Feeds

Google Maps becomes Apple's most popular app

Users seek a proper sense of direction

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.