Choose & Setup Your Phone For Rideshare Driving
Best Phones: Samsung Galaxy S7 & Iphone 6 Plus series or above
Best Cell Phone Provider: Boost Mobile
Best Navigation Service: Tie between Waze & Google Maps
Best Music Provider: Spotify Premium
Best Applications for your Phone: Email, Uber Driver, Uber, Lyft, Yelp, Gasbuddy, Mint, Credit Karma, Starbucks, Classpass, Hotel Tonight, Castbox, Headspace, Audible, Safeway, Airbnb, Soundcloud, Flight Stats, FleetWeb Moblie
For detailed information on why we made all these choices please continue reading. Press the red links to navigate faster through the page.
Beside a car, this is your 2nd largest investment as a professional driver. You should have the most professional cell phone as it is the tool that connects you with your guests, utilizes bluetooth, and navigates you efficiently through the city. We recommend one of two phones:
1) Samsung Galaxy S7
2) Iphone 6 series or above.
The S7 is amazing if you enjoy android. If you are used to the Iphone use any version above the 6 series. As technology rapidly advances, developers are always putting their energy into updating the latest technology. For this reason we don’t recommend any older phones.
Cell phone plans can be a bit intimidating to navigate but we will make it simple. Having worked with Sprint, At&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Boost I will offer our advice.
- Our first choice (and only choice) is Boost Mobile and here is why:
- It is Cheap, $62.00/month total, with Boost Autopay setup and insurance
- It has no contract, cancel anytime you want.
- Unlimited Data, talk and text. No additional charges, no BS, $62.00 a month period. For us, we use bluetooth, two navigation applications, and two rideshare applications at the same time, sometimes I use over 40GB data/month.
- Boost uses Sprints 4G LTE network, it is great for the bay area and SF. Every phone carrier has issues in the Financial District during rush hour, try to take note of your routes during these times to help with navigation by paying attention to the next two turns. I have driven everywhere from North of Healdsburg, to East of Stockton, to south of Pismo Beach, no issues, ever.
- 8GB Mobile Hotspot to operate upto 10 mobile devices, guests cell phones, personal laptops, or tablets included! If someone is traveling from out of the state's, offer free WIFI!
- Cheap Insurance $7.00/month and peace of mind. If you lose, break, or damage your phone, Boost will send you a new one for $175.00 of the exact model or upgrade you.
- Waze is a driving only, turn by turn application exclusively. The layout is zoomed in more than Google Maps, which will make last minute turns and difficult intersections easier to navigate. Waze uses real-time updates from other drivers that are indicating new road closures, police sightings, or accidents. From this info, Waze will automatically re-route your navigation. Waze does not give suggestions for alternate routes in real-time, you have to manually check for other routes which can be dangerous whilst driving. However, it does choose the fastest navigation route that it can find and updates if traffic changes automatically. It also has tons of options, a lot of which we disable and find distracting and pointless. It is great for shortcuts during heavy traffic hours, but in heavy traffic always contrast your trip route with Google Maps to see which route is faster and more efficient. The option to identify and locate cops is great if you don’t abide by California State Laws, but the best prevention of a traffic violation following the traffic laws. Waze will identify road closures, obstacles, the length of traffic jams, and a multitude of other conditions that could inhibit your dropoff and pickup times correctly.
- Google maps has a much more professional layout, with very easy to identify one-way and two way streets. Google maps is also the best navigation application if choosing walk, bike, or take public transit. We find google maps less distracting without all the pop-ups that happen in Waze, and the ‘zoomed out’ map of Google maps shows a larger map spectrum. The Google Maps route button at the bottom of its homescreen is awesome to overview the entire route, an option that Waze does not have instantly. It is helpful to view the overall route for example when driving from SFO to San Francisco during Rush hour. Sometimes taking 101 can be a death trap, and driving north to 380 West to 280 South will save your guests tons of time. Google Maps will as well clearly layout alternative routes for you to see whether driving through the City from Outer Sunset is the better option or taking 280 north around the city is the better option. To sometimes help guests, you can find an ATM, liquor, or grocery store on the way. For personal use, you can find gas stations or a quick bite to eat when driving home.
- The Verdict, try both and see what works best for you. We use both, and some guests will ask us to use one or the other, and since this is a customer service job, the guest is always right.
- Spotify Premium is the bee's knees and our top pick. At $9.99/month you can play millions of songs ad-free, offline listening for out of network areas or during airplane travel, unlimited skips between songs, and personalized curated playlists on radio mode is awesome. If you have a family, you can have 5 individual accounts for only $14.99/month.
- Have a great playlist of songs that is reflective of the time of day. If it is early in the morning, play non-obtrusive music with less words, peaceful piano is an amazing compilation of classic and modern pianist. Nils Frahm is a talented modern pianist from Germany with great taste. The Beatles, Coldplay, and Smashing Pumpkins, are all good choices for the morning. During the afternoon and early evening, play music that is upbeat, island reggae or Jawaiian is a good vibe, old school Jack Johnson, Ray LaMontagne, and John Mayer are favorites. When the evening rolls around Macklemore, Flume, Jay-Z are all great for the party scene. The best practice when choosing music, is to be mindful of who you are playing for. With children play music that is appropriate for their age group. If a guest is an older demographic, throw on the Grateful Dead or Sting. Our best advice is to be mindful, EDM and Tupac at 7am isn’t being mindful to most guests. Use your best judgement and invite your guests to play DJ when it is appropriate and safe for you to navigate through Spotify.
- Pandora with UBER is free, however we haven’t used this application as we love spotify.
- EMAIL - You have to opt-in to a lot of offers that both UBER and LYFT offer only through EMAIL. Check youremail every day to stay up-to-date with app updates, organized events, events coming to town, and especially hourly guarantees and incentive periods that require you to manually sign up every week!
- UBER Driver - Navigate through the app offline to get an understand of how it works. It is very straightforward and has user friendly videos to walk you through the application.
- UBER - Do yourself a favor, and make sure to take one or a few short rides to see how the app works fromthe guests point of view. Watch the application as it follows the car driving around (this will visually show you that making wrong turns on your pickup will be seen by the guest) towards you, and the estimation it gives before the car arrives. When you get into the driver's car, take note of their setup, and ask them any questions you may have about driving, or their best tips for success. Don’t by shy in letting them know you are starting to drive with UBER, they may have some great words of wisdom to help you succeed.
- LYFT - Lyft integrates the driver and passenger app into one. Again like UBER’s app, take your time to getto know every section of the application. Follow the tutorials that are suggested, and spend at least 30 minutes orienting yourself with the application. Lyft has an avatar (only available on android) that can be found with driver mode on, press the top left corner profile picture, select settings, and slide ‘Driver shortcut’ to the right. This is one of the most helpful features when navigating between LYFT and UBER at the same time. Swipe around the avatar when it is on your homescreen, and become used to how to turn driver mode off, on, move the avatar around (I like the middle left side of the screen) and as well remove the avatar if it is in the way or your driving for UBER. I leave the LYFT avatar on at all times in the middle of the left side of my screen for easy function from one app to the other. UBER has an avatar as well, but the technology is not as up-to-date as LYFT’s. Take a few rides with LYFT, ask drivers any questions you have, sit in the front seat, enjoy the social aspect that LYFT has been a pioneer of, and enjoy the ride whilst learning!
- Yelp - It is highly respected and well reviewed in SF. This app alone will give you insight to what is goodwhere and why. Landmark restaurants such as Sweet Maple will tell you how delicious there potatoes and millionaires bacon is. Giving recommendations to guests on where to eat that are from out of town has lead us to tons of additional tips.
- Gasbuddy - This is a gas station finder with up to date information of the cheapest and closest gas stations.
- Mint - A personal budgeting application that monitors all of your spending from any of your linked accountsand will organized them into categories for you without any work. It will help you keep reasonable budgeting goals for the future to help plan your financial success in the future.
- Credit Karma - Watching your credit score rise with your new financial freedom is rewarding and will payoff inthe future from your hard work. You are given recommendations on where and how you can improve, you can dispute errors through the application, you can simulate your credit score when you improve or neglect certain areas, and you can see your credit report from both Transunion and Equifax simultaneously. Best of all, it’s free.
- Starbucks - With this app you can pay directly by scanning your phone. If you enjoy coffee or tea, starbucksis consistent and has clean bathrooms early in the morning to start the day. We enjoy there whole wheat egg and cheese sandwich, and the spinach feta wrap with egg whites and tomatoes is delicious and healthy. After you accumulate 120 stars, you get one free item, which can be valued up to $7.00! We enjoy the brown rice salad, as well the Lemon and greens Evolution beverage. Avoid the Frappuccinos, and any of the sweetened drinks, your body will crash from an overload of sugar intake.
- Classpass - If you love mixing up your gym routine, classpass is the answer. With class times all over the bayarea and gym drop-in sessions to do your own routine, you can literally workout wherever guests bring you. Give it a shot, they have great 1-3 month trial memberships for new users.
- Hotel Tonight - If your in a pinch and can’t make it home, this app has great last minute deals on the best hotels.
- Castbox - An awesome free podcast application that has tons of relevant topics that will definitely interest you. If you have some free time, learn about finances, history, laugh with comedy, and become motivated with Tony Robbins!
- Headspace - This mediation application has been a blessing to me. Tim Ferris, known as the modern day‘Oprah Winfrey’ of the internet noted that one particular commonality among his 170 podcasts is a daily meditation practice. I love taking 10-20 minutes out of my day to focus on my breathe and the present moment. It can be done in the comfort of your own home, or sitting in your car driver seat or backseat before you begin the day, or while waiting for an airport request at SFO. It has given me clarity and focus early in the morning that stays with me throughout the day. I have taken helpful sections specific to training, focus, patience, and change. I love the application so much I have used it consecutively 56 days in a row! First ten days are free, change your perspective and you can change your life. Tony Robbins said, “If you don’t have 10 minutes for yourself, you don’t have a life.”
- Audible - To pass the time between shifts or listen to an amazing story on the beach, give audiobooks a try! Effortless and filled with knowledge!
- Safeway - If you shop at Safeway, which has great produce and easy healthy to fix meals at affordable prices, after spending $1,000 in product, you will get $1.00 off per gallon of gas at Chevron. It isn’t the biggest savings, but every dollar counts!
- AIRBNB - It could help guests looking for a place to stay, it could help you get away and enjoy amazingproperties, I have been a host and guest of AIRBNB for 4 years all over the world and can not recommend this application enough. Not only do you enjoy all the perks of hotels, you get to connect with amazing hosts, hear there stories, possibly share a meal or beverage, and if you're lucky become good friends for life. Get inspired, take vacation whenever you like, enjoy your life!
- Soundcloud - Smaller, underground, and newer emerging music artists are on this great application. Youcan use the application for free with a multitude of annoying advertisements, or pay for the unlimited uninterrupted service for $9.99/month. The first 30-day trial is free!
- Flight Stats - A real-time application notifies users of flight delays and new airport information. This canreally help out you as a driver to be notified when there are delays, which will result in surge pricing at the airport when a lot of planes land. As well, you can gain knowledge of the relatively consistent schedule that SFO operates on 7/days a week. On Sunday evening for example a ton of guests that have left for the week or weekend will be returning to SF to begin the week right, take advantage of driving near SFO on Sunday evening when the rest of the drivers are tired from a late and long weekend’s worth of work on Friday and Saturday nights! Sunday night is a great time to drive, there aren’t a ton of drivers working, the roads are clear, and nightlife isn’t the biggest scene leaving the roads safe and easy to drive.
- FleetWeb Mobile - If you don’t have an UBER Xchange leasing vehicle, you won’t need this app. Thisapplication connects you with free tire rotation and oil change mechanics nationally. The locations are at Jiffy Lube, Firestone, and Goodyear for example.