Lyft Allows Users To Request A Ride From Any Mobile Device

The quiet update reflects the growing idea that users switch seamlessly between devices — and between apps and mobile web — as it suits them.

Lyft rolled out expanded access to ride hailing this week, making it so that users can request a ride through any mobile web browser.

The change makes it so riders — in addition to using the company’s iOS and Android apps — can open their mobile web browser on any device and then get picked up within minutes.

At first glance, this quiet update wouldn’t appear to mean much: Lyft provided a reported 12.7 million rides in the month of May with business coming only from its apps, and the entire business of ride-hailing isn’t called part of the “on-demand app economy” for nothing. But the move does in fact reflect the steadily growing embrace of cross-device marketing — if a user finds it more convenient in the moment to call a car from a mobile browser or from a tablet, why not? — and further facilitates the use of mobile devices to blend the online (hailing a car) and offline (going to a physical place in that car) worlds.

Essentially, users switch seamlessly between devices — and between apps and mobile web — as it suits them, and it behooves both tech companies and brands to be cognizant of this fact.

And for a bit of inference: It’s possible that the rollout is a subtle bid for Lyft to appeal to older users, many of whom are less likely to have multiple ride apps already installed on their smartphones. Now, if they’re searching for a ride in a mobile browser, they can theoretically call a Lyft immediately from a link in the Google results — no additional download step required.

“At Lyft we know it’s important for everyone to have access to safe, convenient, and affordable ride,” the company said in a blog post.  “[That’s why] we’re beginning to roll out the ability to request a Lyft ride using any mobile web browser.”

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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.