NFL running back Andre Ellington surprised me on my Uber ride today. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
Tourists are invading Phoenix like locusts this weekend thanks to the Waste Management Open and a little football game called the Super Bowl. And while all the snowbirds are running around the valley watching golfers, snapping pics of gridiron superstars and taking in the unbelievable Arizona weather, Uber has a secret plan to lure fans into its black sedans.
Starting today, Uber is partnering with Mophie to deliver free JuicePacks to riders across the Phoenix valley, and they might just throw in an NFL superstar to go with it.
This afternoon I tested out the Mophie giveaway and wasn’t surprised how quickly an Uber SUV pulled up to my apartment. But when my driver opened up the passenger door to reveal Arizona Cardinals’ running back Andre Ellington, chilling like this is just what he does in the off season, I nearly lost my cool.
Uber has been no stranger to delivering odd things like kittens and ice cream, but on Thursday, December 11th the ride-sharing app is teaming up with local restaurants to offer lunch on-demand to users, with the benefits going to support No Kid Hungry.
As part of its first ‘national giving campaign’ aimed at helping end child hunger in America, Uber added a $5 donate button to its app today that sends money directly to No Kid Hungry each time you request a ride. The option is available in 100 cities and can connect kids with up to 50 meals with each ride.
To promote its effort to raise funds for 3 million meals, Uber announced this morning it will deliver UberLUNCH to a users door in 10 minutes as a one day special.
Here are the cities and restaurants participating:
You might want to think twice before giving Uber your data. Photo: Uber
Uber has been sideswiped by a ridiculous number of controversies lately, but things are about to get even worse for the ride-sharing service. A security researcher just reverse-engineered the code of Uber’s Android app and made a startling discovery: It’s “literally malware.”
Digging into the app’s code, GironSec discovered the Uber app “calls home” and sends data back to Uber. This isn’t typical app data, though. Uber has access to users’ entire SMSLog even though the app never requests permission. It also accesses call history, Wi-Fi connections used, GPS locations and every type of device ID possible.
This week: the next iPhone might feature a massively improved camera; Uber’s super bro culture gets bad press, but we want to party with their brogrammers; why we’re not so jazzed on Apple Watch apps; Steve Jobs drowns the first iPod prototype to prove a point; and finally, what we like and don’t about the gadgets and Apple accessories we’re reviewing—it’s an all-new Under Review.
Chuckle your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
Our thanks to lynda.com for sponsoring this episode! Learn virtually any application at your own pace from expert-taught video tutorials at lynda.com.
Uber and Spotify are teaming up. Screenshot: Cult of Mac
Update: Uber and Spotify have confirmed a partnership that will let Spotify Premium subscribers become backseat DJs in Uber cars in 10 cities. The service starts Friday in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto.
“The integration couldn’t be easier,” the companies said in a press release. “Simply connect your Spotify account via the Uber app, request a ride, and when you get matched up with a Spotify-enabled Uber, select music that suits your mood. Your tunes will be playing when your Uber arrives, and you can change it up at any time.”
Former (?) iOS Maps engineer Chris Blumenberg. Photo: Chris Blumenberg
Uber has just poached one of Apple’s senior engineering manager, who worked on both the company’s Maps app and its iPhone software, says subscription website The Information.
The senior iOS engineer in question, Chris Blumenberg, was among the first engineers to work on the iPhone’s software — joining Apple in 2000 initially to help Microsoft port Internet Explorer and Office over to Mac OS X.
The Information editor Jessica Lessin claims that three sources familiar with Blumenberg’s jump to Uber confirmed the situation with her.