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Uber’s ExpressPool service offers cheap fares, but you’ll have to walk a bit

If you’re a ridesharing fan, what’s more important, convenient pick-ups and drop-offs or cheap fares? If it’s the latter, then you may be interested to know that Uber has just launched its first new service in three years. Called ExpressPool, it works by grouping together riders going in the same direction and designating a single pick-up point for everyone, not more than a couple of blocks from where you made the ride request.

So, yes, it’s likely to mean a little exercise and taking a bit longer to the moment when you actually climb in the car, but with fares reported to be up to 50 percent cheaper than UberPool, and up to 75 percent cheaper than UberX, what’s not to like? The new ExpressPool service is available now via Uber’s app to riders in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver. It’s also up and running in Boston and San Francisco where it was tested over the last few months, and by the end of the week will be available in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Miami.

A nationwide rollout is planned “soon,” the company said. ExpressPool will be seen as a response to similar offerings by rivals, among them Lyft Line, which often works out cheaper than UberPool, Uber’s service that matches riders with other riders going in the same direction, but picks them up wherever they make the ride request. Uber says that with Pool rides, time can be wasted picking up additional riders along the way, but with ExpressPool you’ll all be picked up in the same spot with no detours en route, which could end up making the trip just as quick as a Pool ride.

Essentially, if you don’t mind walking a block or two, Pool Express looks like a sensible option for riders keen on value for money.

“Walking and waiting help us make more optimal matches and provide better, straighter, faster routes with fewer detours, delivering an even more affordable and consistent option than [Uber]Pool to consumers,” Uber’s Ethan Stock explained in a blog post outlining the new service, adding that Express fits with its long-term plan of easing congestion and cutting pollution by “getting more people into fewer cars.”

Editors’ Recommendations

The best running apps for iOS and Android

Running is one of the best ways to keep yourself in shape and in good health. However, one of the most difficult things about running is staying motivated and engaged so you can accomplish your fitness goals. Luckily, technology can be a great tool to keep you engaged and motivated — especially when the desire to get off track or quit starts to kick in.

Here, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best running apps available for Android- and iOS-compatible devices. They offer GPS tracking, the ability to share stats with friends, and even the option to challenge friends to competitions. Many of these running apps are fully compatible with the Apple Watch and Android Wear, too.

So, let’s dust off our running shoes and put on our best looking pair of shorts. It’s time to run our way to better health. Exercise is just one piece of the puzzle to stay in good health.

Check out our picks for the best fitness apps for the iPhone or your Android device, apps that help you stay healthy all year round, and the best Fitbit device for every active lifestyle.

Strava

This fun running app makes it feel as if you’re playing a game with your friends. It offers GPS tracking but also allows you to see a feed of your friend’s activities, allowing you to challenge them along the way. You’ll also be able to see how you stack up against others, set goals, see leaderboards, and join monthly challenges.

You can also share your activities via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks to its robust community and the designer’s commitment to keeping it fresh, Strava remains one of the best running and fitness apps available. Download now for:

Android iOS

Runtastic

Doctors recommend you should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This makes Runtastic the perfect app for those who like listening to audiobooks or podcasts while exercising. Its Story Running features allows you to download stories for just £1 and each track is roughly 40 minutes, making it the perfect time for a good workout.

The app is also optimized for both Android Wear and the Apple Watch. Download now for: Android iOS

Runkeeper

Runkeeper is another great running app which boasts a user community of more than 50 million runners.

Staying motivated is very important and Runkeepers social approach is perhaps its best feature. It allows you to stay inspired and motivates you with rewards, along with a host of sharing features. It has Apple Watch, iTunes, and Spotify integration and works with other health apps such as Fitbit or MyFitnessPal.

Download now for: Android iOS

MapMyRun

MapMyRun built a member community of more than 40 million people, due in large part to the fact it’s just a great running app. There’s a specific Routes feature which allows you to find nearby places to run, as well as tools for saving and sharing them with your friends.

The app can also automatically track runs and you can sync any data with devices from Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone, and Under Armour (who happen to be the brand responsible for the app these days). With its deep customization and rewarding social features, MapMyRun is a triumph. Download now for:

Android iOS

Nike+ Run Club

Nike+ Run Club is a running app that takes an adaptive approach to your training. Based on your goals and fitness level, it adjusts the training to better suit your progress. Not only does the app help you stay motivated by integrating with social apps like Facebook but it also allows you to send a shoutout to a friend to help them stay motivated.

There’s no denying how much easier it is to accomplish your fitness goals when you have someone working toward them with you and Nike+ Run Club further proves this. Download now for: Android iOS

Endomondo

This is a great, GPS-enabled app that allows you to track running, walking, biking, and a slew of other sports.

Logged data is sent to Endomondo’s website so you can analyze your stats and progress — friendly competition with others in the community is also encouraged. While the baseline app is free, you can go with a Premium option which lets you enjoy the app ad-free while offering weather information and other added perks. You’ll also have access to more detailed statistics, including calories burned per month, running distance by year, and other useful metrics.

Download now for: Android iOS

RunGo

RunGo is the best app to use if you want to discover new places while you run. With turn-by-turn voice navigation, you can select more than 100,000 routes around the world, or build your own.

The app clearly tells you where to turn, even if you’ve gone a bit off course. You can also use it offline and it’s fully compatible with the Apple Watch. It also takes advantage of ARKit for iOS 11, integrating augmented reality into its features.

Monthly subscriptions cost £2 while a yearly subscription runs for just £10. Download now for: Android iOS

Couch to 5K

This running app dares to make a substantial promise.

Couch to 5k asks you to spend 20 or 30 minutes training, three times a week and promises that in nine weeks time, you’ll be ready to finish your first 5k race (roughly 3.1 miles). A one-time purchase of £3 allows you to choose between four virtual coaches and the app also features GPS support, an in-app music player, and offers you the ability to share your workouts via Facebook. Download now for:

Android iOS

Wahoo

Wahoo Fitness’ main attraction is its robust compatibility, which allows it to integrate with more than 50 third-party apps and 240 individual products. It allows you to upload workouts to a host of top-tier training websites, including MapMyFitness, Nike+, Strava, MyFitnessPal, and several others. You’ll also be able to use this app with heart rate sensors, bike speed sensors, and even some specialized gym equipment.

Download now for: Android iOS

Zombies, Run!

An incredibly unique fitness app, Zombies, Run!, turns your workouts into a real-life adventure. It’s a running game that casts you as the hero in a zombie adventure story — one where you must race to save your life and the lives of others.

The first four missions are free but after that, you’ll need to unlock new stories on a weekly basis. The app does allow you to unlock more than 240 missions by upgrading to a Pro membership. If you want to work out while having fun, this is the way to go.

Download now for: Android iOS

WeavRun

If music is your true inspiration for running, then WeavRun was designed just for you. This innovative app syncs your favorite music to your footsteps, increasing the beat as you speed up and decreasing the beat as you slow down.

In addition to simply tracking cadence and making automatic tempo adjustments, you can choose to enter your desired steps-per-minute and challenge yourself to keep in tune with the music. The app also includes GPS run tracking, seamless sharing, and is fully integrated with Strava and other running apps. The best part?

The app functions so that it doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the music — ever. It never distorts songs or stretches them beyond their original compositions. Download now for:

iOS Android

My Run Plan

This is not just another running app — My Run Plan is an advanced fitness tool for serious runners. This application builds a training plan tailored to your needs. It really is all about you, too, as it focuses completely on your schedule, your goals, and your performance.

How does it work? Set a running goal and input schedule information before letting the app’s algorithm give you customized training guidance. You can even reach out to USATF-certified coaches for questions regarding training, nutrition, or for help with injuries.

It costs £9.99 for a monthly plan. Download now for: iOS Android

Additional information

If you want to read more about how tech and health are getting more integrated, read our picks for the best fitness trackers and how Fitness AR uses ARKit augmented reality to share your workouts.

Update: We’ve added links to related articles and added the WeavRun and My Run Plan apps.

Editors’ Recommendations

Best waterproof Bluetooth speakers

Adventuring can be difficult work, even for those who thrive under the microscope of the earth’s harshest elements. Heck, you could be Bear Grylls himself, and it still wouldn’t stop you from getting bored after a few hours of scavenging leaves and branches to build a depressingly tiny shelter. Luckily, music is a killer cure for boredom.

To get your groove on in the great outdoors you’ll need equipment that’s as resilient, adaptive, and untethered as you are, dear reader. Digital Trends is here to help with a handy rundown of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers available. For warm climes or cold, sweltering summer days or icy winter nights, these speakers will follow you to the ends of the earth, and keep the tunes rolling.

Looking for a more diverse selection? Try our picks for the best Bluetooth speakers, period.

Our pick

Ultimate Ears Blast

Why should you buy this: It’s sleek, sexy, life-resistant, and it sounds excellent.

Ultimate Ears Blast Wireless SpeakerUltimate Ears’ Blast improved on the already-great Boom, adding a sharper profile and more powerful sound signature. It’s durable, too.

Who’s it for: Everyone.

How much will it cost: £230 Why we picked the UE Blast: If you’re familiar with Ultimate Ears, you won’t be too surprised at our pick here.

The Irvine, CA-based manufacturer has built a sterling reputation for building solid speakers capable of repelling water and dirt altogether. Announced in fall 2017, the Blast (and the £300 Megablast) replaced the Boom (and Megaboom) as UE’s top models, and for good reason. The Blast is slick, handsome, and waterproof (duh), boasting 12 hours of battery life and some basic voice support via Alexa, so long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

Looking at the Blast, you can’t immediately tell it was designed for outdoor use, which we think is a good design choice. Plus, uh, it sounds pretty fantastic too. Our Ultimate Ears Blast full review

The best floatable speaker

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

Why should you buy this: It offers big sound in a small, amphibious package.

The best floatable speakerUltimate Ears WonderboomGot a soft spot for swimming?

Taking a quick dip is much more fun with the compact, affordable, seaworthy UE Wonderboom.

Who’s it for: Frequent swimmers, kids, and bath lovers. How much will it cost: £69 to £75 Why we picked the UE Wonderboom:

If you weren’t surprised with our choice of the UE Blast above, you shouldn’t be surprised here either! The Wonderboom offers a miniaturized version of the aforementioned Boom and Megaboom speakers, projecting audio in 360 degrees from an adorable little speaker pod. The compact and shock-proof Wonderboom can take on the elements with fervor, safe from drops up to five feet on hard surfaces.

The best part, though? It floats! That makes it the perfect speaker to take in the pool or the lake with kids and ensure it doesn’t disappear in five minutes.

While the sound won’t blow you away, it offers impressive punch and clarity for the money. Speaking of which, perhaps the Wonderboom’s best feature is its price point of just £70. Our Ultimate Ears Wonderboom review

The best boombox

Braven Ready Elite

Why should you buy this: It’s got big bass, a badass look, and it’s ready for your most rugged excursions.

The best boomboxBraven Ready EliteBraven’s Ready Elite can tackle any terrain you throw at it — and survive with flying colors.

Booming bass meets Batman style.

Who’s it for: Those who really like to rough it, and need some big sound for the ride. How much will it cost: £300 Why we picked the Braven Ready Elite:

Want old-school boombox bombast (except with much better clarity) without having to tote around a massive, shoulder-mounted affair? Braven’s Ready Elite — the biggest sibling in a family of four outdoor “Ready” speakers — can do that, pumping out impressive bass and respectably clear audio at volume levels higher than most any speaker its size can. It’s got a decidedly smaller form factor than the boomboxes of old, with the kind of blasting sound that will make you wary of the classic shoulder carry.

In addition to its powerful sound, the Ready Elite has plenty more to offer: It’s nearly indestructible, features four reinforced anchor points for the included hang strap, and comes with a mobile app which you can use to change the EQ settings. And when it comes to style, it’s safe to assume if Batman ever designed a speaker, it would look a lot like this one. Our Braven Ready Elite review

The most versatile

JBL Charge 3

Why should you buy this: It’s unreasonably affordable, it goes anywhere, and charges your phone on the way.

The most versatileJBL Charge 3At just over £100, the JBL Charge 3 will keep you and your gadgets going all summer long.

Who’s it for: Anyone with constant “low battery syndrome.”

How much will it cost: £120 Why we picked the JBL Charge 3: Sometimes sound just isn’t enough, and you need a speaker that can do a bit more.

Enter JBL’s Charge 3, which doesn’t just keep the party going with clear and powerful tunes — it can keep your phone charged up, too. The Charge is a little older than most entries on our list, but at just £120, you can’t beat the value of a speaker with respectable sound performance, solid build quality, and extra backup juice when you need it most. The Charge sounds a lot like the Flip 4 and the Link 10, which also offer a whole lot of audio punch for the money.

That means punchy mids, clear treble, and bass that’s bigger than you’d expect for the size. If you need a budget speaker for camping, hiking, and days at the lake, this is a great choice. Our JBL Charge 3 video review

The most extra

Soundboks 2

Why should you buy this: It’s a party in a box.

Seriously.

The most extraSoundboks 2Need to fuel a bonfire or beach wedding? Try the massive, life-proof Soundboks 2, with bass that’ll knock your sandals off.

Who’s it for: Those with an open checkbook and a desire to rage. How much will it cost: £899

Why we picked the Soundboks 2: Disclaimer: The Soundboks 2 isn’t actually waterproof — do not, under any circumstances, put it in the tub, pool, or ocean. It is rain-proof and splash-proof, though, and thanks to its hefty weight, you’d really have to try hard to submerge it in the first place.

That being said, if you’re willing to shell out some big bucks (like, nearly £1,000), this absurd speaker can power a pool party or bonfire bash by itself without breaking a sweat. Boasting a ridiculous 40 hours of battery (or more like 10-20 if you’re on full volume), the Soundboks can go all weekend long without needing to plug in. With a case made from Baltic birch wrapped in scratch-proof aluminum, you’d be hard-pressed to do any real damage to the Soundboks short of pushing it out a high window.

The kicker: It sounds awesome, thanks to two 10-inch woofers and dynamic bass-boosting technology.

Rain or shine, let the good times roll.

Our Soundboks 2 full review

Editors’ Recommendations

Signal app for private chats gets $50M boost from WhatsApp VIP

What’s the key to solid encryption technology? Well, pouring £50 million into its development can’t hurt.

James Martin/CNET

Edward Snowden is probably happy about this. But the FBI might not be.

Signal, the popular technology designed to keep prying eyes out of instant messages and other computer communications, has just gotten a £50 million shot in the arm. The Signal Protocol is used in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Skype, among other apps, including the standalone Signal Messenger. WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is ponying up the money and will also serve as executive chairman of the new Signal Foundation, which is being established by Open Whisper Systems, the open-source project behind the Signal encryption technology.

Acton left WhatsApp and Facebook last year. The not-for-profit Signal Foundation will initially focus on improving Signal Messenger and may one day roll out other privacy-oriented technologies, according to a blog post published Wednesday by Acton and Signal Protocol co-author Moxie Marlinspike.

“As more and more of our lives happen online, data protection and privacy are critical,” Acton wrote in the post. “Everyone deserves to be protected. We created the Signal Foundation in response to this global need.

Our plan is to pioneer a new model of technology nonprofit focused on privacy and data protection for everyone, everywhere.” Snowden and others wary of surveillance have made known their fondness for the technology. There’s a big debate over encryption though, with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies saying it’s getting impossible for them to crack, handing criminals, terrorists and others an invaluable tool for planning their exploits and creating an “urgent public safety issue.”

Security: Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night.

Blockchain Decoded: CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin — and soon, too, a myriad of services that will change your life.

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