Ever since the news of the new Android update hit the webpages, every Android user and developer are excited to know what the latest version offers than its predecessor. As expected, it will bring some improvements, additional features, and some visual changes, but as teased by the developer’s preview, some major upgrades are on the horizon that can change dynamics of some consumer services that use the mobile application as the communication portal to interact with their clients. In this context, it is the ride-hailing companies.
Cut to The Point
It’s hardly been months since the final version of android 10 is made official. It brought tons of features like the system-wide dark mode, Focus mode, and improved privacy controls. Speaking of privacy, a report from the International Computer Science Institute stated that over 1000 apps on google play store violated permission setting by scraping personal data from users. Such cases made user data more vulnerable to cyber threat, and android 10 reportedly fixed such issues on its full release. With Android 11, Google brings a new feature called one-time permission that makes a few changes to how people handle app permissions.
With a continual focus to improve privacy, this one-time permission feature gives equal priority to sensitive data such as location, microphone, and camera to restrict any violations. It gives the power to provide temporary access for apps until that app is used. This further limit any background location access by retaining this permission regardless of an application’s status. While these statements may sound not an important one for others, in the case of uber-like on-demand service companies, it is typically destructive.
A closer look
Generally, the main purpose of GPS in cab-hailing services is to identify the location of a driver in real-time. As per the concern of hailing services, the real-time tracking of a driver can be processed to check on their status and availability. Hence, the location permission features of the past android version enable complete freedom and flexibility for these services. Although vulnerable, it helped them to get high accuracy in location to present a hassle-free and safe journey. So, the recent updates served as a kill switch for these capabilities; thus, they are on the brink of facing eradication.
What to Expect
Without a reliable approach to track location, on-demand services companies can face numerous challenges in the future. This is even more dangerous for new players to fight against existing players like uber, careem, grab , ola etc. Regardless of it protecting sensitive personal data, such updates should carefully address these complications faced by ride-hailing services all over the world.
Taking things a step forward, Google will require new apps submitted to the Play Store to get special approval for always-on location access starting this August. Pre-existing Play Store apps will have until November to get approval or they will be removed from Google’s app store.
A promising tomorrow?
Digital cab services present an easy, yet effective mode of commute for the general public. Their rise is one of the bright spots of this advanced century, so when a question is hanging over their survival, the need for solutions is obvious and essential.