What you need to know

  • A MarketWatch study analyzing speed traps in the U.S. found that an overwhelming majority of people use Google Maps as their navigation app.
  • After surveying 1,000 drivers in the U.S., the results were that 70% of people used Google Maps for navigation. 
  • Waze and Apple Maps were runner-ups in the study, with each app being used by about a quarter of the population surveyed. 

Apple Maps and Google Maps are two of the most popular navigation apps available, and each app has passionate fans who claim one is better than the other. In some ways, it’s representative of the iPhone vs. Android debate. However, according to the numbers, there’s one navigation app that stands out from the rest. In a recent MarketWatch study, 70% of respondents said they use Google Maps to avoid speed traps. 

Navigation apps help people find their destination, but they provide other functionality as well thanks to crowd-sourcing efforts. Apps can let drivers know about hazards, road closures, accidents, and speed traps. This MarketWatch study focused on the latter and how navigation apps help drivers avoid tickets. Researchers studied 1,000 people in the U.S., who gave insight into their driving habits with regard to speed traps and how navigation apps play a role. 

Google Maps blew every other navigation app out of the water when it came down to usage. The study found that 70% of people use Google Maps, in part to help detect and avoid speed traps. Waze, which is also owned by Google, came in second with a 27% usage rate. Apple Maps came in third, just behind Waze, with 25% of respondents saying they use Apple’s navigation app. 

In total, MarketWatch says 34% of people have been warned by one of the navigation apps about a speed trap at least once. 

The results of a MarketWatch study about navigation app usage.

(Image credit: MarketWatch)

The results are interesting because the iPhone is extremely popular in the U.S. Annual reports have found that Android users are consistently switching to iOS each year. While fewer Android users purchased iPhones in 2023, 13% of all iPhone purchasers came from an Android device. Plus, iPhones make up over half of all smartphone shipments in the U.S. With all that said, it figures that iPhone users are foregoing the inbuilt Apple Maps app in favor of Google Maps, based on the results of the MarketWatch report. 

Combining the users of Waze and Google Maps, an overwhelming majority of people in the U.S. turn to Google for navigation.