Why Are iPhone Users Downloading Additional Navigation Apps?
If you own an iPhone, you probably know that it comes with a standard navigation app called Maps. You can punch in an address and it’ll take you to your destination. Pretty simple, right? Well, as it turns out, a large number of iPhone users simply aren’t satisfied with the services Apple Maps offers. To compensate, they’ve been looking elsewhere.
Apple recently announced its top 20 downloaded apps for 2017. While expected ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft made the list (at #10 and #20, respectively), a few navigation apps took top spots: Google Maps and Waze.
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Let’s start with Google Maps.
Google Maps was the seventh most-downloaded app in all of 2017. But why? If users have the Apple Maps app on their phone, what makes Google Maps so special?
Well, first of all, it’s made by Google. So there’s that. Second, Google Maps just seems to be more accurate. According to Macworld, Google recently invested in a $500 million satellite imagery company called Skybox in an effort to increase the quality and accuracy of the app. They also have human employees (becoming more and more rare in the Google world) checking the maps on a regular basis. These employees mostly respond to reports sent in by users themselves. Google Maps offers live traffic reports and turn-by-turn directions for driving, walking, and cycling.
Waze steps it up a notch.
Waze made its way onto the most-downloaded list at number 19, all without the help of a big brand name like Google. Waze steps navigation up even further. Waze users populate the app with its content. For example, if you see someone pulled over on the side of the road, potentially slowing down traffic, you can report it and it will alert other Waze users driving through the area. The app also warns drivers about upcoming police officers, also populated by user input. Plus, in an effort to reduce distracted driving, Waze requests for you to confirm whether you’re a passenger or the driver. If you indicate you’re a driver, it will limit the features you can use while you’re behind the wheel. You can also choose the voice for your navigation, so celebrities like Stephen Colbert can yell at you when you miss your turn. Why? Because it’s fun. What other reason do you need?
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Overall, Apple Maps is a great, basic tool for navigation when you need it. However, with the world at our fingertips (or in the App Store), it looks like there’s no need to settle for Apple Maps anymore.