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Google Maps for iOS doesn't matter to most iPhone users

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday November 11, 2013.

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Google Maps for iOS seemed like an oasis for iPhone owners sick of being sent in the wrong direction and seeing inaccurate results in Apple Maps. Google Maps was downloaded more than 10 million times in its first two days of availability, and it remains the 17th most popular free app in the App Store. So why isn't it more popular?

The Guardian highlights a comScore report that reveals that Apple Maps has a more than a 5-to-1 level of usage among iOS users in the United States. While about 6 million iOS users turn to Google Maps at least once a month, 35 million users look to Apple Maps. Despite the growing pains of Apple Maps, which caused some executives to be fired and Apple's CEO to issue an embarrassing apology, iPhone users appear to have forgiven Apple enough to continue using the default maps rather than seek Google?s solution.

Usage of Google Maps has dropped significantly since it first launched. comScore Analyst Andrew Lipsman told the Telegraph:

"For the average user, even if they have the Google Maps app, they don't use it a lot. In a narrow window [after the iOS app download became available] I'm sure there was a ton of activity, but only for a short period."

The reason is that "all roads lead to Apple's maps," according to Ben Wood of CCS Insight. As the default service provider, Apple has ingrained itself in a way that doesn't permit any other app to ingrain itself in users' common activities. If someone searches for an address in Safari or receives one in a message, clicking on the address will open in Apple Maps by default. Opening in Google requires extra effort that the majority of consumers do not bother to take.

One of the primary reasons for maintaining Google Maps is more reliable map data and the ability to get transit directions in many places. However, those advantages may erode as Apple continues to beef up its own map performance. Apple has acquired several companies to help address the shortcomings of its Maps application, and the majority of Apple users have already chosen to overlook those faults. More improvement in Maps could lead to even more iOS users being satisfied with the default solution.

source: The Guardian

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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