Week In Geek Podcast: Uber launches in-app tipping, Amazon unveils Prime Wardrobe, and more

Uber shutterstock image
Uber drivers can now collect tips via the app. (Shutterstock Photo)

Uber has faced some controversy over the past few months, to put it lightly. The company has been the subject of several scandals over claims of sexual harassment by a former employee, repeated conflicts over how it treats drivers and some questionable programs that helped it dodge law enforcement.

But this week the company showed signs of change. On Monday, Uber finally started allowing riders to tip drivers through its app, something that drivers have been requesting for years. And on Tuesday, the company’s CEO and founder Travis Kalanick resigned.

So how have Uber’s controversies and recent changes affected how users see the company? Does the ride-sharing service’s convenience outweigh concerns about its corporate culture? And will users really start tipping now that they have the option?

We dive into all that and more on this episode of the Week In Geek.

In other news this week, Amazon unveiled another fashion effort: Amazon Prime Wardrobe. The service allows Prime members to receive and try on clothes from the e-commerce giant before they buy them and ship back the clothes they don’t want, free of charge.

Some of the GeekWire team is excited about the service’s convenience, but others say they prefer to keep shopping in person for now.

Plus, we dig into the data on how Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods impacts the company’s geographic reach. Spoiler alert: the tech giant and the grocer have a remarkably similar footprint, with a heavy presence in coastal areas and around major population centers, like Chicago, Texas and Denver. It drives home Amazon’s focus on urban centers over rural areas.

We also have an update to last week’s review of the Amazon Dash Wand: the company has fixed a bug in the Allrecipes skill that prevented us from learning about an enticing scrambled eggs recipe. The device will now obligingly recite recipes from Allrecipes’ online catalog, including on-demand ingredients lists.

On the Random Channel this week: The Amazon Spheres welcome their newest resident — and an older visitor — and we talk about smart vacationing, from finding a good deal to trying to unplug.

Listen to the show above or download it as an MP3. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.