This survey from TesTee Lab looked at iPhone mapping apps.

I’m on Android, but I’d be lost (groan) without Google Map. I’ve only tried Yahoo! Map through web sites like Facebook, but I’ve not been impressed. In Japan, Google is very bilingual-friendly (too friendly sometimes, as it sometimes searches in the wrong language) and the memory of places one has previously visited is exceptionally useful. The trains are full of adverts for NAVITIME, and it looks good and exceptionally detailed, but although it claims to be free for basic features, I worry it will be nagware, so I’ve never bothered trying. Its vehicle navigation features appear to be almost as good as dedicated car navigation systems, but as I only drive when I rent a car, and the cars come with navigation as standard, I never bother with smartphone apps.

One thing I did learn from the report was the abbreviation NPS, Net Promoter Score, which is a value indicating how much people love or hate a particular brand, etc. I’m not sure how useful the figures are in this case, so rather than report the exact numbers, I’ll just summarise the outcome (hint: people hate Apple’s stock app).

Here’s why you want to use a map app when you’re in Japan; this is just a fraction of the Tokyo area lines – the subway and all private lines are missing for a start:

Japan Rail Tokyo

Then again, I survived quite happily long before apps were ever invented; kids today, bah humbug!

Research results

Q1: Do you use a mapping app? (Sample size=4,219)

 
All
Male
Female
All ages
73.6%
73.9%
73.3%
Teens
74.8%
73.2%
76.3%
Twenties
77.0%
77.0%
76.9%
Thirties+
69.6%
71.6%
67.7%

Q2: Which mapping apps do you normally use? (Sample size=map app users, multiple answer)

Google Map
77.5%
Apple Map
40.3%
Yahoo! Map
17.5%
NAVITIME
11.6%

Apple Map was more used by the younger age groups (teens 48.6%, 30+ 30.9%) whereas Google Map was about the same for all age groups, 74.8% to 77.9%.

Q3: Which is your main mapping app? (Sample size=map app users)

Google Map
63.5%
Apple Map
23.0%
Yahoo! Map
7.3%
NAVITIME
3.8%

Again Apple saw a drop off wth age, from 30.3% of teens to 17.1% of the thirty-or-older demographic.

When it came to the NPS ratings (how much people like the brand), Yahoo! Map was most liked by teenage boys and twenties women, but teenage girls disliked it just as much as these women in their twenties liked it. For NAVITIME, it was teenage girls who loved it (+50 score) and only women in their thirties disliked it (-16.7). For Apple’s own Map app, only teenagers vaguely liked it, with a positive score of 2.4, but it was rated -8.3 by people in their twenties and -24.2 by the thirties.

Q4: How often do you use your main mapping app? (Sample size=main app users)

 
Apple
Google
Yahoo
NAVITIME
Almost every day
11.0%
9.0%
7.9%
21.4%
Several times a week
28.4%
37.1%
30.1%
34.2%
Several times a month
45.9%
40.5%
45.9%
34.2%
Several times every six months
10.3%
9.8%
12.2%
4.3%
Several times a year or less
4.3%
3.5%
3.9%
2.6%

Demographics

Over some unreported period of time, iPhone users in the youth-oriented TesTee Lab monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 4,219 people were surveyed, with 1,335 people in their teens, 1,333 in their twenties, and 1,551 in their thrities or older. The sex breakdown was not recorded.


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