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Google Maps loses out to Apple Maps among iOS users

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Google Maps loses out to Apple Maps among iOS users
Despite the embarrassing launch of Apple Maps last year, Google has been unable to take advantage of the launch of half-baked software by the Cupertino based tech titan. 10 million iOS users installed Google Maps for iOS in the first two days that it was made available in the App Store. And to this day, the app remains the 17th most popular free app on the platform. Still, Google Maps is losing mobile users when it should be adding them.

Recent stats from comScore reveal that after peaking in September 2012 at 81.1 million iOS and Android users out of a total number of 103.6 million with an iPhone or Android phone, Google Maps has since lost 23 million of them.  As of September 2013, there were 58.7 million Google Maps users while 35 million were using Apple Maps. Out of 136.7 million people using both platforms, that means that Google Maps was being used by a less than overwhelming 43% of the combined users of the two most popular mobile operating systems. The data from September shows that 79% of Android users tend to use a navigation app versus 72% for iOS users.

According to MixedPanel, there are about 6 million iOS users that rely on Google Maps for navigation, with 2 million stuck with Google Maps due to their inability to update to iOS 6. That means that among Apple iPhone users, Apple Maps has an approximate 5 to 1 advantage over its main rival. And that is down sharply from as many as 35 million iPhone users that used Google Maps in September 2012.

Which brings up the reason why Google Maps was removed from iOS 6 in the first place. Apple claims that Google backed off on a promise to share its turn-by-turn navigation technology with Apple, which was one of the reasons why it started to develop Apple Maps. Certainly Apple Maps huge lead among iOS users has to do with the fact that it is the default navigation app on iOS 6 and iOS7.

Map data is important to both Apple and Google. Google uses it to provide relevant location based advertising while Apple uses it mainly for traffic forecasts for drivers. At this point, when it comes to money, it is more important for Google to have new users installing its navigation app. And considering that it has been losing iPhone users, Google has failed to take advantage of a major Apple failure to drive more people to its mapping service.

Google Maps starts to lose users as iOS 6 is rolled out in 2012

Google Maps starts to lose users as iOS 6 is rolled out in 2012

source: Guardian via MobileBurn

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posted on 11 Nov 2013, 17:08 15

1. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

fanboys will stick to their bandwagons maps, simple as that

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 17:08 2

2. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

no matter how bad ios maps is without even getting fanboyish

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 17:17 3

5. Sauce (unregistered)

I wish I could stick with Google Maps, but recent usage with G Maps has gotten me to the wrong destination twice in the previous month. Not a big deal for me anyway but I prefer Waze over G Maps and Apple Maps. Better interface and features (for me personally obviously).

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 17:26 2

10. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

What I like about Google Maps (and I'm sure other apps have this too) is how easy they make it to report the wrong location, which has happened to me twice or three times the entire time I've used the service.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 18:13 19

23. Finalflash (Posts: 3430; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)

I don't think they have a choice. Even if people want to use Google maps on iOS, it automatically defaults to Apple maps. How many times will you go and manually put an address you simply clicked on online into google maps when it opens up automatically in Apple maps. It will get irritating and most people will just go for the lazy route even if it is worse. It is their way of monopolizing and they won't be stopped since they are currently king of the US legal system (with veto powers too).

Still, it doesn't hurt to have a bit of competition in every space. The making of Apple maps definitely got Google off their ___ and back to work making maps better in most regards. Forcing people to do things usually backfires on the bully eventually though and Apple is in line to get put in their place soon enough.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:17

47. jromy (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Feb 2013)

they're adding a lot of Waze features to Google maps, i've never used Apple Maps but the other two combined should do a great job :)

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 20:16 9

62. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

True, iOS will not allow Google Maps to be set as default. And, since iOS doesn't offer App integration, it's Apple Mapless all the way. No wonder my little four-legged fluffy friends are always lost.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:12 3

74. Chaseism (Posts: 82; Member since: 08 May 2013)

I'm not sure I agree with you on this one. You all know how much I love Apple, but to be honest, I buried Apple Maps with a bunch of other apps I didn't use and put Google Maps on the front page of my iPhone. Apple Maps just didn't work and didn't have the search capabilities of Google Maps. Hell...Apple Maps couldn't find anything that wasn't on Yelp.

But Apple worked to actually fix the problems...they put a LOT of work into fixing the problems. I decided to give them a try again earlier this summer and I have to say they deserve credit for righting the wrong. The search still isn't quite as good as Google Maps, but Apple has a very respectable mapping program that works incredibly well.

I don't think this is fanboyism and I don't think this is laziness. Apple Maps had the reputation of just getting things wrong and that's not something nerds or the general public forget very easily. Especially when it's just as easy to search in Google Maps. I think most folks had the same reaction I did. Downloaded Google Maps, used it for a long while, decided to give Apple a try, and were surprised by the quality. I still use Google Maps when I need to search for something without an address. But Apple Maps is back on the front screen because it finally works.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 22:30

77. Sauce (unregistered)

Oh that is awesome! I was unaware of this! Should make things better. Thanks for the intel :)

posted on 12 Nov 2013, 15:16

90. designerfx (Posts: 76; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)

it's the default app (and forced), so of course it's going to show use. It doesn't mean actual use, just loading by default.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 17:11 20

3. jjjsong (Posts: 75; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)

I think a lot of iphone users just use the stock/pre-installed map app since they probably don't even know there are any other map apps available.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 18:09 1

21. NexusPhan (Posts: 632; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)

My mom on her iPhone didn't know what the app store was. I'm not sure she'll every use any map app on her phone anyway.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 18:22 5

26. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

That is the same reason people go to Android... they don't know that there is an OS that is ready to use out fo the box.. no rooting require to work...

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 18:38 11

34. milesboy5 (Posts: 179; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)

Is that why apple users jailbreak there phones? Cmon act like there isn't something out there for apple users to modify the phone.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 18:40 10

36. JC557 (Posts: 1765; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)

Let's see... when I got my HTC Droid Incredible I didn't have to root anything as most of the programs I used were pretty much installed on the phone.

Same went for the Thunderbolt, Rezound, Samsung Droid Charge, Motorola Droid Bionic and Droid Razr M.

All those phones worked out of the box for me and everyone else in the family that got an Android and many weren't even technically proficient. Even still, if you are in your teens and 20s and not technically proficient then you are one lazy bastard.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 18:44 9

40. JonBjSig (Posts: 176; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

You've never needed root for an Android device to work.
Root access just lets you do a few more things most people wouldn't be interested in.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 18:47 6

41. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Which do you consider more usable out of the box, a phone that you have to have manually backed up previously (a several minute process) and then manually restore in order to get your contacts, wallpaper, and apps back on it, or a phone that automatically loads all of that for you as soon as you sign into your Google account?

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:05 7

44. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4707; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

So android requires rooting to work? I did not know that. I've never rooted any of the 6 android phones I've owned. So how was I able to use them then?

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:10 5

45. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

"That is the same reason people go to Android... they don't know that there is an OS that is ready to use out of the box.. no rooting require to work..."

Seriously? Rooting required to work? I see you are no different than the rest of the Apple fanatics. And like it was mentioned....please explain than why there are millions of iPhone users that jailbreak...

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:19 6

49. GeekMovement (unregistered)

I don't root my android phones and I still love it.. I don't get what you're sayin.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:24 1

52. bvalde09 (Posts: 186; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

First if all long time no see you gallitoking hope you are doing good. I was a former apple iphone user and it was very smooth there were some stuff that I didnt like about the phone therefore required me to jailbreak the device. I own an adroid and I have found no reason for me to grant "Su" or "root" access to my phone. My entire family own Iphone and I dont since IOS 7 everything has a lag issue. I used to love IOS smooth, but since IOS 7.0 eveything change and not for the better

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:30 5

53. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

they jailbreak to get more from the iphone but without it the iphone works wonderfully... an Android phone rely on the rooting that's why there is a developers community to help you gets updates that Android will not... my iphone is not jailbroken cannot say the same about your Android

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:32 2

55. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

my iphone is not jailbroken and it works flawlessly.. so I will only speak to non rooted Android phones.. don't be hypocrites

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:33 2

56. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

then you are the exception ..good for you

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 19:41 2

58. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

is good that you made the switch.. you have the freedom to go to what OS is best for YOU, I don't have a problem with people making a choice but fandroids can't stand when people don not choose Android...

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 20:09 6

60. JC557 (Posts: 1765; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)

How the hell is that the exception? Majority of people who use Android phones do so without modding or rooting. It's only those who like to tinker that mod or root their phones. It's the same with iPhone users that Jailbreak.

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 20:23 5

63. HouTexan (Posts: 444; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)

He's the exception? Lmao! The general public doesn't even know what rooting is!

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 20:43 3

64. joey_sfb (Posts: 6453; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Most fandroids i know also have iOS devices. That why we know what we are commenting.

Your comment reveal to me that you don't know much about Android which you just blindly hate or dislike,

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 20:51 1

66. gallitoking (Posts: 4721; Member since: 17 May 2011)

and thats why the return rate for Androids is high and there is more people swtiching from Android to iOS then iOS to Android.. look it up... is out there...

posted on 11 Nov 2013, 20:54 8

67. PBXtech (Posts: 1032; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)

Epic fail, that was terrible. You've had some decent posts but to imply that Android doesn't work out of the box is ludicrous. Android didn't reach 80+% world market if it didn't work out of the box.

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