Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rarely releases a subpar product, and even more rarely does it apologize if it does. But that's exactly what the company did after it released Apple Maps for iOS 6. But since then Apple has made a number of improvements to its native mapping service, and a new report says the updates are coming even faster.
Tomorrow's a new day
According to 9to5Mac, Apple is now taking user-submitted points-of-interest (POI) corrections and using them to update the Maps app every day.
Apparently, Apple hardly ever consulted the submissions up until a few months ago, when it started incorporating the changes once a week. Now though, the company is using the POI submissions to update maps every day.
What's the big deal
Since it's initial release, Apple Maps has made some major improvements and become a strong contender to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Maps. But despite improvements, the combination of Apple's fumbled launch and the fact that Google's service was already the go-to app has kept Google Maps on top.
Google has used ads in app since 2010, and over the past few years has incorporated those ads further into the service. The company makes about 90% of its revenue from advertising -- although obviously not entirely from its Maps app -- so it has every incentive to keep its app as the dominant direction service for smartphones.
By contrast, Apple doesn't put ads in its app, but rather has the incentive of keeping its iOS users firmly integrated into its ecosystem. Apple wants users to use Maps just as it wants them to use Safari and Mail. Though this doesn't add to the bottom line, it does help keep revenue away from Google.
Winning the maps game
Apple doesn't allow its Maps app to run on Android devices, so clearly the company can never outpace the usage of Google Maps. But that's not the goal. The focus is getting iOS users to stick with Apple's native apps, and this latest move could definitely help do that.
Despite the lack of revenue, having a solid maps service does add value to mobile customers. As Apple gears up for a new iPhone and possible smart watch launch this fall, the company clearly wants users to tap into its Maps app after they purchase those devices. The last thing Apple wants is to enter the wearable tech segment, only to have its customers bring up directions using Google Maps.
This is Apple and Google's next battlefield
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Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.