back to article Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app

Less than a day after its release, Google's Maps app has become the most popular download in the iTunes store. On Thursday, Google got its mapping app cleared, three months after being unceremoniously dumped by Cupertino in iOS 6. Apple thought that it could do a better mapping system than Google, and presumably saw no reason to …

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Happy

How humiliating

Still, the user experience is Apples utmost concern.

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Re: How humiliating

I like the fact that no one can find me.

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Holmes

Re: How humiliating

But just how humiliating? Now if Apple have patented schadenfreude...

</smug-areshole>

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Anonymous Coward

My plumber has an iPhone

He thinks it's really cool.

I went with something less shiny.

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Angel

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

iphone user at work today, looking for her next phone... gave her my S3 to play with.

Her new S3 is being delivered on Monday.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

Isn't that the point? the iPhone brought the smartphone to the masses. Before then there were a toy for geeks. The success of Android is riding on the back of that "reimagining" of what the smartphone should be.

Something perfectly illustrated here:

http://images.pcworld.com/images/article/2012/04/android_before_after_iphone-11352342.jpg

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Thumb Up

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

All the chavs down the road have them. They went to payday loans to get the money for them.. They also have really nice union jack covers for them too..

I laugh when people think iPhone or iPad is some kind of status symbol that shows you have made it in life, when every chav has one...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

He probably earns more than you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

She probably had something like a 4 year old 3GS so comparing to a S3 is unfair. A colleague of mine bought a Samsung - went faulty after about 6 weeks and had to go back to Samsung for repair (3 weeks). He went and bought an iPhone.

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Re: My plumber has an iPhone

the iPhone brought the smartphone to the masses

By costing £650?

Apple doesn't do "unwashed masses", mate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

iPhone starts at £529 SIM free not £650. Galaxy S3 is about £400 so hardly cheap either and the difference is hardly significant if the iPhone holds its value better (as it seems to) or lasts longer (as it seems to).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

Galaxy S3 is £409 SIM free from Amazon right now - so it's £120 cheaper but on a 24 month contract that;s only £5 a month so suspect people will choose based on which they prefer / which is better made / which has more apps etc.

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Re: My plumber has an iPhone

"the iPhone brought the smartphone to the masses"

False - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone#Historical_sales_figures

"Before then there were a toy for geeks."

The early iphone was a toy for geeks too. And the first iphone wasn't a smartphone anyway (couldn't run applications).

Mainstream usage came with Android, or perhaps Symbian shortly before that in the late 2000s. (Plus the whole "smartphone" definition is ill-defined anyway - phones with Internet and apps, something the original iphone couldn't do, became standard and mainstream around 2005, it's just that only some were arbitrarily marketed as "smartphones" - the change more recently is simply that more phones are now marketed as smartphones.)

As for before and after, we might as well say before the Nokia 5800 the iphone didn't have apps, and afterwards it did; or before the Samsung Galaxy, the iphone was tiny, and afterwards, it had a larger screen.

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Re: My plumber has an iPhone

Given the original claim about bringing "to the masses", I assume he was talking about an earlier iphone, which was even more expensive.

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Meh

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

Now that I've used android, I'm looking forward to my next iPhone.

Then again, I DID download Google maps.

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FAIL

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

The only people who think they are such a great status symbols are Windows zombies and Android Fanbois

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Flame

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

"Mainstream usage came with Android, or perhaps Symbian shortly before that in the late 2000s. "

It would be more accurate to say that Apple made the smart phone desirable to the masses, but before the iPhone they were MOST DEFINITELY a geek only 'tool'. Thinking about my HTC TyTn here which I used to use with a bluetooth RS232 interface for switch programming. It was also great as a girl-repellant.

Blackberry sold business users on always on mobile-email.

Cut to a post-iPhone world, and suddenly everything looks like an iPhone as that's what sells. Android and Samsung et al brought cheap alternatives to the masses, but it was Apple who sold them on the concept by making something people actually wanted to use.

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Re: My plumber has an iPhone

iPhone starts at £529 SIM free not £650.

I highlighted something for you. Also, he was talking historically, and so was I, though on reflection I got the currency wrong. It was €650.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

I had a iPhone 3GS - thought I would switch to Android. The Galaxy is ok but it's no iPhone so when this contract us up I'm going back.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

and your point must be that the android prototype looks so much better than the rubbish iPhone and the butt ugly other one.

That aside, you're completely confused. The rise of the smartphone was inevitable. The technology just caught up to what people have wanted for decades.

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Re: My plumber has an iPhone

Compare smartphone sales before and after the launch of the iPhone. I think you'll find they had a small percentage of the market back in 2006, and quite a large one now.

Also, remember that most people don't pay the full cost of the phone upfront. They pay a deposit then 1 or 2 years worth of line rental to get it.

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Re: My plumber has an iPhone

I have an iPhone. I don't consider it a status symbol. It just happens to do what I need, and quite well. Most of my iPhone owning friends feel pretty much the same way.

Compare that to most of my Android owning friends who can't wait to get out their phones and show all and sundry they have the latest Samsung/HTC/<insert name of fashionable phone maker here> mobile, and sit there loudly discussing screen sizes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

So can you book an appointment, go into a SAMSUNG shop and get your phone fixed / replaced there and then - thought not. I dropped my iPhone from head height onto concrete - phone was fine but camera much have got slightly dislodged. Went to Apple store - 20 minutes later it's all fixed. See how warm you feel about Samsung when it develops a fault and you are without your phone for weeks and then they just send you a refurb.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

Makes a difference - and discounted on Amazon a Galaxy III (also with 16Gb) is £409. The issue is they are all expensive phones and £120 over a 2-4 year lifespan is not all that much - especially if the iPhone lasts longer (better / longer support) or actually has more value when you come to trade in / sell. I know people still running iPhone 3GS every day (now 4 years old and counting) and others than have sold their 2+ year old iPhones back for more than half the price they paid. I also know people who have Androids that are unsupported and now gathering dust after 2 years or less.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

"The rise of the smartphone was inevitable."

Yes once someone else has actually done it - guess you will be saying the same about nuclear fusion, warp drive and food replicators. I'm sure one day they will exist but so claim 'inevitable'...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My plumber has an iPhone

"Galaxy S3 is £409 SIM free from Amazon right now"

Well, yes, but the Huawei Ascend G300 which is not as good as the SIII or the iPhone 5 but good enough for most sells for £99 at Vodafone. Add to that £5.50 on eBay for unlocking (or £20 to Vodafone) and you're good to go.

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Anonymous Coward

So this would make fanboi quite the hypocrites, would it not?

At least they have taken the first step toward salvation.

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Maybe not

I wonder how many downloads are necessary to jump to the top of the charts. I suspect that a percentage in the single digits in a day would be plenty enough. I.e. you could probably have 80% rabid fanbois swearing never to install the maps app of the enemy, and still have the app get to the top if half of the remaining users download it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Maybe not

Any app that gets this much coverage on news sites would get to number 1 - what will be telling is the number of downloads after a month or how many people actually use it instead of Apple Maps.

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Flame

"So this would make fanboi quite the hypocrites, would it not?"

You appear to be projecting a simulation of the imaginary iPhone users that you have concocted rather than actual ones.

The reality (as is backed by evidence) is that the average iPhone user just wants something that works properly. TomTom's data (which is used by Apple Maps) clearly has accuracy issues, and I can't think of anyone (including myself) that would not return to tried and tested Google Maps (although it would be fair to point out that Google Maps is not 100% accurate either, however it is clearly superior to Apple's maps solution) .

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Holmes

Apple should thank Google

For quite possibly rescuing their Xmas sales.

I'd have waited till the day after the January sales to maximise new Android sales/users.

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Anonymous Coward

Did you not read the sales results?

The iPhone 5 was selling quite well without Google's help.

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FAIL

Re: Did you not read the sales results?

'Not as well as expected' was what I read with 'analysts citing a shite mapping app as one reason punters were holding off upgrading'

and so forth. I guess those analysts were fake or liars, though, like those climate scientists with inconvenient data, etc, etc,

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Did you not read the sales results?

Analysts know shite - you get more sense on here...

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Re: Did you not read the sales results?

Careful GE. I've seen people taken to court for libel and slander for less.

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Go

Playing the long game

The problem with this is that Google has more users, and thus get more feedback and corrections. Especially since corrections are vastly easier to report using a desktop web site, which Apple does not have. It have to say I do not understand why Apple is not creating a web site for their maps, like Nokia has done with here.com. It should give their maps a lot more users at a comparatively small price.

EDIT: HOLY $#*! I CAN EDIT MY POST!!1! Adding GO icon!

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Holmes

Re: Playing the long game

They'll be getting a bucket load of data from Apple users over Xmas travelling around visiting and checking routes & weather, etc.

Which is probably worth more than holding off till after Xmas, for Android switchers, to release the app, presumably.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Playing the long game

Dont believe it - I've reported 3 issues to Google now at least 2-3 times each over the last 18 months - NO CHANGE.

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Re: Playing the long game

3 issues reported, 3 issues fixed. So far 100% for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Playing the long game

Used Google Maps to navigate to work - it's only 6 miles but 7 with Google Maps as it took a longer route for some reason. It also got the location of a nearby pub at least 1/2 mile out and another business was marked about 1/2 mile out and on the wrong side of the road. No traffic data and apparently it's a round-OH-bout I need to take the first left at. Can't say I'm impressed and certainly no better than Apple Maps on the same journey.

Will test it some more today.

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what about traffic data

So here is an item that I've yet to see compared between iOS and Android and Windows Phone - the amount and quality of the traffic data that is displayed.

I got a windows phone (for work, they foisted it on me, not my choice) and I noticed that very few roads have traffic information. I assume that since nobody else has the phones, that Bing Maps isn't getting much data fed to it. Likewise iOS maps would have a similar issue. The lack of data comes down to a lack of handsets reporting their locations. Were there any complaints about Apple maps and their traffic data?

When I first got the phone I was sitting parked, stopped in traffic on what is usually a very busy street. Whip open WinPhone Maps and there was no data on the road... except to show a red line behind me. Does that mean to tell me that I am the only person on that road with a windows phone? A sample size of one??

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Meh

Re: what about traffic data

Where I work in dorset, I tried traffic, google maps said traffic wasn't available in my area. Apple maps has it and looking out of the window, it seemed quite accurate.

But then Apple maps are more accurate with shop locations too, googles locations are quite a way out, even if neither of them can quite keep pace with the speed of shop closures :/

Google satellite view is higher quality though.

Certainly if I was going to London, I would use the google maps, but out here in the sticks, the apple data seems to work better for me. It is certainly nice to have both (I tried nokia maps, but it didn't seem to offer much I didn't already have)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: what about traffic data

The satellite images are higher quality on Google Maps but much older - at least 4 years old for here whereas Apple maps are perhaps 12-18 months or less. It's win one lose one - I could not really say Google Maps is all that much better - in some ways it is in others it's not.

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Re: what about traffic data

Actually, now I look at home, the satellite image of my house is exactly the same image, same resolution, cars parked in the same place etc, but further at the end of the road it is different, I can't quite see where the join is. The google maps have (c) google stamped all over them.

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jai
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Re: what about traffic data

When you switch it on, there's a big warning about how the traffic data isn't in real time. Kinda defeats the point as you'll be switching it on to see how the traffic is going to impact your journey right now.

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Re: what about traffic data

Not sure how it works, but here is how I understand it.

Google maps get part of their traffic data from 3rdparties, and part of it from phones using googlemaps.

This means that google maps works (at least over here) on my blackberry just as accurate as google maps using chrome on my desktop computer.

As far as how real time the data is, I've used it a couple of times whilst stuck in traffic (either when I was not driving, or by having handed the phone to someone who was driving with me). The traffic data (at least in the NL, germany, belgium and france) seemed to be accurate upto a few minutes, good enough to get a pretty accurate idea how far you would be stuck in barely moving traffic.

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Errors in google maps too

These companies must hate the antipodes because both sets of maps are full of errors. It may not be as bad as getting lost on the way to Mildura, but Google Maps shows a bus stop outside my house which isn't there. It is about 100m further up the road, and street view clearly shows this but Apple got vilified for having errors in their map data, yet Google also has them too. Even in the US there are problems because I went to visit a friend in Alabama and Google Maps put his street address two miles further down the road than it actually is. Sure, we can and do report these problems, but there must be something wrong with the source database or how the data is being modified to get to these apps because they are both difficult to rely on. Even the public transport feature of the new Google Maps app doesn't seem as good as the one that was in the old Apple built one sadly. Still, the existence of the app was enough for me to finally upgrade my iPhone to iOS 6 so we're getting there.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Shoplifting and armed bank robbery are not morally equivalent

No maps app is perfect, but you write as if Google Maps are as unreliable as Apple Maps. Bear in mind, the outcry over Apple Maps is unprecedented, not just in technical magazines, but in mainstream media such as New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, The Guardian, and Globe and Mail.

Did Tim Cook apologize for nothing? Were two VPs fired for nothing? Did Google Maps overnight became the top free app for nothing (among Apple devotees, no less)? By the way, I own an iPad 3, and my wife owns an iPad mini. Great devices. (I don't own a smartphone, but am eyeing the Nexus 4.)

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Anonymous Coward

It doesn't take years, I can think of a couple of purchases Apple could do that would change the game almost overnight.

In any case competition maps is already providing to be a very effective tool. Google never added so many features to their maps product so quickly.

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