Apple Maps puts the hurt on Google Maps

“Apple’s Maps have turned out to be a hit with iPhone and iPad users in the US – despite the roasting that they were given when they first appeared in September 2012,” Charles Arthur reports for The Guardian. “But Google – which was kicked off the iPhone after it refused to give Apple access to its voice-driven turn-by-turn map navigation – has lost nearly 23m mobile users in the US as a result.”

“That is a huge fall against the 81m Google Maps mobile users it had there at its peak in September last year, according to ComScore, a market research company, which produced the figures from regular polls of thousand of users,” Arthur reports. “The introduction of Apple’s own maps with its iOS 6 software in September 2012 caused a furor… But a year on, a total of 35m iPhone owners in the US used Apple’s maps during September 2013, according to ComScore, compared to a total of 58.7m Google Maps across the iPhone and Android. Of those, about 6m used Google Maps on the iPhone, according to calculations by the Guardian based on figures from ComScore. That includes 2m iPhone users who have not or cannot upgrade to iOS 6, according to data from MixPanel.”

“That suggests Google’s efforts to offer a stand-alone app since December have gained little traction with iPhone users,” Arthur reports. “‘Google has lost access to a very, very important data channel in the North American market,” commented Ben Wood, mobile analyst for CCS Insight, a research company based in London. ‘But Apple was adamant that it wasn’t going to give up on doing its own maps, even when it had problems. This is a war of attrition.’ European and other regional data for maps use is not available, but is expected to mirror that found in the US.”

“According to ComScore, in September 2012 – just ahead of the introduction of Apple Maps – there were a total of 81.1m users of Google Maps, out of a total of 103.6m iPhones and Android phones users,” Arthur reports. “But a year later, its smartphone data says that the total number of Google Maps users is much lower, at 43% of iPhone and Android users – or 58.7m, despite the user base growing to 136.7m.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on August 8, 2011:

Google will rue the day they decided to get greedy by working against Apple instead of with them.


    1. It is now time to make another search engine the default on iOS 7. Most users will not change the default and the amount of traffic that Google receives will fall. The dark side of the force will be defeated.

  1. I live in Bay Area in California. Apple Maps has always shown me perfectly accurate result right from Day 1. It considers traffic information and proposes the best route. This is a great app.

    1. Apple Maps is the default option. If Apple permitted users equal access to Apple Maps and Google Maps then one could make a direct comparison of user preference. Because Apple has excluded Google Maps from OS X and iOS 7 the statistics are biased and confounded.

            1. You may be right. I’ve noticed Americans’ stubborn refusal to employ exponential notation for numbered streets, and also their overuse of “Main Street,” “Broadway,” and especially “Frontage Road.”

      1. Showing the speed limit of the current stretch of road is an excellent feature. A recent rental car in Europe had it. I never knew what I was missing until I used it. Very practical. Do modern car nav systems in the USA do this — show the road speed limit?

    1. Odd, Apple maps used to put the exit number on the navigation (e.g. “take exit 34A…” but I just noticed today that it doesn’t anymore. I like the exit numbers – helps me know how far I have left to go without looking at the screen.

  2. When the shitstorm came over Apple Maps, people laughed at my conclusion that Google had just lost 100M users with the iOS 6 introduction. Okay, I hadn’t considered that many iPhone users don’t use any maps, but the tendency was right.
    Meanwhile, the Mavericks+iPhone Maps solution works great for me…

  3. The manufactured outrage about Apple Maps was hyped far beyond it’s significance. The end result is that when new customers try Apple Maps, they are expecting something rather poor, but discovering that it’s really great.

    1. Hyped… Dude just the mere mention of it not completing simple tasks like public trans info is not hyped. When Google Maps first came out it didn’t have public trans info, but over the years it’s become common place and is expected as a basic feature of any maps app wanting to compete. And Apple Mapps suggesting you use a different maps app just to give you public trans directions is an admittion that they are aware it is lacking and are attempting to make up for it. I can see how a person who lives in a smaller area and mostly drives everywhere would think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but when in a city of millions and using public trans it’s useless.

  4. I liked Maps from the beginning and it is getting better all the time. I was looking at London using Flyover with my daughter, and it was truly impressive. However, Apple has a lot yet to do with search. This weekend, Maps couldn’t locate by name the church I was standing in front of.

      1. Should be location aware, and at least know what city I’m in. When it couldn’t find the church, it strangely gave me other affiliate churches scattered over at least five states.

        1. It does know what city you’re in, but it can’t assume you mean to search in that city. How would it know? You (and others) make these observations as if you’ve never seen Google Maps do strange things.

          A search engine is only as good as the underlying database(s), and the way a user types a search query can have a profound impact on the search results. Unfortunately, computers can’t read our minds to always know what we want. Heuristics helps, but is inherently imperfect.

          Google Maps is good. Not perfect, but good. Apple Maps is getting good. Not perfect, but good.

  5. If Apple would turn Siri into a full blown search engine already, the results would be the same. The hurt won’t come from Apple storming the search market but rather stealing those lucrative iOS and Mac ecosystem users away from the Google universe. Siri wouldn’t have the highest market share, but it would be another profit generator while weakening a nemesis. What more could you ask for?

    Make it happen, Tim.

  6. Okay, this is hella misleading. I’m not sure where these are really coming from or if they take into account the download of a Google Map app vs an app that uses Google Maps as well, because there are many. And ironically, which this article fails to mention is that Apple Maps redirects to 3rd party apps that use mostly Google Maps and it’s data when routing for public transit directions. I have been with an iPhone since 2007 and honestly I do not know a single person who uses Apple Maps solely, as in they use Apple Maps as well as another map app that gives the features it lacks, case in point public transit data. Until Apple Maps is able to gain public transit directions on its own, it is nearly or completely useless. I live in downtown Boston and rely on a map app daily. I want that app to be Apple Maps, so incredibly much, but it cannot help, I hope soon that changes.

    1. Keep in mind where you live vs me and many others. In Columbus there is no public transit other than taxies at the airport. I drive to Cleveland and many other destinations around the state. No public transit anywhere, so driving a car is the only way.

      For me, Apple Maps if great. I also use the Tom Tom App because of their database on “what is the fastest route?” that continually gets updated by other users.

      My main point here is not everybody lives in a big city with subways. I do agree, once Apple has that added in, then the hurt will really be put on.

  7. I want to agree. I do. Apple Maps has problems locating streets that are blocks away from me.

    “Directions to Something Street.”
    “I found Something Street. It’s pretty far away from you.”

    Then, instead of getting the one a few blocks away, it’s a few states away. What algorithm (or data) are they using?

    I always use Apple Maps *first*, but I inevitably need to switch to Google Maps a lot of the time.

    1. I usually press the arrow that locates my location in Maps first. Then search for a particular street or business, works perfectly 99.9% of the time…. Good enuf and gettin better.

      1. Perhaps, but then Siri is just more of a gimmick, isn’t. People can vote me down for bashing Maps, but it just isn’t Apple’s best work. And… anyone who reads my TakeToTask blog knows I’m an Apple “fanboy” through and through.

        1. Are you in a big city or smaller one for this example?

          I used to live in Columbus. The city online mapping system was great, satellite or arial photos in color. I then moved one county out in the country. Their online maps were ancient B/W photos that were missing newer roads. Is that Apple’s fault? No, it’s a county map room that might not have the money to update their own maps.

          When Google first rolled their map feature out, they did not have every street done in 1 year.

          It took them years.

          1. I am in a big city, though some of my driving is in the immediate suburbs (also big). When I need a moment’s notice from Siri to tell me where a street is, I am always let down.

            For instance — I need Redmond St. Siri finds Redmond St. somewhere in California. So I say “Redmond St. in Redmond, VA.” THEN it finds it. What causes Maps not to find the Redmond St. while driving in Redmond unless I specifically say in Redmond, but it will find it elsewhere? No matter how you spin it, that’s f’d up. I HATE having to use Google Maps, but it saves me in those situations almost every time (and even they aren’t always accurate, but better).

      1. I have both reported errors and provided screen shots to them (through the feedback method *and* to Tim Cook’s email). Some of this was last year. Look, I’m an Apple guy all the way, but Maps just isn’t “there” yet.

        1. I agree, Maps isn’t there yet. We’re in a city of 250,000 in Canada, and not high on Apple’s priority list. Google updated a major road completion within 7 days. It’s now been 2 months and Apple Maps is still wrong, despite a few people I know including me reporting it. Also, many business listing and locations downtown are wrong, and I’ve reported them as well, with no change.

          My assessment is this: Apple needs to crowd source more info from alternate / more places than Yelp in Canada. At least in my city, no one uses Yelp, and most of the business info is wrong. Not Apple/Yelp’s fault, but just how it is.

          Whereas it’s a no brained for a web conscious business to maintain its Google Local info, it seems that even login into Yelp to update a listing, the info doesn’t propagate to Apple servers quickly. Etc etc…. so many little things.

          Apple Maps isn’t there yet.

          1. Great point. We had a new Bypass built last year. Apple Maps thought I was driving on grass/dirt/whatever and kept telling me to turn. Google Maps and Waze (before Google bought them) both had the new Bypass. I don’t know if Apple Maps has it now, but I wouldn’t bet any money on it.

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