App review: goCatch for iOS
This taxi app shows ratings for drivers as well as passengers and even allows payments via PayPal
- Easy to use
- Avoid company systems
- Secure mobile payments
- Small community
As a free app, goCatch is handy to own as it provides information on cabs that companies hesitate to distribute, such as real-time locations. Although the community has a way to go, the service is easy to use, and PayPal payments add to the convenience of the experience.
GoCatch is a community-driven, third party taxi booking service that relies on the participation of drivers and passengers. While it contributes to generating business for the former and finding services for the latter, it remains restricted and will require growth in the community in order to be consistent and efficient.
GoCatch is divided into two segments. On first launch, you are asked to select whether you will be using it as a passenger or driver. There is no option to toggle between the two once one of these has been selected. Both groups of users are then required to register their email address and phone number.
Operating the app as a passenger is straight forward. The default screen is a map which pins your location. It also contains pins of taxis in the area which are using goCatch. If a cab is tapped, it displays its username, rating out of five, the cab company, and cab number. A tutorial can be accessed by new users by tapping the bright green "new tutorial available" button at the top of the screen.
To book a taxi, the passenger must tap "goCatch", which is located at the bottom of the screen. This brings up a booking sheet which asks for your destination, pickup address, mobile number, number of passengers, and the option to give further instructions for the driver. There is also the option of including a tip, which evidently gives drivers greater incentive to pick you up. Once this is complete, a five-minute timer commences. Below the timer, goCatch lists how many drivers the request has been sent to, how many it has been seen by, and the number that have rejected it. Once the timer elapses, you can try to book again.
If the trip is accepted, passengers can view the location of the driver on the map. goCatch also provides options to abandon the trip, call the driver, or approve that you have been collected.
False bookings and cancellations decrease your passenger rating. In addition, moving 200 metres away from the location of your booking results in automatic cancellation.
While we have not experienced goCatch as a driver, it’s safe to assume that each cab is able to view a map of passengers in the area, as well as their complete request, including tip. Taxis can also choose to accept or decline the job, with push notifications keeping them up to date.
On 5 November 2012, goCatch introduced a mobile payment system that allows passengers to pay via their smartphone by registering a PayPal account with the app. Payments can be made with two taps, and receipts are sent to your designated email address.
While goCatch can make cab bookings a lot easier because it bypasses company systems, the user community will need to grow in order for it to be consistently effective. In November, the app reported just under 100,000 users.
Developer: Taxi Apps
Requirements: iOS 5
Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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