As an Uber or Lyft driver you’ll need to use a smartphone with a data plan to do the gig.
The Uber and Lyft apps for drivers work with most modern smartphones, but there are some important phone requirements that you need to be aware of before you go out and buy a phone.
Read on to learn what types of phones work well with Uber and Lyft, what phone accessories you’ll need, and how much data the apps use.
Uber Phone Requirements
The Uber driver app requires iOS 11 or newer for Apple users, and Android 5 or higher for Android users.
Lyft Phone Requirements
The Lyft driver app requires iOS 12 or higher and Android 6.0 or higher
Other Uber and Lyft driver requirements
What are the Best Phones for Uber and Lyft Drivers?
The newer the phone, the better Uber and Lyft will function.
If you don’t want to get the latest model, make sure the one you get was released in the last 5 years or newer. Anything older won’t perform well and is more like to freeze or crash while you drive.
- iPhone X and up
- Samsung Galaxy series
- Google Pixel
- LG G and V series
- Sony Xperia series
How much data does the Uber and Lyft apps use?
Uber says that the driver app should use no more than 3 GB per month, but Lyft doesn’t state how much data the app will use.
Drivers on Reddit report that the Uber app itself only uses a few gigs per month. But other apps that you use while driving can be data hogs.
Map apps, music streaming apps, and anything else you use while you drive could contribute to high data use.
Consider buying an unlimited data plan so you don’t have to worry about your data while you drive.
How to use less data as a driver
There isn’t much you can do to reduce the data usage of the Uber and Lyft apps, but you can reduce data usage on the other apps you use.
Map and music apps are the biggest data hogs. For mapping apps like Google maps, download the map for any area that you drive in. That allows you to navigate without using data.
Music apps like Spotify also have offline modes. You can download music while you’re on wifi at home, then use the app in offline mode while you’re driving to save on data.
How to run the Uber or Lyft driver apps on a tablet
Some drivers choose to use a tablet to run the Uber or Lyft driver apps because they prefer a larger screen. Tablets can also create a better entertainment system for your car.
There are two ways to run driver apps on a tablet:
Tablet with a data plan: You can buy a tablet that is 4G, or 5G enabled. It will be able to run the driver apps and receive calls/texts all by itself
Tablet tethered to your phone via personal WiFi hotspot: Tether your WiFi-only tablet to your phone to run the driver apps from a tablet. Your tablet will display the apps and navigation, and your phone will receive calls and texts from passengers.
How to drive for Uber and Lyft at the same time
It’s possible to sign into both Uber and Lyft at the same time and drive for both apps simultaneously. It’s helpful when one ride volume is slow, or when you want to pick and choose between better requests.
To drive for both apps at the same time, start by signing into both. Make sure the most noticeable notifications are enabled for both.
When a request in one app comes in, accept it, then switch to the other app and sign out.
When the ride is over, sign back into the other app. It’s a bit of a hassle to manage, and it may cause you to some requests and lower your ride acceptance rate, but many drivers do it.
How to install the Uber or Lyft driver apps
The Uber and Lyft driver apps are available for download in the App store and in the Google Play store.
Uber and Lyft may also send download links to the app during the application process. You can also go to help.uber.com and help.lyft.com to find helps article about downloading the driver apps.
Best phone accessories for Uber & Lyft drivers
One of the most common reasons for low driver ratings is when drivers don’t have the proper gear to do the job. A few cheap accessories can help guarantee better ratings and higher tips.
- Phone mount: Holding your phone while driving is one of the number one reasons for low ratings from passengers. Always use a phone mount. We recommend the iOttie Easy Mount. It’s cheap and works well.
- Charging port and cables: Your phone needs to be plugged into a car charging port for the majority of your driving shifts. Get an Amazon Basics dual charger so you can charge your phone and another device at the same time.
- Our full list of gear that Uber and Lyft drivers should use.
Common phone problems while using Uber and Lyft, and how to solve them
Phone overheating: It’s normal for the apps to make your phone hot to the touch, but if your phone feels extremely hot, you may be overtaxing your phone’s processor.
Keep your phone out of direct sunlight if possible, don’t use bulky cases or fabric/leather cases, and only charge it when it needs to be charged. If the problem persists, you may need to get a newer phone.
Freezing, crashing, slow operation: Prevent freezing and crashing by making sure to only run necessary apps like navigation and music. Restart your phone if you’re having this issue.
Can’t see or hear notifications: Dig into your settings and make sure that all notifications are enabled for the app, and if you use an external Bluetooth device, check to see if the notification sounds are playing through that device instead of out of the phone.
It’s always a good idea to update to the latest version of each driver app whenever an update is available. If an issue persists, it never hurts to try fully restarting the phone.