It has been several months since Google introduced its much-improved app for iOS with navigation. And yesterday the company updated the app to include map integration of Google contracts, new coverage (Middle East) and new nearby category icons.
More people now use Google Maps on mobile devices than on the PC. According to comScore Google Maps’ US mobile reach was second only to Facebook in 2012.
There’s also much more time now spent in mobile map apps than on PC mapping sites. In the chart below comScore indicates that 84% of time spent with maps is now on mobile devices. This likely means Google Maps more than any of its competitors.
An interesting question is whether people are using the new Google Maps app for iOS following its ouster from default mapping status on the iPhone. According to a survey conducted by Mike Blumenthal the answer is yes. His survey shows that Google Maps is widely used on the iPhone; however Apple Maps is basically within the survey’s 5 point margin of error:
What mapping or driving directions app do you use most often on your iPhone?
- Google Maps — 39.5%
- Apple Maps — 35.2%
- Mapquest — 13.5%
- Waze — 6%
- Mix of others — 5.8%
A similar survey I conducted late last year (n=1,000) found that Google was perceived to be the best mobile mapping service overall. This was not limited to iPhone users. I also did not screen users to limit the question to mobile mapping users only. So it’s possible that some of the Mapquest responses below are commenting on the desktop experience.
Which mobile mapping service is the best in your experience?
- Google Maps — 56.4%
- Mapquest — 32%
- Apple Maps — 4.8%
- Microsoft/Bing Maps — 3.6%
- Nokia Maps — 3.1%
Mike’s survey and mine are different but it’s interesting to note that Apple Maps is widely used, as much or almost as much as Google Maps on the iPhone. However Google Maps (in my broader-user survey) is much more widely perceived to be a better service or experience.
Another question I asked sought to determine perceptions of the best online (not mobile) source for local information: “Which of the following services has the most accurate and complete local business information in your experience?”
- Google — 65.9%
- Bing/Yahoo — 11.7%
- Facebook — 8.5%
- Yelp — 7.4%
- Online directories — 6.5%
One way to look at the responses above is simply a statement about market share; people chose what they likely use to find local information. The exception may be Facebook. It beat Yelp and “online directories.” I find this very interesting and promising for the company as it moves into search and local search in earnest.