Google has made a small but important change to Google Maps, no longer allowing you to book a ride sharing service like Lyft or Uber directly from within the app. The change appears to be recent and is reflected in the support pages for the feature. Now, instead of being able to book from within Google Maps, you have a link to go to the ride share apps from the providers.
The feature got a lot of hype when it was launched early last year and a way to prevent users from having to move around from app-to-app to book a car to pick them up. You could also see ride share options to a destination you picked in Maps, such as a restaurant, from your location.
Now when you go to Maps and select the ride share option for transportation, you still get the price estimates from Lyft and Uber, but have a button to take you out of maps and into the ride share provider’s app.
It is unclear why this change happened or who even instigated it – Google, Lyft or Uber. In reality, it matters little. You will now have to go out of the app to book your car. The good news is that if you have mapped out a destination and then go to either the Lyft or Uber app, the destination is auto-populated within that app so you don’t have to recreate it.