Three years after Apple launched its native Maps app to disastrous result—CEO Tim Cook even issued an apology for the catastrophe—iPhone owners are returning to the built-in iOS app in droves. Apple Maps is used more on iPhones than chief rival Google Maps.
Apple Maps is now used three times as often as Google Maps, according to an Associated Press report. The app sees more than 5 billion requests per week. ComScore figures back up Apple’s claims.
That’s not too surprising, given that Apple has the advantage of preinstalling Maps on iOS devices. But Apple still had to drastically improve the app and overcome negative perceptions, like its notoriously inaccurate directions and missing or misplaced landmarks, and the company accomplished both in the last three years. Apple now pulls in mapping data from some 3,000 sources, making its information more reliable than ever.
Then in iOS 9, released in September, Apple finally added public transit directions. The new feature, which Google Maps has long had, put the two apps on more equal footing (though Google still has street view imagery, offline maps, and other features that Apple lacks).
Google Maps still reigns supreme, because Apple Maps isn’t available on Android devices. But if Apple can win over iOS users with accurate data, mass transit directions, and tight integration with other iOS apps (and Siri!), then that’s a win for Apple—and for you.