Most regular jobs would never allow you to work for a competitor, but one of the best parts about being an independent contractor for Uber or Lyft is that you can and should drive for multiple companies. We know that close to 2/3 of all drivers are working for at least two on-demand services, so this isn’t exactly a secret, but it hasn’t always been that easy to actually do this out on the road. That’s all changed though because of a new app called Mystro.
I first heard about Mystro a few months ago and have been addicted to it ever since. According to their website, ‘Mystro is an app that makes on-demand drivers more money by allowing them to safely and easily drive for multiple on-demand platforms and never miss a trip they want.’ It’s a pretty simple idea, but it also solves a pain-point that drivers have had for a long time!
Savvy drivers know that when demand is slow, it pays to go online with both Uber and Lyft in order to increase your chances of getting a request. But this process can be burdensome since you’ll have to physically go online with the first app, then go online with the second app and once you get a request, you have to accept it and then log off the other app before you get a new trip. And sometimes you get another request before you can log off the second app. Huge hassle! Luckily, Mystro does all of this automatically for you.
Mystro recently came out of beta and is available for Android only at the moment. If you’d like to sign up using our affiliate link, please click here. Otherwise, read on for more info about how it all works!
Who’s Behind Mystro?
Mystro’s CEO, Herb Coakley, is a former physicist turned on-demand driver with over 10,000 rides under his belt. He actually came up with the idea for Mystro while he was out driving for Uber and Lyft in Los Angeles. Initially, Herb wanted an app that would make driving safer since he was constantly looking at his screen and having to accept ride requests while driving. It was only later that he realized the potential to use the app across multiple services.
Many drivers have remarked that their favorite part about Mystro is that it makes driving totally hands free. So even if you only drive for one company, Mystro is still useful since it auto-accepts trips for you and has some cool filtering options that we’ll get into below.
How Does Mystro Work?
Mystro is available to drivers all over the world but it is not a rideshare company. In fact, they don’t have an official partnership with Uber, Lyft or any other Transportation Network Company (TNC).
Instead, their app actually interfaces with the Uber and Lyft driver apps in order to sign you on/off and accept/ignore trips on the driver’s behalf. The app is currently only available for Android users, but I’m told an iOS version is in the works.
Mystro Sign-Up Process
Once you’re ready to use Mystro, you’ll want to download the app or sign up on their website (affiliate link). Hit ‘Get Mystro’ and you’ll be taken to a page that presents three different payment plans. The app used to be free while Mystro was in beta, but now that they’ve officially launched, they have three options for you to choose from: a monthly subscription plan, an annual subscription plan and a free plan that gives you 10 trips per week.
Note: Mystro is 100% tax deductible. This means that no matter which plan you sign up for, you can deduct your Mystro expense come tax time. For more information on tax deductions, please click here.
If you’re looking to just try out Mystro, the free plan will get you 10 trips per week but you can always upgrade from the free plan if you decide you like it. Otherwise, you can select either the monthly plan or annual plan. The annual plan will save you around 30%, so if you know you’re going to be driving for at least a year, this is your best option.
Regardless of which option you choose though, once you select a plan, you’ll be asked to register and then confirm your e-mail address.
Setting Up Mystro
Once you’ve registered, you’ll need to head over to the Google Play Store and download the Mystro app and sign in using the same info you just registered with.
When you sign in for the first time, Mystro should automatically open up your ‘Accessibility’ settings and you’ll need to turn on ‘Mystro Accessibility Service’. This will allow Mystro to monitor your notifications so the app knows when you get a trip request and to interact with your window content so it knows what type of requests are coming in.
You’ll then be prompted to give Mystro access to your device’s location. In order to go online with Mystro and therefore Uber and/or Lyft, you’ll need to go to the ‘Prefs’ tab and select a primary app. This just means which app will have priority and go online first.
Mystro essentially interacts with your phone’s screen so the permissions it requires made sense to me. It shouldn’t ever ask you to record audio or any strange permissions like that.
Related article: Essential gear every rideshare driver should have
Mystro in Action
Now that we’ve got Mystro all set up, this is where the fun part begins! I actually use Mystro almost every time I go out driving these days because it makes accepting trips and switching apps so much easier. Most of the time, I’m driving for Uber and Lyft but there are a couple different strategies I use depending on how busy it is.
During Slow Times
During slow times, it’s really all about increasing the number of ride requests that you get. You can’t be picky about how far away riders are or what their rating is, since you could easily go 10-20 minutes or more without getting a request. So during this time, I use Mystro to make it easier to log on to both Uber and Lyft at the same time.
Most drivers already do this process manually, so Mystro really takes the hassle out of logging in/out after every ride request/completion. Obviously if you’re sitting in a parking lot waiting for a request, it’s easy to do this manually but what about when you’re driving 45 MPH down the road? That’s the last time you want to try and accept an Uber request, switch to Lyft and then log off (super unsafe, but we’ve all done it!). If Mystro saves you from getting into just one accident, it will pay for itself and then some.
During Busy Times
Mystro proves its value during busy times, but you have to know how to use it. Obviously when you’re doing 2-4 rides per hour, that’s a lot of logging in/out so Mystro saves a lot of time and energy there. But I also like to use the filtering options during busy times since you can really increase your earnings if you’re smart about what type of rides you accept.
I mainly use Mystro’s filters for passenger ETA, POOL rides and passenger rating. I don’t accept POOL rides out of principal, since I think drivers should be paid more, not less, for POOL rides. I use Mystro to filter out all POOL requests and then I also like the ETA filter because even though it may be busy, that doesn’t always mean you’ll get a request that’s close by.
Related Article: How much can Uber and Lyft drivers make in 2017?
I like to filter for ETAs that are 5 minutes or less and if it’s real busy, I’ll even drop the ETA down to 3 minutes. You’d be surprised by how easily you can get a 7-8 min ETA request followed by a 2 min ETA request since there are just so many riders requesting rides during certain busy times/places. I haven’t found much value in lowering the ETA filter any lower than 3 minutes since Uber’s maps usually over-estimates the time it takes to get places on very short ETA requests. So if you get a 3 min ETA request for example, it will probably only take a minute to get there.
I don’t know how much of a difference passenger rating makes, but that’s the last filter I like to use. If they’re below 4.6, it’s probably for a reason and you can just as easily get a higher rated passenger on your very next trip. In general, I think it promotes good passenger behavior if they know that not every driver will pick them up.
What About Bonuses?
One of the main objections I’ve heard from drivers for not using Mystro is because they usually go for the weekly Quest and/or Boost Bonuses. A lot of the bigger cities have lucrative bonus offers, but if you’re not in one of those cities, you won’t need to worry about this problem. If you are in a city where Uber offers Quest Bonuses though, it’s hard to say for sure whether Mystro will make you more money or not: it really all depends on the bonus amount.
Quest bonuses usually require drivers to maintain an 80-90% acceptance rate and do a certain number of trips within a geographical boundary in order to get a bonus. So if you go for a Quest Bonus, you won’t be able to take full advantage of Mystro’s filters since it may disqualify you for the bonus. But the downside of doing Quest bonuses is that you have to take every single ride that you get. That means you have to take all of those high ETA requests, low rated passengers and even POOL requests. If you drive for both Uber and Lyft, you can increase the number of high quality requests you get and then take advantage of those filters.
Mystro’s website claims that you can make 30% more from using their app, but I’m not convinced. I think without a doubt, Mystro will get you more trips and make you more money, but I’m not sure what the break even point is. I think 20-30% is a reasonable estimate but ultimately, you’ll have to give the app a shot and try for yourself.
Personally, I also think it’s important to have competition between rideshare companies for drivers. So if you have the option, I think it’s always best to work for multiple companies as opposed to just doing one and going after the bonuses. Fortunately, Mystro gives you that option.
Mystro’s Referral Program
Mystro recently launched a referral program that pays its users $5 for every referral of a monthly user and $25 for every referral of an annual user. Once you sign up with Mystro (free or paid user), you’ll have access to a referrals dashboard where you can share your link, copy your code and track your referrals.
I tested both options and you can either share your link with other drivers or just send drivers your code. As soon as a referral signs up, you’ll get an e-mail notification from Mystro with your referral’s name, and once they become a paying user, you’ll get another e-mail like this:
If you have any questions about Mystro, they’ve got an extensive FAQ here. If you can’t find an answer to your question there, you can also e-mail them at email@example.com. Right now, their e-mail support is pretty good and the response time is excellent, but this will be one area to keep an eye on since it’s easy to provide support to a small number of drivers (even my team responds to every e-mail we get – try us!).
But as Mystro grows (and they’re growing super fast), the company will need to ensure that their support agents are knowledgeable and can respond quickly. It might even be a good idea to hire some Mystro drivers as support agents since they’re the ones who know the product best.
If you’re looking for more support, I’d also recommend joining the Mystro Facebook group. This is a great place to get some help with all things Mystro and even driving in general. The group is small for now but the drivers are all nice and everyone in there is trying to help each other out. You might even see me answer your question if it’s a good one 🙂
Options for iOS Users
Unfortunately, this app is currently only available for Android users, but if you’re on iOS you have a couple of options:
- Buy an Android Phone and tether it to your iPhone: Many drivers are already doing this and the results have been great. It’s also nice to have an extra phone where you just run your rideshare apps.
- Switch from iPhone to Android: I made the switch from iPhone to Android about 6 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I think these days, both operating systems and phones are pretty much interchangeable so if you need a reason to switch, this could be a good one.
- Sign up for the Mystro iOS waiting list: If you want to be one of the first to know about Mystro’s iOS app, click here to sign up.
Any Downsides to Mystro?
The main complaint I’ve heard from drivers is that Mystro is a paid app. But the monthly cost is pretty reasonable when you think about the potential benefits. The average ride nets a driver $6-$9 so if you get just 2 extra rides from Mystro per month, the app pays for itself! When you put it in those terms, the price is really a no brainer. That also doesn’t take into account all the hassle it saves you of switching back and forth between apps, and the potential losses if you get into an accident while trying to accept a trip while driving.
I’m cheap too though and I know people love getting stuff for free. But it takes a lot of work to create apps, provide customer support and so forth. And since Mystro makes all of its money from its subscribers aka drivers, you are their number one customer. They won’t need to ever take money from other sources that could cause potential conflicts of interest, or sell your data like other free services have done in the past. I also think it’s cool to support companies that drivers are creating since it creates an incentive for more – who knows what the next Mystro will be?
The only other minor complaints I’ve heard from drivers is that the app can be a bit buggy. During beta testing, Mystro worked out a lot of the bugs and I rarely have problems with it now, but I’m also using a top of the line Samsung Galaxy S8+. If you’re running a second, third or even fourth generation phone, remember that companies like Mystro and even Uber test their apps on new hardware.
Many of the complaints I’ve heard regarding Mystro and even the Uber/Lyft driver apps usually have something to do with the fact that the driver’s phone is an older model. After your car, your phone is probably your most important tool as a driver, so although they can be expensive, it makes sense to invest in a good phone and I suspect your problems will be minimized.
You can read more reviews (good and bad) about the Mystro app in the Google Play Store.
Does Mystro Help or Hurt Uber and Lyft?
Without question, the thing I love about this app is that its a driver friendly app that will make you more money. That being said, I think apps like Mystro can actually benefit TNCs in a multitude of ways. We already know that a majority of drivers work multiple services, so Mystro is really just making that process easier and safer. If drivers are making more money with Mystro, that means that they’re going to stay on the platforms longer.
We know Uber and Lyft have huge problems with retention and low earnings is one of the top reasons why so many drivers quit. If Mystro can help Uber and Lyft drivers make more money, then it would stand to reason that those drivers will stay on the platform longer and the TNCs can spend less on recruiting new drivers.
The platforms may not be in love with the idea of ‘ride filters’ but I think this could provide valuable feedback about their products. As it stands today, if drivers ignore UberPOOL requests for example, they’ll get threatening e-mails and messages from Uber asking them to stop! Since there’s no way to opt out of UberPOOL, many drivers (myself included) use Mystro’s filters to ignore POOL requests.
Uber and Lyft have taken the approach that they want to punish drivers for doing this, but what’s the root cause of this problem? Drivers aren’t ignoring POOL requests for the heck of it, they’re doing it because the product isn’t beneficial to drivers. If UberPOOL paid more, I would gladly take those requests.
Should Drivers Download Mystro?
In my 3+ years of driving for Uber and Lyft and blogging about the industry, I’ve heard hundreds of different app ideas for drivers. But Mystro is probably the one that I’ve been most excited about. Unlike other apps that save you money or help track your mileage, Mystro actually gets you more trips and helps you drive safer. I also love the fact that the company was founded by a driver and the sole mission of the company is to help drivers.
I’m a bit biased since I’m an affiliate, but as always, we pride ourselves on our product recommendations and not only is this an app that I recommend, it’s also one that I use every single day. And in other big news, Mystro also recently offered me a role with the company as an advisor, which I gladly accepted! So in exchange for a small % of shares in the company, I will provide product feedback, help with business development, try to get media/influencers on board with Mystro and maybe even find an investor or two. So it’s safe to say, I’m a big fan of this app and I think you should try it out!
If you’d like to sign up for Mystro using our affiliate link, please click here.
Will Mystro affect your acceptance rating?
If you use Mystro’s filtering options, your acceptance rate will probably be low but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Uber doesn’t deactivate drivers anymore for low acceptance rates, so you can ignore all the UberPOOL requests, low-rated passengers and far ETA requests that you want.
What if I only drive for one app?
First, you should always have a second app, even if it’s just a back up. You never know when your account could be suspended or put on hold. But even if you primarily use one app, many drivers still use Mystro because the auto accept and filtering options allow for hands-free operation.
When will Mystro be available for iPhone?
Where can I get support from Mystro?
You can e-mail Mystro support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drivers, do you think you’ll use Mystro or, if you currently use Mystro, what do you think of it? Any questions about the app or how it works that I can answer? Leave your questions below!
-Harry @ RSG
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Related article: Essential gear every rideshare driver should have
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