Electric scooters can now be hired from Lime without downloading a smartphone app or creating an account.
The update to how hiring Lime scooters works takes advantage of the Instant App system on Android and Apple's App Clips feature on iOS. Both of these allow portions of regular applications to be used without actually downloading them; payment is handled with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Lime claims it is the first micro-mobility company to offer a service where its vehicles can be hired without downloading an app first.
Targeted at first-time riders who don't yet have a Lime account but need quick and easy access to one of its scooters, the system uses QR codes on the scooters. Riders simply take a photo of the code using their smartphone camera, which then opens the Instant App or App Clips system, through which the scooter can be hired.
A portion of the Lime app is temporarily downloaded to the phone to complete the order and transaction, but no Lime account is needed and the app portion is then deleted.
The Lime app has gained a new dark mode for easier use at nightLime
This week also saw Lime add a free reservation system to its app, letting users reserve a scooter for up to 10 minutes. This will no doubt be useful in busy areas where scooters are taken quickly, or in more remote parts of town where there are few scooters to pick from. Lime customers simply pick the scooter they want, then only they can see it in the app (and begin the hiring process) for the next 10 minutes.
Additionally, the app now suggests the best option for a nearby scooter. This isn't necessarily the closest to you, but the one that has the most battery charge of those close to you.
Lastly, there is a new dark mode for the Lime smartphone app, making it easier to view while booking and riding a scooter at night.