Science and Tech


Apple Maps Way More Popular Than Google Maps On iOS

Marketing data shows that despite a bad start, Apple\'s Maps app has taken a large chunk out of Google Maps\' user base.
Posted at 10:36 PM, Nov 11, 2013

Remember the big maps-based feud between Google and Apple about a year ago?  

When Apple tried to replace Google Maps on the iPhone with its own app, and everybody made fun of its glitchy images, bad directions, and mislabeled locations? (Via Tumblr / The Amazing iOS 6 Maps)

Well, despite that PR nightmare of a rollout, it turns out Apple has had the last laugh.

A new report in The Guardian says Apple's maps app has eclipsed Google Maps to become the go-to iOS map provider. According to data from market researcher ComScore, around 35 million iOS users accessed Apple's Maps at least once during September 2013. Compare that to the 6 million iOS users on Google Maps.

And while Google Maps still has more mobile users overall thanks to Android devices, the company's numbers skydived after the introduction of Apple Maps. AppleInsider notes Google effectively lost six months of user growth to Apple Maps over the past year.

So what's behind the Apple Maps comeback? According to Silicon Beat, Apple's home field advantage on iOS devices is a major factor in which app consumers use.

"When a user clicks on an address in an email or asks Siri for directions, the device will launch Apple Maps, no matter what other mapping applications you may have on it. ... That makes it much less convenient to use Google’s mapping application — or any other navigation app."

And it looks like most users are happy to stick with the default program, despite Apple's poor publicity. As Macgasm says, one maps app is pretty much like another.

"Sure the minutiae is different, but the getting from Point-A to Point-B is pretty much the same, and frankly stated, that's all most people want from a Maps application. The rest is superfluous." (Via Macgasm)

Apple's victory might be short-lived, though: ComScore also recorded a sharp decline in mapping software usage of any kind since April 2012.