Business , Miscellaneous

Review of 3 popular apps

March 13, 2017

Similar to millions of other users, I’ve had the opportunity to personally test three very popular apps: Uber, Airbnb, and Jet.com. For every ten friends I talk with, only about two have personally used all three of these apps. I wanted to share my experience in using these apps in an effort to give you an overview without the need to actually use or pay for them yourself.

Uber

Uber is a popular transportation company. The basic idea is to press a button and call for a taxi and to pay for everything through your phone. It is even possible to use Uber without the need to personally interact with another human. The app knows your location and gives you multiple options for the type of car and nearby drivers. The app also provides an estimate for how long you will wait for your driver.

I’ve used Uber dozens of times and have had varying experiences. My best experience was in New York City with a driver who took me to Princeton, New Jersey. The driver was in a black Toyota Sienna and provided me with a bottle of water and a few dinner recommendations. His name was Olim and I rated him 5 stars for his friendly service and kind demeanor. The trip was approximately 55 miles and took 90 minutes. Overall, the experience was very pleasant.

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Here is how Uber works:

  1. The user downloads Uber from the App Store, opens the app, and signs up

  2. The user selects an open text box and types where they want to go (e.g. – “Princeton”, “Carnegie Hall”, or even a specific address.)

  3. The user is presented with popular car options: uberX (lowest cost but small), XL (larger vehicle and moderately priced, and Select (highest price and most luxurious).

  4. The user presses “Request” and is provided with a driver

  5. Pay through the Uber app. All fare payments are handled automatically by the Uber service and your credit card on file. If using the TAXI service, you can select the amount to be tipped through your Uber Payment Settings - the default is 20%. You do not need to tip the other Uber services, including UberX, but tips are appreciated. Note there is no tip included in your payment for any service other than Uber TAXI.

  6. After the trip is complete the user is asked to rate the ride. This is a one to five-star rating system. Be aware that a 4-star rating or lower will damage your driver and make fewer drivers available the next time you call. Uber only recognizes a 5 -tar rating as a positive one. Any number less than 5 may harm your driver’s service.

Airbnb

Airbnb allows users to book a place to stay. It can be used for booking large trips with multiple experiences or just a simple one-night stay. The app is built around trust between two people – the guest and the host.

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Here is how Airbnb works:

  1. The user downloads the app from the App Store and signs up

  2. The user selects a location, date, and how many guests. For example, “Grand Rapids, Michigan” – “July 12-14, 2017” – “2 adult guests”.

  3. The user is presented with options for accommodations with the ability to sort and filter. The user is also able to view based on a map. Each of the accommodations comes with several pictures and reviews from previous guests.

  4. The user can “check availability” to see if the location is available and book with the press of a button.

  5. The host may request to approve the guest based on the timing and if pets are involved.

  6. Once the time to stay gets closer, the user will receive reminder notifications and the results for the stay.

  7. The app allows users to communicate directly with the host through the app. At times, the hosts may not live in the area and so communication through the app is helpful.

  8. At the end of the stay, the guest and the host are presented with the ability to rate each other. All the reviews on Airbnb are written by hosts and travelers from our community, so any review you see is based on a stay that a guest had in a host’s listing. You have 14 days after checkout to write a review for a trip.

Overall, we have used Airbnb for several family trips. The best part of the service is being able to save money on trips where a large house is needed. We have found each of the properties to be clean and the owners to be friendly. The only downside is that you are often renting from an individual or private owner and there may be safety or cleanliness concerns. While our experiences have not had those issues, a lot of research is needed upfront to ensure you read each of the reviews.

Jet.com

Jet.com is an American e-commerce company headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey. The app allows consumers to make purchases online which are often cheaper than shopping in the physical stores. The company which promises to save you $150 per year was purchased by Walmart in September of 2016.

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Here is how it works:

  1. The user visits the website or downloads the app from the App Store and signs up.

  2. Upon opening, the user is presented with a list of product categories. Everything you would typically buy online except a focus on household items such as paper towels, diapers, and beauty items.

  3. Once a user finds a product they want to purchase, they can add it to their cart with 2-day delivery. The more items the user adds to their cart, the greater the discounts.

  4. To checkout, the user inputs their credit or debit card information and checks out.

Overall, Jet.com has been useful for our family in buying in bulk. It is often cheaper than Costco for household items and saves you the long line. The only downside not to going to Costco is missing out on the delicious pizza.

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