When it was first rumored that Apple would be dropping Google Maps, I was immediately skeptical of the move.
I used Google Maps all the time, especially for directions on public transportation. Yeah, the thing wasn’t perfect, and would sometimes give me directions that I knew were more complicated than they had to be, but it worked for me almost every time. At the same time, I also had faith in Apple’s ability to deliver a worthy product in its place. I mean, this was Apple we were talking. When had it let us down before?
Well, I was dead wrong about that one.
For all of you out there who have not been paying attention to the news all week, Apple’s new Maps app has been a complete disaster. The outcry over the lack of public transportation directions, slow loading times and geographical errors have been so bad that CEO Tim Cook even came out yesterday, not only to apologize for the app , but also suggested other products to use in its place. (Want to know when to really avoid something? When the person who made it tells you it is crap.)
Cook, it turns out, was already behind the curve, as it seems that a vast majority of iOS 6 users have already found alternative to his terrible new product.
According to Snappli, a mobile app which just launched a few weeks ago that compresses data over mobile broadband to help folks use less of their 3G or 4G monthly allowance, only 4% of its users are still using Apple Maps, Gigaom reported Friday.
Snappli says that 64% of its total users have switched over to the new iOS 6 since its official launch 10 days ago, which amounts to roughly 5,000 people.
Before upgrading, around 25% of Snappli users were opening the Google Maps app that came with all previous versions of iOS. After switching to iOS 6, the percentage of users that clicked on Apple Maps went up to 35%. Once they got a good look at the new app, though, that number dropped to 4% within five days.
- The number of people using Google Maps before iOS 6: 1 in 4.
- The number of people now using Apple Maps: 1 in 25.
These numbers are bad. Really bad. On top of that, given that they are only cover the first five days of iOS 6 integration, they have probably gotten even worse.
A survey from earlier this week that showed 16,000 iPhone users rating iOS 6 with satisfaction level at 7.65, compared to 7.75 for iOS 5, which was up from 6.93 from iOS 4.
Combine these two piece of data and Apple may have a real problem on its hands.
What can users do to fix this?
For now there are only have two options for those stuck with Apple Maps: stick with it or try to find a replacement until you can switch over to an Android phone.
Some available replacements include Bing, MapQuest, Waze or HopStop. Or you can try to use Google or Nokia Maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen.
Fair warning on putting a Google Maps icon on your homescreen: it is going to link to Google Maps inside your browser. And, as all of you iPhone users know, if you close out your browser and then go back in, it has a tendency to reload the page. So be prepared to either keep it open or keep putting your directions in over and over.
For those of you who were hoping that Google might create its own Maps app for iOS, Google has no intention of making life easier for those using the platform it directly competes with.
Last week, Google Chairman, and former CEO, Eric Schmidt told reporters that Google has not submitted its own Maps app to the App Store for consideration.
"We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" he added. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."
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