Mending Maps: iOS users turning increasingly to Apple Maps over Google’s offering

apple maps

There’s no two ways about it – Apple Maps was a bit crap when it launched in September 2012. And its crapness has been well documented – you know, stories of cities turning up in the sea, farms labeled as airports, the Sears Tower being shrunken down….It got worse, with cops in Australia having to rescue travelers in a national park who became stranded after using the app for directions.

Within days of its release, the disgruntlement among users of Apple Maps was so widespread that company CEO Tim Cook felt moved to issue a letter of apology in which he admitted the software “fell short” of expectations and even recommended alternative navigation apps.

Since then, however, the Cupertino company has been busy knocking Maps into shape – and we’re talking about much more than a lick of paint and wallpaper over cracks. We’re talking a complete overhaul; a top-down review; the hiring of mysteriously named ‘ground truth managers’; and the acquisition of navigation-based start-ups that, y’know, have a clue when it comes to navigation.

And it appears the effort is beginning to pay off.

A recent Guardian report, using data from research firm comScore as the basis of its findings, says that while 58 million US-based smartphone owners currently use Google Maps on iOS and Android, this is considerably fewer than the 81 million using it in September 2012, just before the Web giant’s app was removed from the iPhone with the launch of iOS 6.

When Google relaunched its Maps app for iOS two months later, iPhone users flocked to it, with the Mountain View company announcing 10 million downloads in its first two days alone. However, it appears many iPhone users are now enjoying the benefits of a much-improved Apple Maps, ignoring the presence of Google Maps on their device, unless they’ve chosen to wipe it, of course.

The report says that 35 million iPhone owners in the US now use Apple Maps at least once a month, compared to just 6 million using Google Maps on the iPhone – and this figure includes 2 million iPhone users who haven’t or can’t upgrade to iOS 6.

Some of this extra engagement with Apple’s navigation app can of course be attributed to the fact that users get automatically taken to it whenever possible, such as with location searches made using Siri. But the fact that Apple now has 35 million iPhone owners in the US alone using the app at least once a month – apparently with little complaint – shows the company is heading in the right direction with its improvement program.

Mobile

Latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone will pop up on April 10

Samsung will show at least one new Galaxy phone off on April 10, it has confirmed in a teaser tweet. The Galaxy A90 may make its first appearance, and it's rumored to have a pop-up camera and a notch-less screen.
Gaming

Don your pirate threads and hunt for treasure with our Fortnite weekly challenge

The Fortnite week 3 challenges are now here for all players around the world. The challenges this week aren't too hard but the biggest one is the Fortnite magnifying glass challenge. We are going to show you where the magnifying glass sits…
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for March 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for March 2019.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Mobile

Leaked ZTE concept phones are crazy, possibly fake, and totally worth seeing

Renders of what may be ZTE concept phones may show how the manufacturer could avoid using the notch on future devices. They're crazy -- and maybe not even real -- but they're definitely worth looking at.
Mobile

The iPad Mini, Apple’s tiny tablet, makes a return with powerful specs

Apple has finally revealed the iPad Mini. With all-new and upgraded specs, support for the Apple Pencil, and a fantastically inclusive price, here's everything you need to know about the iPad Mini.
Mobile

The Apple iPad Air is the power-packed tablet for everyone

The iPad Air is the less serious cousin to Apple's iPad Pro range, and it's the perfect addition to your coffee table. But it's no less powerful. Here's everything you need to know about the iPad Air.
Mobile

Get excited for your Sony Xperia 10 or 10 Plus by getting it set up just right

If you've picked up one of the Sony's more affordable smartphones, you may be be wondering what hidden depths lie within. We've got some handy Sony Xperia 10 tips for you here to help you get to grips with your new phone.
Deals

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

These voice-changing apps will have you punking friends and family like a pro

Have you ever wanted to call your friends as Darth Vader or Alvin from the Chipmunks? If you want to play a prank on your friends, we have the best voice-changer apps for iOS and Android, whether you want to record audio or make a call.
Mobile

Apple’s new iPads are hardly new at all. Don’t waste your money

It has taken Apple four years to get around to updating the iPad Mini line, but the new iPad Mini is virtually identical to its predecessor. It’s joined by a confusing iPad Air with no obvious target audience. Is Apple just trying to sell…
Mobile

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.