Few seem to heed Tim Cook’s mapping app suggestions

“But less than a week after Tim Cook suggested that iPhone owners unhappy with the new Apple Maps application try out its competitors, few appear to have gotten any long-term boost in traffic,” Casey Newton reports for CNET.

“Neither Bing and Waze, both recommended by Cook, has risen the top of the charts in the wake of his widely read letter,” Newton reports. “After an initial spike in downloads, both have fallen precipitously… It’s harder to assess traffic to the other two apps. Cook suggested users try out the Web apps for map products from Nokia and Google, where usage is harder to track. It’s possible both companies are seeing a sharp rise in traffic via mobile Safari.”

Newton reports, “Strangely enough, the response to Cook’s letter appears to offer comfort to Apple. Few are saying its Maps app is great — but judging by their downloading patterns, they may be finding it good enough.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

32 Comments

    1. Here’s another cool statistic as reported by a company called Onava (a company that makes an app that monitors cellular data usage) is that the old Google Maps was a data hog and the new Apple Maps uses 80% LESS data to do the same thing. Not to mention zooming in, etc. is 7X faster. So embrace and enjoy Apple Maps saving you data and time ultimately as it steadily improves.

      1. Exactly. Google could have remained the default on the iPhone but chose to snub Apple in favor of Android. It will take some time but they will be eating Apples dust as road kill, just wait and watch.

  1. Don’t anyone kid themselves. The map app has serious flaws. It’s gonna take time to fix it. Most people, like me, are willing to stick it out.

    But I do have Waze, as an emergency backup. lol.

    1. There do seem to be serious flaws, but there is some question how often these are experienced in normal use. The lack of traffic on the suggested apps is consistent with that.

  2. I’m wondering if this was a sneaky Apple tactic.

    When critics complain about Apple software or hardware, they usually sing another tune once they see how the competition operates. Apple’s Map database needs more feedback, but they may have been confident that the software interface looked good compared to others, and this was a way to encourage users to find that out for themselves.

      1. -Hit the nail on the head.
        Bloggers claimed people had problems with reception.
        Apple offers money back, few if any return them
        Bloggers claimed antenna-gate was a major issue
        Apple offers money back, few if any return them
        Bloggers claim many are unhappy with maps
        Apple suggests alternative map/navigation apps
        Few if any download them

        Google & samesung are known to pay directly (and indirectly) for blogger “astroturfing” FUD against competitors.I wonder if there is a common thread to this…
        Can’t say, for sure, as I have no direct evidence, but it does seem curious doesn’t it?

  3. Again, the issue is better framed as an OS one. A core feature (Maps) of iOS 6 is flawed, especially when compared with the equivalent feature in iOS 5. Those who need this feature should not and have not upgraded to iOS 6 or purchased iPhone 5.

    Supposing that people who pre-ordered iPhone 5 didn’t realize their mistake, let’s take them out of the equation. So I’d like to see the number of people who purchased iPhone 5 AFTER the Maps problem became evident, and the number of people who upgraded to iOS 6 **AND HAVE NOT SINCE RESTORED iOS 5** on their iPhone 3-4s.

    iOS 6 is a deal-breaker for a lot of people.

    1. And by “a lot of people” you mean “a very few people who geek-out on this stuff”.

      The vast, vast majority don’t know that Google is the default search, which maps app comes with the phone, how their contacts are stored, or what an OS is — and they don’t care.

      It’s why a number if my friends thought the latest version of Android looked great, then went out and bought phones with an older version if the OS. Most people just don’t think about this stuff.

      1. No, I absolutely do not. I mean “anyone who relies on mass transit directions.”

        These aren’t academic/technical differences in methodology.. even the impaired location accuracy is swallowable by many on the promise that it will be improved. I’m talking about the lack of a significant core functionality.

        Usefulness is reduced by the lack of a Street View-esque function and the inability to accurately locate things. Functionality is removed by not integrating transit.

        Don’t get me wrong — I am interested in upgrading to the new OS, but cannot do so until it won’t mean a loss of a feature I use every single day, and a very large number of people in densely-populated urban areas have this same prohibition.

        1. IF you use transit every single day and you need to use a transit map every on a phone ‘every single day’ day, you must have a serious short-term memory issue.
          The majority of people use the same route by car, by train, by foot, by bicycle every day, so why would they NEED a transit app? The overwhelming majority of Maps users are in CARS.
          Apple Maps proves to be better than the Google version, has turn-by-turn, and uses approximately 80% LESS data.

          I think, to put it bluntly, that you are full of shit.

    2. I waited two days to download 6 I was on a business trip in Philly and decided – what the heck…
      Would never go back, I found the walking maps so much faster the public transport locations in the correct place and the map could keep pace with even the trains.
      On returning I used the new maps to find places in Colorado Springs and decided to look for obscure ethnic food offerings – vector maps worked great in the car, fast and accurate and FAR, FAR, more usable than the clunky past version that two months ago got me lost in Taos NM of all places! The g-maps version likes to make decisions for you based on ??? and we could not find our hotel and had to call to get directions – good riddance to old tech and hello to VECTOR maps, this may well be the “iPhone” to maps as the iPhone was to mobile computers.

      NO mistake here this is better, faster, and improved technology at the start, I have not found it wanting and our upgrades will be available soon and the iPhone 5 is on the list for both adults on the family plan!

  4. The differences between what has been available for the past five years (with Google’s content) and what is there today have been widely reported. For me, the following are relevant:

    1. Dearth of accurate and easily findable places (Google’s years of search make it good at finding places even if you butcher spelling)
    2. The massive black hole in the map that is the country of Serbia; other than major highways, there is nothing at all. Google has every single tiny little street in every city and town, large and small, and even most villages.

    Now, the No. 1 is not negligible; I currently live in NYC, and even there, it is difficult to find places that are there, not to mention that many simple aren’t on the map yet. If this is the case in NYC, it can’t be much better in smaller towns in US, let alone elsewhere around the planet.

    I’ll stick it out without downloading competitors (for now), as I don’t use maps on the iPad that often. As most others here, I sincerely hope Apple will throw money, engineers and focus on getting this one updated quickly.

    Fundamentally, though, this app is so much better than Google’s, the main difference being the vectorised graphics. This cannot be understated; it is the single most revolutionary shift in mapping software for mobile platforms. It is frugal on data, is is incredibly smooth and fast, it is incredibly flexible (nothing is fixed in pixels, so it can be rendered on any screen resolution, in any size, without artificial resizing of raster images, not to mention buggy tile downloads).

  5. The images of roads seem to be excellent. The only problem that I have found is navigating to a named place rather than a defined geographical location. These database issues should be resolved quite quickly if users report issues when they encounter them.

    The maps seem to be accurate, it’s the places of interest that are occasionally wrong. However that has always been the case with Google maps and my satellite navigation devices too. I’ve certainly discovered more significant errors with my TomTom than with iOS 6’s Maps, but I don’t recall howls of protest about TomTom ( nor about the fact that they made it very difficult indeed for users to replace the batteries in certain models ).

  6. I was an early adopter of Waze. It was a mess when it first came out… misnamed streets, missing streets, streets that didn’t exist, addresses in the wrong place, some times off by miles (and I notice some of those address errors are exactly the same on the current Apple Maps), and the weirdest error, town names and borders showing up in the middle of nowhere. But virtually all of these have been corrected in about a year, and very peculiar and circuitous routes supposed to be the “quickest” way. So if Waze can make such great strides in a relatively short time with much more limited financial resouces, Apple SHOULD be able to do at least as well, if not better. So we shall see how it goes and hope that it goes well.

  7. Touting maps as the reason I use the iPhone or would be disappointed if maps didn’t work well is ignoring the fact that maps are NOT that important to me.

    May well be a majority of other iPhone users feel the same way.

    1. There you go dude….I would bet that 90% of IOS users could care less about maps… I never even tried it before all the ruckus …..the few addresses I tried worked fine, so I just shrugged and intoned the rest of this noise….I live in Mexico so I REALLY was surprised at the accuracy….Cook is a genius… Until he told us to check out alternatives I had not even checked out Apple Maps…. Once I did I did not even bother with the alternates…why would I it worked for me.

  8. Newton reports, “Strangely enough, the response to Cook’s letter appears to offer comfort to Apple. Few are saying its Maps app is great — but judging by their downloading patterns, they may be finding it good enough.”

    NO – the other apps are crappier that Apple’s App and that is not the same as ‘is as good as what we had removed by iOS6’

  9. There are other alternatives.
    AT&T offers a mapping app along with any number of pad apps. For a Google Street View a developer has, in free and paid- an App that gives you back Google live street view.
    Live Street View (99₵/€0.79)
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/live-street-view/id486967765?mt=8
    Free Version
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/live-street-view-free/id493861593?mt=8

    For Transit , many systems have apps
    Portland
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdx-bus-max-streetcar-and-wes/id289814055?mt=8
    Stuttgart
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vvs-mobil/id408372353?mt=8
    Canada specific
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/transit-360/id350572383?mt=8
    US specific
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/find-transportation/id408022429?mt=8
    Europe
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/find-europe-transportation/id416457404?mt=8

  10. Because it is good enough. It isn’t perfect but it is useful enough to get the job done. And like Apple said the more we use it the better they can fix it. So the next revision should be way better.

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