Apple Maps is now reportedly handling three times as many navigation queries as Google Maps on iOS.
Head back to late September 2012 in your mind. Apple Maps is the punchline to many a tech-related joke. Apple’s new map app has launched to widespread derision, as it appears to have far more bugs than features. Businesses, landmarks, roads, and whole towns are missing from this crucial navigation tool.
Tim Cook is forced to apologise for the bungled launch of Apple Maps. He even recommends Google Maps as an alternative until the company can get its act together.
Fast forward to today, a little over three years on from that nadir, and Apple is confidently claiming that Apple Maps is trashing Google Maps on iOS.
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After a prolonged spell of talent acquisition, bug fixing, performance improvements, and feature implementation, Apple Maps is now a solid navigation option for iPhone users.
According to a new Associated Press report, “Apple says its mapping service is now used more than three times as often as its next leading competitor on iPhones and iPads, with more than 5 billion map-related requests each week.”
You don’t need to guess who that “leading competitor” might be.
It’s worth pointing out that independent research firm comScore claims that the lead is only a modest one, but that difference could be down to the metric they use (how many people use a service in a given month rather than how often).
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Of course, with iOS apps it’s always the case that the biggest advantage over third party alternatives is in-built home bias. Follow a navigation links from Siri or Mail, and there’s only one app that’s ever going to open.
Also, if you take a wider view and incorporate Android figures, Google Maps still has a clear lead. The report claims that Google Maps had more than twice as many smartphone users as Apple Maps in October. That’s natural, as Apple Maps isn’t available on Android, and there are more Android users out there than iPhone users.
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