Booking History.
Uber app does not really have a full-time messaging except for help and support column.
Rating and reviews give the information of the driver and his rating according to the previous passengers, the rating is given 5 stars and the average of the overall rating is what is displayed.
Soon after you finish your ride a push notification is sent, asking you about the ride experience and comments if any.
And there is a rating for a passenger to which we will discuss on the driver’s app features below.
The booking history has all the information of your previous rides with the information of the Driver and the car number information.
This feature is for both your and Driver’s safety.
Take a look at the picture below. It has all the information you need about the features we have discussed.
Feature of a Driver’s app
Surely! Not many of you know about the features of a driver’s app, and I have always been curious to know what lies on the other side.
Yes, they need to register too, quite obvious. But yes Driver’s need registration too but the process is quite different.
The driver has to submit with verification (tax number) and an approval by an administrator will be sent, his profile and status will be created.
The driver will be notified if a passenger nearby requests for a ride, the driver will have an option to either accept or decline the incoming offer, the passenger’s information is displayed instantly along with the passenger rating.
Remember I’ve mentioned about this above. And also the booking history.
Push Notifications on the driver’s app are for order alerts, taxi booking data which has the information of location, payment, route etc. and also about order updates if at all there is any change of plans in the direction from the passenger side and order completion.
Uber app usually redirects the driver’s side route guide to google maps and google assistant will assist the driver with a voice over.
Cost Estimation, reports, messaging, support
In addition to the app, there is someone who would manage the process of allocating drivers and also estimating the cost of a ride, drivers from a central point an admin panel is required.
It is the web application that facilitates interactions with the customers, manages ride routes, payments, and all the other additional required data.
Both the apps have something in common, Geo-location services which helps both the driver and passenger track each other.
Geo-location Services and Routing
Uber uses GPS services to identify the customer’s current location, display the cars in the neighborhood and build the route for the driver with real-time navigation.
The fare is calculated based on the proposed routing. Proposed routing because google maps use the fastest route method skipping all the busy areas.
And the fair is calculated based on the proposed route. more traffic on your route, the more you pay as simple as that.
In fact, the routing and GPS technology is one of the key elements of the app’s popularity among users – you just press a button and watch how the vehicle approaches you, I know I’ve mentioned this before.
An interesting fact is there is so much work that goes into building such a cool feature!
Now that you are well aware of the features of the Uber app from both Driver and passenger point of view, it’s time to know the technology or the brain behind building an app like uber.
Technology used to build an app like Uber
Keeping in mind that Uber has already disclosed its API to public and developers and introduced the affiliated program, you can also build own tailored Uber-like app.
Server, mapping, and payments are the three giant foundations to develop a taxi app. First off, to process hundreds of user requests, driver routes, and other data you need own server.
What are the Programming languages used for developing Uber app?
Languages used in backend are
• Ruby on Rails
If you are creating a uber clone one of the key elements, you need to remember is GPS.
OpenStreetMap API for both iOS/Android can be used.
Platform-specific tools in this regard for Android could be Google Maps and Google Location services API.
But for iOS devices, MapKit or CoreLocation framework is used.
So uber supports in-app payments through credit cards, PayPal or any other mobile e-wallet. You can also use a wide range of gateway adapters to develop an app like uber, I will list a few.
• PayPal Mobile SDK.
Technology stack for push notifications is quite straightforward; Google Firebase for Android and Apple push for iOS devices.
For SMS send outs Uber has announced they have partnered with Twilio and also through other cloud communication platforms, like Plivo, Nexmo, Tropo do the same job, which gives you a cheaper option.
I will not pan you out with more of the backend stuff!
Let’s get back to the budget and development costs, shall we?
So what are the key cost components?
Let’s not get into the details, rather make the components into groups which make it easy to understand, let’s briefly review big and general chunks of work that go into an app like Uber.
So what are those components?
• Backend development
• Web development
• Native app development which includes both the platforms Android and iOS
• Management and quality assurance
What exactly happens in the background?
A backend is something which helps in constructing the whole infrastructure of an idea, will all the connections between elements is the foundation.
In the quest of building an app like Uber, this would be the first stage. This would be the platform itself with all the features we’ve mentioned above.
All of that data would be stored on a single database system, like PostgreSQL, though scalable storage is more efficient.
For your better understanding, we have designed a simple understanding shown below.
It’s probably impossible to estimate the backend accurately regarding the timeline and resources. Each and every feature in Uber-like an app is a time taking and painful work.
If you ask me, an average feature of Uber could take up to 2-3 months or even more in some cases. You need to use some serious management skills to pull this heavy cart.
If you want to make a cheaper version of Uber by cutting down costs at some reasonable area, you will have to choose a single platform.
Yes, this is one of the strategies many of the app developing companies suggest. Because covering both iOS and Android would be of personal preference.
Any Mobile app development company has the capacity to create apps on both the platforms.
Backend and functionality would be same either for Android or iOS, while tools and frameworks in use would be platform-specific.
For example, Google Wallet or Apple pay, or various PayPal affiliate services.
How long does it take?
About 200 hours at least.
After the backend, it’s the design which makes Uber, Uber Cool!
If you are building an app like Uber make sure it is as cool as Uber, and also don’t forget that it should be very easy to use because most of the customers would be in a hurry and design shouldn’t cause any trouble.
Fewer the taps to book a ride better it is for your business.
There are a few basics you need to keep in mind before you plan your design
• The app should be familiar
• Simplicity will always win hearts
• If you are doing something new make it edible.
• And the last thing to remember, it should be clear and easy to understand.
And what’s the estimated timeline and price for the design?
Let’s find out!
The timing will heavily depend on how many custom animations, transitions and interactive element you would want to implement in your app.
Any Designer would suggest the best of features, but it’s your duty to select the ones which are essential and which can be compromised, more animations are the heavier app and vice versa.
Remember to Keep it light on the user.
It’s estimated that it would take 200 hours at least for the design part.
And an overall estimated cost for designing would depend on the animations and transitions you choose which could be ranging from $8,000 – $15,000 for an app like Uber.
Registration/Login Page and User Profiles
Like every app, you need to create an account if you need a ride, same goes with Uber too.
You can allow “no-profile” bookings at the early stages to grow your database and use them to suggest in creating a profile on your app after maybe his/her first ride.
Social media integration is a must these days, while you can still choose to support email registration as well.
Make sure your app request access only to essential user data and clearly states that it will never post anything on their behalf.
The driver app should require more complicated registrations and immediately request a photo, car license plate number, the copy of the driver license.
Additionally, you can actually integrate a rating system to leverage the app’s security and boost customer satisfaction.
Your customers should be able to rate and comment on the driver’s behavior and driving, in return, you need to take respective actions in terms of bonuses or fines.
Yes, bonuses! It’s not always about the customers. You need drivers too for your business expansion.
Doing this will encourage more users to leave reviews and drivers to act responsibly.
Messaging and Notifications
There must be a communication between the Driver and the passenger, Maps won’t help the driver find the passenger in a crowd either it’s small or large.
They need to exchange some information, and if it is provided through the app it saves time for both of them.
Other information like instructions on the pickup point, estimated time of arrival, short updates it there is any delay and so on.
Uber has a simple built-in text messaging system for that – a lighter version of a standard chat like WhatsApp would be a great addition, although it may not be a mandatory thing in the beginning.
Your app must send in push notifications to the users, informing users on their ride details and drivers on the possible new orders.
You could also send in an SMS notification along with the Push notification. However, that may add-up additional costs brought in by the third party service provider.
Email notifications are Old but they are a must for at least send in the In-voice after the ride.
Also sending in offers and other information will be easy when you enable push notifications.
So How much does it cost to build an app like Uber?
I’ve already mentioned above there are a lot of factors which contribute to estimating the price, it’s not like the app development companies try to hide to the price.
Honestly, they themselves cannot give out a figure unless you give them your requirements.
When I was doing my research, I was reading a blog on a Mobile app development company.
There was a chat window on the corner of the website and I got a notification saying “Hi! how can I help you?” straight away I’ve typed in my question “How much does it cost to build an app like Uber?”.
Guess what the answer he gave.
The same thing I’ve been telling you throughout this Blog.
I’ve had a good conversation with the person, he was speaking from the point of view of an App developer.
So, the estimated price for an app like Uber is between $20,000 – $40,000 if you would want to start basic, but if you want something more premium the price range is from $90,000 – $150,000.
The premium price is what the exact copy of the uber mobile app would be.
NMG could give you a detailed overview if you would want a Taxi app for yourself, actually, they could build you one. They are one of the best companies I’ve known in mobile app development.