Apple Maps is now used more than three times its next biggest competitor on iPhones, according to the Associated Press. Citing "Apple said" as a source, as well we quotes from an Apple executive, the report said that Apple was seeing some 5 billion requests per week through Apple Maps.
Including Android devices, Google Maps is still twice as big as Apple Maps. Google's mapping service is available on both Android and iOS, while Apple's service is limited to iOS devices. The AP's coverage focused on how Apple Maps has gone from a laughing stock at launch to a dominant service on Apple's platform.
"We are fast learners and we are fast at fixing things," Apple vice president Greg "Joz" Joswiak told the AP. "We learned the maps business incredibly fast."
That could well be aimed at Google chairman Eric Schmidt, who publicly said suggested Apple made a mistake by ditching Google Maps for a home grown solution.
"Apple should have kept with our Maps," Mr. Schmidt said in an interview with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg during 2012's All Things D conference. "I think that what Apple has learned is that maps are really hard. They really are hard, and we've invested hundreds of millions of dollars in satellite work, airplane work, drive-by work, to get the maps accurate. We think we have the best product in industry."
Google probably still has the best mapping service in many ways, but in some ways Apple has caught up and sometimes passed Google. That's especially true for subjective things such as look and feel and the user experience.
Apple has also made significant investments in a variety of mapping-related companies to add much needed services such as transit information, walking directions, and more. Mr. Joswiak's comments speak directly to the idea that maps may be hard, but that Apple is up to the task.
In the meantime, Apple Maps is still occasionally the butt of jokes even while Apple's iOS device owners are voting otherwise with their taps. Perhaps it's time for some folks to remove those Apple Maps jokes from their repertoire? That's not likely to happen, but any lingering negativity clearly isn't having an effect on real users.