Feeds

Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app

Users seek a proper sense of direction

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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 support a competitor – although CEO Tim Cook denied that motivation. Users, however, quickly kicked up a storm, forcing the company to apologize and sack key staff behind its crap Maps app.

The new Google application is markedly better than its last iOS application, but still not as wide-ranging as the one available to Android users – Google's not stupid, after all. It recognizes that Maps are a vital app for many users, and if it can switch them to Android then so much the better.

Google Maps tops iTunes ranking

Fanbois flock to Google on Apple's App Store

Turn-by-turn navigation is included, along with traffic data, public transit times, and Street View images, which makes it considerably more complete than Apple's offering. While Nokia's maps tools are better than Apple's, the Finns still have a way to go before then can match Google's massive database.

This is going to cause Apple some problems, since the Chocolate Factory also released an iOS 6 SDK for mapping. If you're a developer looking to add mapping functions to your app, it's pretty clear that Google will be your code of choice.

While Apple has downplayed quite how annoyed its user base has been with its home-grown mapping software, it's clear that there was a lot of pent-up demand for a mapping app that actually works and doesn't threaten users with dying in an Australian desert.

Google's initial mapping success is going to be closely watched by Cupertino to see how many users actually download the new app over time. If a significant majority of users move to Google, Apple might reconsider trying to build its own version to compete, but that's not likely.

Apple is making a big hiring push improve its Map app, even to the extent of wooing ex-Google staff who have expertise in this area and recruiting Store staff to help. It's also asking customers to fill in the blanks to help improve things, such as its lamentable record on finding points of interest.

El Reg suspects that Apple is happy to play the long game on this. By approving the application it's recognizing that users want better maps than Apple can provide, and that they need placating. But Apple has time and money to burn, so in the next few generations maybe it's hoping it can get its own system up to snuff and woo users back. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.