Tweets run 2 to 1 for Google over Apple in iOS 6 map mess

Biggest gripe: No public transport maps, directions, info

Consumers ranked Google Maps better than Apple's new homegrown mapping technology by more than 2 to 1 on Twitter, a social media analytics company said today.

iOS 6 users can sidestep the change to Apple Maps by calling up Google's mapping service within Safari.

Prague-based Socialbakers, which measures the effectiveness of social media campaigns for clients including Kraft, Lufthansa and Samsung, pulled data from its Twitter tracking at Computerworld's request, and found that a landslide majority favor Google Maps over Apple's own Map app.

Of the tweets posted since last Wednesday comparing the two, 71% pegged Google Maps as the better option; 29%, however, stuck up for Apple's Maps.

"Just added Google Maps to my home screen ... it's so much better than Apple maps," read one sample tweet.

"I must say that I actually like Apple['s] Maps better," countered another.

Almost immediately after the launch of iOS 6 on Sept. 19, users who updated their existing iPhones began griping that Apple's new Maps app was substandard at best, a debacle at worst. They cited the lack of public transit maps, wild inaccuracies, off-kilter points-of-interest, Salvador Dali-like images, vacant countrysides, missing streets and addresses, and more.

Some analysts said there was "no excuse" for what Apple offered iOS 6 users, while others urged Apple to aggressively push Google to submit Google Maps as a stand-alone app on the iOS App Store.

The most frequently-tweeted problem with Apple Maps was the lack of public transportation information, something Google Maps offers, and a feature Google has spent years accumulating and tweaking.

Of all tweets that mentioned problems with Apple Maps, 56% were complaints about AWOL public transit data.

"So looks like the new Apple Maps on iOS 6 doesn't show public transit directions. That's my deciding factor, that's probably what I use most," tweeted one user.

The breakdown of other issues with Apple Maps included problems with the app's traffic reports (27%), trouble with an address (14%) and its lack of something similar to Google's Street View (2%).

"[Others] can't find me!" said one tweet culled by Socialbakers. "Even though I gave them full and correct address ... I smell Apple Maps!"

"DO NOT upgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 6 if you care about real time traffic info - nowhere to be found in the new Apple Maps app," complained another.

As one tweeter noted, iOS 6 users can still access Google Maps through Safari by browsing to maps.google.com. To add the service to an iOS 6 device's home screen, users can tap Safari's 'Sharing' button the middle of the five icons at the bottom touch the "Add to Home Screen" button, name the icon ("Google Maps" is the default), and tap the "Add" button at the upper right.

Public transit and traffic reports can be added to iOS 6 through third-party apps such as Hopstop (free) and Waze (free).

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile apps in Computerworld's Mobile Apps Topic Center.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
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