A patent application (number 20190094032) by Apple shows that future versions of its Maps app may integrate ride hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that navigation apps and ride hailing apps are both very popular. However, when using these apps, the user often is required to switch back and forth between them.
Apple says that “switching back and forth between the navigation application and the ride hailing application and/or the table reservation application can be time consuming, confusing, and burdensome.” The tech giant wants to change this.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “In some implementations, a navigation application can integrate third party services into the navigation application in an easy to use and convenient manner. For example, the navigation application can receive user input indicating that the user is interested obtaining transportation from a ride hailing service.
“In response to receiving the indication, the navigation application can invoke an application extension for a third party ride hailing application. The navigation application and ride hailing application can then communicate to provide the ride hailing service through the navigation application.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.