It’s hard to think of too many Apple-related bombs bigger than Apple Maps, the disastrous mapping service introduced in 2012, which resulted in widespread ridicule, at least one major executive leaving the company, and Tim Cook himself recommending that customers use rival services.
But just a few years later a new report suggests that Apple Maps is used “three times as often” as Google Maps on iOS devices, with “more than five billion map-related requests each week.”
How’s that for a turnaround?
The Associated Press report notes that Apple now gets data from more than 3,000 sources for business listings, traffic and other information. It also points out that Apple is steadily expanding its mapping of subway entrances and signs.
“That results in more precise walking directions, as stations can stretch for blocks and the center point used by some services isn’t necessarily the closest. Apple also started sending out vehicles with sensors to map roads, similar to Google’s longstanding practice.”
The report even includes words of praise from former Google employees such as Alex Mackenzie-Torres, an ex-Google Maps manager who now works for transit app Moovit:
“They really did a great job in a short amount of time. Apple has something that few companies have — simplicity in design mixed with high doses of pragmatism and practicality.”
Personally, I’m in no way surprised that Apple Maps is so thoroughly dominating Google Maps on iPads and iPhones. If I’m honest, I’m amazed that it’s only used 3x as much as Google’s service. I’ve found Apple Maps to be more than acceptable as a service, and despite having both Google’s and Apple’s map apps on my iPhone, I plump for Apple’s more often than not.
On top of this, the fact that it comes pre-installed on devices gives it an obvious advantage — particularly when you’re dealing with less tech-savvy users.
Do you think Apple has finally shorn its dodgy maps reputation here in 2015? Which map app do you use? And are you surprised at Apple’s dominance in this area? Leave your comments below.