Let’s be honest, when Apple Maps launched in 2012, it was not pretty. The app had more than its share of embarrassing issues. However, over the last three years, Apple has been working diligently to improve the service, and those efforts appear to be paying off, as a new report says Apple Maps is now used 3 times as much as its closest competitor, Google Maps.
Apple says its mapping service is now used more than three times as often as its next leading competitor on iPhones and iPads, with more than 5 billion map-related requests each week. Research firm comScore says Apple has a modest lead over Google on iPhones in the US, though comScore measures how many people use a service in a given month rather than how often.
While Apple Maps has the lead on iOS – likely due in large part to it being a default app on the device, as well as its integration into the iOS operating system, and in third-party apps – Google Maps still holds the overall usage crown, due to it being on both the iOS and Android platforms. As of October, Google Maps had more than twice as many smartphone users as Apple Maps.
Third-party apps make use of Apple Maps in increasing numbers, due to the fact it should be available on most iOS devices, with apps such as those from Starbucks and Yelp making use of Apple Maps to show locations, and give directions.
Apple’s initial maps offering was less than perfect, taking users to the wrong location, marking landmarks incorrectly, and more. “I heard so many different horror stories that I was almost hesitant to try it,” Rick Ostopowicz, an iPhone owner in Catonsville, Maryland told The Boston Globe. “I remember once, it was taking me on a road that no longer existed.”
Apple has since worked behind the scenes to steadily improve their once much maligned app. The company now gets data from over 3,000 sources for business listings, traffic and other information. When it added transit directions, the company sent teams out to map subway entrances and signs.