The Art of Multi-apping: How-Tos And Strategies For Gig Drivers

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One of the best things about being a gig worker is, you’re not stuck working for just one particular app or platform. You can work for as many as you like! Some drivers even use two apps on the same shift. This practice is called multi-apping.

Multi-apping is a clever way to get around the boredom and frustration that often arises from picking one app to drive for and sticking to it. Multi-apping can help you make more money, too.

This blog post gives you ideas and strategies for increasing your income and job satisfaction with multi-apping. Here’s what we’ll explore:

  • Multi-apping basics
  • How to multi-app with rideshare and delivery driver apps
  • Build your multi-apping strategy

Multi-apping basics

The name alone tells you that multi-apping involves using two or more apps at the same time to earn more money as a gig driver. That is, indeed, what multi-apping is all about. Once you master the art of multi-apping, you might wish you’d started it way sooner.

However, multi-apping is something you won’t want to do until you’re somewhat experienced at gig driving. While it’s definitely a way to multiply your earnings and generally make your driving life more interesting, it requires some knowledge and experience as a gig driver.

Here are some things you’ll want to do before you even think about multi-apping:

  1. Sign up for all the apps you want to work with.
  2. Get familiar with all the apps by trying them out one at a time.
  3. Know your market and which apps are more popular in different areas.
  4. Make sure your phone and data plan are up to the job of handling more than one app at a time.

There’s also one thing that’s really important to know. While you’re multi-apping, you’ll keep two or more apps open at the same time while you wait for a delivery or ride request. If you accept a request from one app, the next thing you’ll want to do is pause or go offline with the other app. It’s never a good idea to attempt to fulfill delivery or ride requests for two apps at the same time.

Multitasking in order to get business is totally acceptable, but if you try to juggle both at once, one of your customers is going to be stuck waiting for you. Moreover, if the companies whose apps you’re “stacking” find out what you’re up to, you could wind up getting deactivated. Nobody needs that to happen. That’s why it’s a wise and good policy to turn off any other gig driving apps once you accept a request.

Now that you’re equipped with some basics, let’s look at exactly how you’d go about dabbling in the art of multi-apping.

How to multi-app with rideshare and delivery driver apps

Multi-apping has been going on since the dawn of gig driving. It’s not unusual to see cars display both a Lyft amp and an Uber sticker on the same windshield. This lets drivers use the Lyft driver app while retaining their right to pursue their Uber driver strategy. Similarly, DoorDash or Uber Eats drivers go back and forth between platforms, depending on which is offering the bigger bonus at any given time.

This is why you need to know your apps and know your market. Having access to as many apps as possible keeps you in the loop about bonuses, surges, and the like. Once you’ve chosen two apps (or three, if you’re really brave) to work with, here’s how you’ll handle the process.

  1. Decide if you want to use one or two phones. Experiment with your phone to make sure it will run multiple apps without glitches. The various platforms perform differently on iOS and Android phones, and it might not be possible to run two at the same time. If you run into problems, consider deploying a second phone or tablet to carry the load for additional apps. Make sure your primary number(s) for the apps you’re using matches the devices you’re working with.
  2. Check what all the different apps are offering in terms of bonus and surge pay. Maximize the likelihood of higher earnings by knowing what offers are available, and select the apps that will give you the biggest boost to your earnings.
  3. Open your chosen apps. Open all the apps you want to work with so you can receive pings from them.
  4. Receive requests and decide which offers to accept. This part can get tricky, so be prepared to think fast here. Some drivers set minimums for themselves, and calculate what each offer might earn them. If they meet the minimum, great, but if they don’t, these drivers ignore or reject the lowball offers. Try this for yourself, and see which app wins the DoorDash vs. Grubhub battle, for example.
  5. Fulfill the requests, and keep multiple apps open to determine your next best offer. Once your trip or delivery is done, you can go back to monitoring multiple apps to see which of them will supply your next one.

A note about acceptance rates:

In the past, drivers who used multi-apping ran the risk of losing their status with their primary app because it’s almost impossible to avoid missing pickups or deliveries when more than one app is running. In certain circumstances, drivers’ acceptance rate determined their status in incentive programs and how many rides or deliveries the app might send their way.

Recently, however, a driver’s acceptance rate has become less essential for driver ratings than it has been historically. Uber is about to drop it completely, as its Upfront Pricing program continues to roll out. Read more about that in this Gridwise blog post. 

When you schedule blocks, as you might with Doordash or Instacart, you’ll need to be more careful. These apps often look at your acceptance and completion rates to determine which drivers are worthy of getting the best blocks for deliveries.

For package delivery, multi-apping could work well with an on-demand service such as the Spark driver app. You could combine this app with others that allow you to make yourself available for deliveries on demand, rather than within blocks of time.

With the basics under your belt, the next thing you need is a smart and solid strategy. 

Build your multi-apping strategy

Once you master all your apps, choose the ones you want to use most of the time, and discover all the bonuses each has to offer. You need to learn more about your market. Which apps are most popular where you live, and how much are drivers making at different times of day? 

You could ask around, of course, or take time to figure these things out by trial and error, but that’s not very efficient at all. A much better tactic would be to use Where to Drive and When to Drive from Gridwise. These features give you actual data from real drivers in your area! You can instantly see which apps are doing well in your area, and what times of day have the most likelihood of offering higher pay.

After you learn your market, there are more things to consider.

  1. Be alert to potential driver saturation. If you find out DoorDash is more popular than Grubhub in your area, there might also be way too many drivers dashing, which means lots of competition for you. Run DoorDash and Grubhub at the same time to see which app will ping you first, and then determine which will make you the most money. 
  2. Color inside the lines. Some apps will only offer you deliveries within your zone. Remember if after a delivery you decide to take a rideshare trip that brings you way out of your assigned delivery zone. Unless you want to keep doing rideshare for the rest of the shift, you’ll need to get closer to your assigned area to get those delivery pings.
  3. Mix and match your gigs. Multi-apping doesn’t just mean using two apps on the same shift. You can also multi-app, for example, by doing a morning shift with a grocery delivery company such as Instacart, then go out later to drive rideshare when the restaurants and bars are doing big business. That way you can make money at different hours of day, depending on which apps are more popular during different time periods.
  4. Track your earnings. Always know how much you’re making with which app. Produce accurate calculations showing how much you’re making per trip, per hour, and per mile with each. We know. It’s not easy to find the time to do all that. That’s why Gridwise provides seamless tracking of all your activity. Simply sync your apps to Gridwise and watch your earnings history be transformed into easy to read graphs that give you all this information at a glance.
  5. Dare to compare. Check out how well you’re doing with Gridwise Trends. This feature takes data from other rideshare and delivery drivers in your area and lets you see how well your strategy is working. 
  6. Record all deductible expenses. Mileage, fuel purchases, equipment, car maintenance, and more can be deducted from your income to produce benefits at tax time. Use Gridwise to enter your expenses and calculate your net income based on earnings minus expenses. It’s the best mileage tracker, and so much more.
  7. Take advantage of deals for gig workers. Gridwise offers discounts on many items and services that drivers need, as well as sources for low-cost insurance, medical, and mental health care. 

You’ll have to be the one to decide if multi-apping is the best way for you to run your gig business. No matter which apps you choose to use for driving, make sure you download Gridwise, so you’re getting the information, assistance, and advantages you need.

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