Desperate iPhone owners have downloaded the new Google maps app a staggering 10 million times in just 48 hours.
The app immediately topped the iTunes chart as iPhone users, unhappy with Apple’s own mapping app, rushed to get their hands on it.
It comes after Apple performed a bit of a U-turn by including the new Google app in its iTunes store.
The Californian technology giant really found itself with no choice but to make it easier for its customers to download the Google version after it was forced to apologise over failings with its own maps which were missing some destinations and had others in the wrong places.
Google Maps had been the default mapping application on iPhones from the very first one in 2007. But this summer, Apple released the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, replacing Google maps with its own version in a bid to break Google’s monopoly on mapping.
It was a move which backfired as customers were soon complaining that Apple Maps was riddled with errors and omissions. The town of Stratford-upon-Avon was missing completely from the UK map and users also griped about the fact cloud cover obscured the view in satellite mode.
And police in Australia even described the new app as dangerous after several people were directed into the scorching wilderness rather than to their destination.
Now Apple users who have literally been lost without Apple maps on their iPhone have downloaded Google’s more reliable service, which is free.
Announcing the milestone, Jeff Huber, who is Google’s Senior Vice President of Geo and Commerce, said: “More than 10 million downloads in less than 48 hours after release… we’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world.
“Congratulations to the Maps Team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last 7+ years.”
The new Google Maps app gives iPhone consumers tools which have been previously available to those with Android devices, including 3D views, street-level photography and turn-by-turn directions. They will still, however, be missing certain useful features, such as directions in US malls for lost shoppers.
Immediately upon release, tech forum users were welcoming news of the new app. One, with the user name popndrop said: “Why are Applephistas rushing to upload Google maps? Well, if you happen to be a Sydneysider looking to spend a day at Bondi beach, using Apple’s directions will require you to cross the Tasman Sea and head for the middle of Auckland, NZ. Best take a plane.”
Vikram Bhambhu said: “Relief for iO6 users… apple maps were pathetic.”
Apple is busy fixing problems with its own mapping system but it will have problems getting customers to see it as a viable alternative to Google in future.
iPhone users are however still forced to have the in-built mapping software as well as Google maps because it cannot be deleted so perhaps they will switch back if Apple can prove it has finally got it right.