Google Maps is the most popular navigation app by far, here's why

Waze comes in second place and Android Auto in fourth

Google Maps
(Image credit: Getty)

If I asked you to guess the most popular navigation app you'd probably say Google Maps and you'd be correct. Everyone knows Google Maps is the most popular sat nav app out there and new data shows that something monumental would have to happen if it were to lose that lead.

The recent data published by Statista shows that Google Maps received an enormous 25.4 million downloads in the US in 2021.

That's certainly an impressive number, but what makes it even more impressive is that it's almost double the number of downloads recorded by the second-place app – Waze.

Waze was downloaded 13.4 million times in the United States last year. Of course, Waze is also owned by Google, but uses crowdsourced data to put you on the fastest route to your destination. It's seen as a more advanced option, but only works for cars and motorcycles.

Surprisingly Apple Maps is not included in the top ten list. This could be because it's preloaded on Apple devices and not available on Android. 

Alternatively, it could be third on the list, which is generically labelled 'GPS Maps'. This has 1.5 million downloads.

Google Maps and Waze weren't the only Google brands to feature in the top ten, with Android Auto ranking fourth with just over 1 million downloads and Google Maps Go in 9th with 532K downloads.

Android Auto is Google's in-car infotainment experience that mirrors your smartphone screen on your car's dash, while Google Maps Go is a lightweight navigation app for budget and low-powered smartphones.

So, with four entries in the top ten, there's no questioning that Google is killing it when it comes to navigation app popularity. Despite that, the search giant isn't resting on its laurels, announcing a raft of new updates at Google I/O last week.

These updates included the expansion of eco routing to more countries, a new 'Immersive View' feature, and improved mapping in locations that have traditionally been difficult to map, such as India and Africa.

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.