In the ride-hailing battle between Lyft and Uber, Lyft is generally perceived as the more driver-friendly company. But Lyft has trailed Uber in one important area: offering drivers a dedicated app to help them get their jobs done.
That’s a problem the company has quietly fixed, Business Insider has learned.
Lyft discretely launched the new “Lyft Driver” app in the beginning of May on both Android and iOS. It’s already racked up over 100,000 downloads in the US in the last two weeks, according to Apptopia, which measures app downloads and analytics.
“We are in the process of rolling out a new driver app and will share more details soon,” a Lyft spokesperson said.
Before the launch of the new app, Lyft’s drivers could switch into driver mode straight from the passenger app everyone uses today.
Now, the company is splitting the app for the benefit of both passengers and drivers, its help section reads. Both the passenger and driver app can now take up less storage space on a phone since they’re not sandwiching the features together.
“For instance, if you only use Lyft for driving, we want to give you a driver-tailored experience, which also saves valuable storage space on your device. The same goes for Lyft riders,” the company said in its FAQ section.
While the launch of Lyft Driver doesn’t come with added features, drivers will be able to track trip earnings and driver referral bonuses from inside the standalone app thanks to dedicated tabs.
It also has the added bonus of letting Lyft continue to build out driver-specific features at a faster pace — something that its rival Uber has put at the front of its roadmap for 2017. Uber has had a standalone driver app for years and has added everything from gas finder features to a section on all the discounts drivers can take advantage of.
Lyft already has a lot of goodwill with drivers thank to the fact that it includes a tip button in its app (something which Uber refuses to do). And with its new, standalone driver app, Lyft is solving one of its last major driver gripes.
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