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Tom Simonite

A View from Tom Simonite

Rivals Soar After Apple Apology

iPhone users are apparently keen to avoid relying on Apple’s new mapping app.

  • October 1, 2012

Competitors to Apple’s new maps app are reporting steep jumps in their popularity after the problems with accuracy that led Apple CEO Tim Cook to write a letter of apology, and even suggest that troubled customers try competing products (see “Hey, Apple: Mapping Takes More Work than You Think”).

Plan B: Waze was one of several mapping apps recommended by Apple CEO Tim Cook in an apology for the quality of his company’s new maps service.

Waze, an app that provides maps, turn-by-turn navigation and traffic data based on crowdsourced data served 40 percent more downloads than usual last Friday, the morning that Tim Cook’s letter was published, a spokesperson told Technology Review. Saturday saw 80 percent more people than usual download the app.

MapQuest, a mapping service owned by AOL, was also recommended by Cook. That and Apple’s widely publicized problems with maps accuracy propelled their app up from “between 60 and 80” on the iTunes charts for free apps up to number 19, a company spokesperson said.

Microsoft’s Bing app was also recommended by Cook, but the company said it didn’t have any figures to share related to recent downloads or usage. Neither Nokia nor Google, whose online maps were recommended by Cook, responded to requests for information about recent usage.

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