Thursday Feb. 8, 2018: It appears that the Uber app is down for some drivers in the United States. Seems like Uber is aware of the problem and working on fixing it – you can follow our Facebook page here for updates.
Harry here. I often get frantic e-mails and Facebook messages from drivers who are having trouble with their Uber driver app. I’m usually able to help with a lot of these issues, but you may not have days or even hours to wait for me to respond.
E-mailing Uber about technical issues is, well, a lost cause to put it nicely, but in today’s article, RSG Senior Contributor, Scott Van Maldegiam, breaks down all of the troubleshooting steps you can take to fix the problem on your own. He’s even got a few proactive ones that could prevent problems in the first place.
We have all had times when we want to throw our smartphones against a brick wall. They can be amazing devices at times, but they aren’t always perfect. And when these devices affect our ability to make money, it can be especially frustrating.
Today, I’ll talk about what problems may occur, and what you can do to fix the problem ASAP. I will also talk about general troubleshooting and preventative measures to avoid problems in the first place.
Related article: Essential gear for rideshare drivers
Problems You May Come Across
There are definite differences between Android and iPhone, and I will address what to do on both devices. In general, Android has problems more often than iPhones, but discovering and correcting those issues is much easier on an Android than with an iPhone.
Uber/Lyft App-Wide Issues
This is the least likely problem, but it does happen from time to time. If you are having problems you believe are Uber or Lyft related, check your favorite Uber/Lyft forum, Facebook group or Zello/Voxer group to see if anyone else has posted anything.
Related Podcast: Using Teamwork and Zello to Increase Your Rideshare Earnings
Odds are, if there is an issue, you aren’t the first person to notice the problem. If you don’t see any posts, feel free to create a post describing your issue. Most drivers like to help other drivers, so you should receive helpful responses that will determine if the problems you are having are a broad issue or specific to you. It also helps to post screenshots of the problem you’re having or the errors you are getting.
This is also a great reason to make sure you can drive for both companies. If the Uber app is down, you can always go drive for Lyft. If the Lyft app is down, you can always go drive for Uber. Even if you only need to drive for Lyft that one night when the Uber app goes down (and it will go down), it will be worth it!
When your location doesn’t seem to be correct or you get a location error, you need to know how to toggle GPS and how to set your GPS accuracy.
- Android – Make sure you have your location set to “High Accuracy”. Manage Location Settings
- iOS – Apple only has the ability to toggle location services on and off. Doing a quick search, iOS 8.4 has issues with accurate GPS, which could mean there was a change in the location services being used. Here is a way to resolve this issue, which also may work for other GPS issues: GPS Issues after iOS 8.4 Upgrade
Uber/Lyft App Frozen/Crashing or Device Just Acting Wonky
The most common issue when apps crash is due to memory issues. The best thing to do is to kill the app or restart your phone. Whether it is Android/iOS or another app that has a memory leak problem, you need to do some research. Here are some things to think about or look for:
- Recent iOS/Android updates – If you recently updated your device, the update may have some changes that are causing issues. Whether it was the 8.4 iOS GPS issue or the Android Lollipop 5.0 memory leak issue, Apple and Google are not perfect.
- New Apps – Whether it is a brand new app or a new update, these changes have the potential to cause problems and sometimes do. Uninstalling suspected apps is the best remedy in this case.
- Kill an App – As a quick fix to get back on the road quickly, you can kill the app and restart it.
There are a few things you can do to best prevent problems from occurring:
Restart at the beginning of your shift
Managing memory is one of the most difficult things an operating system has to do, so it is common that memory issues are the cause of problems. The longer a device is on, the more underlying issues it has will become worse. By restarting your phone, your memory is in a fresh state. When you start your driving, it is a great idea to restart your phone, and then only start the apps you need for driving.
If you take a break and decide you want to play some games, check social media/email, and use any of your other useful apps, it would be a great idea to restart your phone before starting to drive again. Not only will it prevent problems from occurring, it will also keep your device in its most responsive state.
- iPhone – How to restart or rest your iPhone
- Android – Fix an app that isn’t working (includes instruction on how to restart your Android device)
Declutter your phone – Remove unused apps
Another great preventative measure that you can take is to remove unused apps. Many apps run in the background whether you realize it or not. If you aren’t using an app or not going to use it for quite a while, delete the app.
Do you have an NCAA basketball tournament app that you just never deleted? Remove it. The apps you remove will be there for you to reinstall should you decide you want to use them again.
Reset your phone
Experts agree that resetting your device every so often is a great way to restore your device’s performance. As for how often to do this depends on who you talk to. In general, if you feel like your phone is getting sluggish, it would be a great time to reset your device. Give yourself some time to accomplish this, as this process takes a while. I would suggest giving yourself two hours to complete the process.
Don’t update your iOS or Android version right away
Think of yourself like a large corporation. Your device IS your business lifeline. Large corporations never update their operating systems right away. They wait until others work out the bugs that are bound to come up. Drivers should do the same.
Wait until those drivers who enjoy being on the bleeding edge say how great their devices work with the software or the problems they are having. A good rule of thumb is to wait a month to update.
Replace your device
When all else fails, it may just be time to replace your device. Uber and Lyft can only test the app on so many different iOS and Android versions. Trying to run the Uber or Lyft app on anything prior to iOS 7 or Android 4.1 or on devices that are over 2 years old is asking for trouble.
New software is designed to run with new hardware, so trying to run newer and newer versions of software on older hardware can sometimes make things worse instead of better. In general, if your device is over 2 years old, you are having issues, and you have tried the remedies I have mentioned in this article, it is probably time to replace your device.
Our smartphones are our business tools. If they don’t work correctly, they costs us money, so replacing your device with a better performing device is a very good investment.
Have you ever run into technical issues while out driving? Will these suggestions help? Let us know what you think.
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-Scott @ RSG
Scott Van Maldegiam
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