Over the past couple of years, we've seen a number of apps aimed at commuters and ride-sharers -- apps like Zimride, Car2gether, and the simple, straightforward Taxi. Now, another has joined the fray: the Weeels app for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Palm.
What separates Weeels from its competitors is its laser-like focus on taxi-sharing. Most of the other apps on the market allow users to book cabs of their own, but if you're trying to save up for a 10" x 10" studio apartment of your own, you probably prefer to split a fare. (Or, you know, take the subway.) Just tell Weeels where you are (e.g. Pinkberry) and where you want to go (e.g. Crunch), and it'll provide a match. At the moment, Weeels is limited to taxi-takers in the New York City area, but given its potential appeal to folks in urban areas everywhere, we'd expect to see its reach broaden.
In concept, Weeels sounds pretty good, but in our test, the app seemed a little cumbersome. When we're looking for a cab, time is of the essence; we don't want to fiddle with inputting addresses and whatnot, we just want a big yellow sedan (or minivan, depending) to pull up to the bumper and let us roll in. Weeels does its best to find you via GPS, but failing that, you have to input your start and end points, which eats up valuable time that could be better spent waving your arms at passing cars and cursing the darkness.
For devoted ride-sharers, there's also the pain of setting up your personal profile. Sure, it's something we've gotten used to -- everyone has a cache of profile-ready pics laying around, right? -- but Weeels is essentially another social network, and we have a few too many of those in our lives already.
On the other hand, Weeels does offer some benefits. It gives cab companies and local venues a chance to enter their info in the Weeels database, so users can select a specific livery or destination point with ease. And when it comes to Lonely Hearts, the possibilities for backseat match-ups seems intriguing -- you know, now that Craigslist put the kabosh on all that. If/when Weeels begins advertising, that might be an interesting angle. We eagerly await our commission.