Apple Maps is used 3.5 times more frequently than Google Maps on iOS devices

“At the 2015 WWDC Apple stated that it receives 5 billion requests per week for its maps service,” Horace Dediu writes for Asymco. “It also said that Apple maps is used 3.5 times more frequently than ‘the next leading maps app’ …We need to assume that the ‘next leading maps app’ is Google Maps.”

“This means that the 3.5:1 split in usage results in a 78% share for Apple Maps and a 22% share for Google,” Dediu writes. “If we assume that there are about 400 million iOS users of maps, it leads to about 90 million Google Maps users on iOS and about 310 million Apple Maps users on iOS. This includes iPad.”

“So the question of where maps are going depends on the business model for maps. In a world where maps are sustained by device value, 300 million users makes it sustainable. In a world where maps are sustained by advertising, 1 billion users makes it sustainable. What else is there?” Dediu writes. “How about a world where maps are sustained by transportation services?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Maps are much improved, but the company has an awful lot of work to do to over come a horrid, self-inflicted first impression. If only someone had thought to simply say, “Label it ‘beta'” at launch, it wouldn’t have immediately dug itself a hole out of which it will never be able climb in the “minds” of far too many simpletons.

Label it “beta.” Imagine, three simple words and you’re likely still building the future instead of humming broadway show tunes.


Apple: We’re driving vehicles around the world to collect data for Apple Maps – June 10, 2015
Apple Maps will become available cross-platform via the Web, job listing reveals – June 3, 2015
Apple drops Google Maps for Apple Maps on – December 9, 2014


  1. MDN, why so negative? You need to read your own story. Apple maps is stomping Google maps on the most popular mobile smartphone. It took a while, but the momentum is on Apple’s side now.

    1. I called MDN on this a while back, but no response. Sometimes MDN falls in love with its own interpretation and clings to it despite the fact that the situation is evolving over time. Google Maps has literally led many people wrong over the years, yet it is still in widespread use. Apple Maps is not permanently tainted by its less than stellar release. Users of OS X and iOS devices will gradually gravitate towards Apple Maps, as the existing 78% share shows. And there will always be people who are ingrained Google users and will revert to Google Maps even when Apple Maps is the default app.

      I don’t think that stamping “beta” on a product is necessarily the panacea for public opinion of immature software that MDN seems to believe. Consider MDN’s perception of Google as a producer of “perpetual beta” products. That is not a reputation that Apple wants to cultivate.

      Apple is rapidly improving its mapping product – the rather overblown criticism of Apple Maps at its launch is hardly a major, permanent stain on its reputation. The haters would make fun of it, anyway – the just have a little more fuel for their Apple pyre. And potential users will continue migrating to Apple Maps as it improves. If nothing else, Apple Maps will gain users simply through inertia after it becomes the default app – a large number of people either won’t know the difference or will not take the trouble to try to change the default setting. That is one of the main reasons why IE gained so much marketshare.

    2. Let’s be honest, Apple Maps will ALWAYS be more used than Google maps, just like Internet Exploder will always eclipse usage of Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera combined.

      It’s built in.

      Also, let’s be honest, even Safari’s numbers are inflated for that same reason.

        1. IE has over 56% of browser share (based on people). Chrome is used by heavy web users, so statistics that put Chrome ahead of IE are usually counting web traffic. In other words, if you visit 100 sites / day and you’re a Chrome user and your friend uses 5 sites and is an IE user, Chrome traffic will be 20x IE in a sample size of 2.

          Chrome is typically used by the web industry, which are disproportionally heavy users of the web (obviously). Yes, more traffic comes from Chrome, but far more actual users use IE.

          So, it all depends on your perspective. This is why Apple comments at keynotes that the iPad is the most USED tablet ( on the web, at least ).

          If you’d like to know more about these methodologies:

  2. Honestly, if someone called Maps “beta” (and Siri, for that matter) I doubt anyone would use it.

    Beta is a great label for inconsequential software, like a drawing app. It stinks wherever we need reliability. Why open a map app that is a Beta, unless I’m going to test it on my couch, or to go to the store. As I grow to depend on it more, it becomes a bag of hurt.

    Maybe just put it out to 1,000 beta testers? I guess that would work. But even beta software for everyone and anyone is a grand disappointment because we’ll all try it and use it, and laugh at it, and tweet about it.

    1. My thoughts actually conflict here. Oops.

      Bottom line, if it were in Beta mode from Apple to start, we’d all still try it because we trust Apple. Then, anyone who does can make fun of the results, and now we arrive at the same problem.

      Having closed Beta testing to whatever many people, with a non disclosure clause might have been the better solution.

      1. Making fun of the results would have been greatly tempered by the fact it was called a beta.

        Siri was labelled beta, lots of results were laughed at, but it was with humour.

        Apple Maps wasn’t labelled beta, lots of results were laughed at, but with malice and legitimate frustration, made worse by the public perception that Apple was somehow the bad guy for pounding on the poor underdog Google.

        1. I am not so sure that the situation is quite as simple as you portray. Siri caught a lot of flack initially, despite being labeled a beta product. The criticisms were not all humorous.

          Rather than calling Apple Maps a beta, I believe that the right thing to do would have been to delay its release by six months or more in order to improve it and implement some wide scale, non-public testing of the app. If you believe that Apple Maps was a pig, then don’t try to dress it up with beta lipstick.

  3. Last summer I was doing a consulting job that took me to some pretty rural areas of Indiana and Ohio and Apple Maps was always spot on in getting us where we needed to be, much more accurate than the GPS in the rental car. Having said that, we live on a dead end street in North Carolina and Apple Maps shows the street continuing through to the next block.

    1. There is a street in my neighborhood where a wood fence blocks the connection to a main road. You can’t leave the residential area via that route. I broke the connection between the streets in Open Street Map and reported the problem to Apple numerous times. It finally got fixed. I’m not sure which method did the trick.

    2. Something like you describe could be the result of “bad” data coming from public entities. In the developed world especially, streets are dedicated, but not always developed. In the ’70s I made a nice living located such “streets”, getting the right of way abandoned, and selling the parcels.

      It’s possible in your example, that the land owners on either side of the “street” aren’t building, because the expense of street improvement, utilities and hookups are usually borne by the developer.

  4. Just how much does any map app need to do? I can see transit mapping for urban dwellers. For most of us though, street view and multi-location routing should cover pretty much anything else.

    Still haven’t figured out a useful need/purpose for Apple’s eye-candy, 3D/Fly-Over view.

    Perhaps it’ll come in handy when I buy a flying car, or I get exposed to radioactive sludge and can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

  5. Maps is finally not directing people seeking a drive through to the middle of Lake Michigan or the Long Island Sound, so that is progress. It still makes some really shitty routing choices that show it’s database or algorithms need work.

    Still no street view, still does not cache data for areas where cell coverage is spotty. Other areas also need work.

    This morning I went through an area where the AT&T network has poor coverage and had already plotted a route using Apple Maps. When the phone went to no service the mapping app went stupid despite still having GPS data and an already mapped route. The developers should be able to address this by allowing the app to cache routing data rather than relying so heavily upon the cloud.

    1. That’s odd. I live in NE Washington right next to north Idaho. ATT coverage can be problematic in the more rural areas. Still, after plotting a route my iPhone 5 continues to display roads/routes and my progress, even though my iPhone says “no service”.

    2. I’m not sure why you think Apple Maps doesn’t cache data because it does. I’ve used Apple Maps extensively for my travels to numerous states and have never had a problem. I’ve driven for hours at a time without cell coverage and Apple maps kept me on track the entire way. I do occasionally double check destinations with Google Maps but so far Apple maps have only been wrong once. In fact most of the time when I input a specific address, Apple Maps turn out to be much more accurate. No Apple doesn’t have street view but I’m sure that will come in time. Google had a 7 year head start…

  6. In other words, Google Maps gets you there the first time. It takes 3 reroutes for Apple Maps to get it right.

    Sorry, but the improvements to Apple Maps are slow and the interface is still much more difficult, with traffic lane guidance and other subtleties significantly behind the competition.

    How about multi-destination route planning? Forget it, Apple can’t determine how to do it. On any desktop freebie map, it’s easy.

  7. Well, it is not just the first impression Apple has to overcome. (MDN take)

    I always start with Apple maps as I do not like to work with Google. (I have stopped using them for search as DuckDuckGo is doing a great job for me).

    Unfortunately Apple Maps turns out “No result” in ca. 75% of my searches. When I then reluctantly turn to Google Maps in 90% of the cases I get immediate results. I am mainly using them in Europe and I can not speak for the US or other regions. Please, Apple, get your act together and deliver a better Maps product also for European customers.

  8. Apple Maps are easy enough, accurate enough, to satisfy 78% of iOS device users … and continues to improve. Will Apple Maps ever get 100% of iOSuser share? At its zenith neither Windows, nor IE had 100% share.

  9. Apple Maps are easy enough, accurate enough, to satisfy 78% of iOS device users … and continues to improve. Will Apple Maps ever get 100% of iOS user share? At its zenith neither Windows, nor IE, had 100% share.

    I’ll wager right now, and win, that Apple Maps achieves 90% iOS user share in the next 3 years, and those users will be happy with it.

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