Google Maps is the most popular navigation app by a wide margin

“Any smartphone owner who’s ever has been lost can attest to the usefulness of navigation apps, such as Google Maps and Apple Maps,” Riley Panko reports for The Manifest. “Take a wrong turn? If you have a navigation app, you no longer need to pull out an unwieldy paper map or drive around aimlessly until you find the right route. Navigations apps instantly guide you on the correct path to your destination.”

“The Manifest surveyed more than 500 smartphone owners to understand how people are relying on technology more to get from point A to B,” Panko reports. “Over three-fourths (77%) of smartphone owners regularly use navigation apps. Google Maps (67%) is the most popular navigation app by a wide margin. It is the preferred navigation app for nearly 6x more people compared to the second-most popular app Waze (12%) [Apple Maps was third at 11%].”

“The survey includes responses from 511 smartphone owners who use at least three different apps daily,” Panko reports. “The respondents were primarily female (72%). Age was split among respondents: 18 to 24 years old (15%), 25 to 34 (28%), 35 to 44 (21%), 45 to 54 (18%), 55 to 64 (12%), and 65 and over (5%).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s the data, stupid.

Hence the reason Apple has been working for years now on dramatically improving their dataset by generating their own detailed collection instead of relying on spotty data from third parties.

We have a feeling that in the very near future Google Maps has only one way to go in terms of usage: Down.

Why Apple is giving Maps the big reboot – July 3, 2018
Apple granted patent for rendering road signs during navigation – June 30, 2018
TomTom shares fall after report Apple is building own Maps database on – June 29, 2018
Questions about Apple’s new Maps, answered – June 29, 2018
Apple has been rebuilding Maps from the ground up for years and it’s due to launch very soon – June 29, 2018


  1. Too bad Google Maps can’t find my house. Submitted feedback different ways to Google and they still won’t fix the problem. Been going on since January 2018. They changed something and goes to a completely different address when searching for my address in or using Google Maps. Goes to another street and zip code entirely.

    1. Not so much – just yesterday I had booked a plumber to do some renovation work, and Google Maps took him an hour in the wrong direction. Much more than a country mile…

      Neither app is close to perfect, but I constantly find Apple Maps better for getting to where I want to go, both locally and when traveling internationally. And though Google’s data is much better, it’s also often years out of date.

  2. If I recall correctly, Spotify WAS the most popular music steaming service, ‘by a wide margin’, at one time also, yes? 😜😜😜😜😜
    Research in motion (RIMM), presently BlackBerry (BBBY), WAS, at one time, the most popular smartphone on the market, yes? 😜😜😜😜😜

  3. I find using Google maps on an iPhone and annoying and frustrating experience.. To me, its not intuitive at all. I’ll stick with Apple Map’s, which has generally gotten me anywhere I need to go.

    1. Yeah street view is good, but too often very outdated, and when traveling Apple’s flyover is often much more useful. I want an app that has the best of both – perhaps that will be Apple’s soon to be released complete redesign?

      1. I find a street level view is better and far more practical, especially when in a new city. I’ve found it very helpful in locating someplace when I know what it looks beforehand. Particularly when shopping.

        Flyover was interesting visually, but I quickly lost interest as it appears to have no practical use. I would sincerely like to know just how it is useful for anything practical.

      2. I said above that I found it hard to believe your story about a plumber being taken an hour in the wrong way when he used Google Maps – before reading this latest post of yours. Now I know that I cannot believe it.

        It is one thing to say that Apple’s products are good. It is quite another to tell bald lies that street view is “often very outdated” – and even worse to say that flyover is “often much more useful”. Those two statements are, frankly, out of reality.

        No-one, least of all Apple, is helped by untrue puffery and false praise of their services. The purpose of Apple is to make great products. Not adequate ones. Lauding adequate ones is hopeless.

  4. How many people surveyed used Android and how many used an iPhone? If the numbers reflect market share – or anything remotely like it – then OF COURSE Google is the leader. Pointless.

  5. The survey is skewed as they looked at “smartphone users” not iPhone users.
    Apple maps is available only on iPhones. Now it they surveyed iPhone users, would Apple maps come out on top the way Safari comes out on top among Mac users?

    1. Good question. Since the basis was general “smartphone users” not specifically “iphone users” it may have been better to ‘narrow’ the field to mapping Apps available on both Android and iOS. Following up they could also show a subset of the data restricted to only iOS users which includes Apple Maps in the lineup compared.

    2. This is very similar to the “Starbucks Pay is the most used payment method in Starbucks” story. This one is “Google Maps is the most used mapping service on Android”. Not surprising in the least.

  6. I used to have all three on my iPhone but now I only use Apple Maps. There may be some regional differences between the two but I find Apple Maps much easier to use and navigate. When I used Google Maps, I found myself tapping on parts of the screen expecting certain behaviors that did not occur. I supposed I could have gotten used to it over time but I thought the UX needed improvement.

    In that regard, Apple Maps is way ahead. I believe in iOS 12 it will take another significant jump forward in terms of data.

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