Smartphone apps such as Zomato and UrbanClap have made life easier for users by allowing them to order food or services from nearby restaurants or service providers without actually visiting them. Google has joined the club too with a mobile app called Areo. It is a free app and is currently available only on Android devices, and services are available only in Bangalore and Mumbai at the moment.
What it offers
Areo works by detecting your location and then shows the service options which are available in your area. These options are arranged on the home page in card based format, just like the cards on Google Now. As of now you can order food, a beautician, plumber, carpenter, and fitness expert.
How it works
When it comes to services, Google is actually using UrbanClap’s database. So when you order a beautician, Areo opens the API of Urban Clap where you can see the type of service available, rating by other users on Urban Clap and the charges for each. Once you have decided upon a service, you can mark your date and time of appointment on the same page. Once an order is placed, you can see the order in your app cart and receive a confirmation call from the service provider. Payment can be made through card, online banking or cash on delivery.
For food delivery, Areo uses up data from food ordering apps such as Fasoos, Freshmenu, Holachef and Box8. The results do not show by the name of the shop or restaurant but by the name of the food items. While this may work for services, the anonymity over who is actually providing the food is surprising.
Areo is basically currently an aggregator of services which connect a busy urban user to service providers via their mobile apps. As of now it offers very few options and is available to users in just two Indian cities. Even in these cities, the service is scattered and not available in many places. For someone who is already using the UrbanClap or Fasoos app, there isn’t enough incentive to move to Google Areo.