Cowboy e-bikes, now with built-in Google Maps

E-bike maker Cowboy has swapped the navigation tool used in its app for Google Maps, which should improve the riding experience for many.

The mapping software included in many e-bike companion apps is often lacking, and Cowboy’s app was no exception. “Improved map navigation was the most requested update from within the Cowboy community,” Cowboy co-founder and CTO Tanguy Goretti told me on the sidelines of Micromobility Europe in Amsterdam yesterday.

The app, according to Goretti, is heavily used by Cowboy owners, 45 percent of whom regular mount their phones on the integrated wireless charging pad found on the company’s excellent 4-series e-bikes. With this new integration, riders no longer have to switch between their Cowboy dashboard and the standalone Google Maps app.

The new Cowboy app showing Google Maps navigation.
GIF: Cowboy

The updated app — available to download now — shows features like speed, battery life, and calories burned alongside Google’s familiar Maps interface. Goretti says today’s release is just a first step in the Cowboy x Google relationship, with a series of “industry-first features built with Google Maps” to be announced in the fall. And for what it’s worth, Goretti says Cowboy has overcome the initial quality issues its e-bikes suffered due to supply chain issues created by the covid pandemic.

Cowboy likes to claim that it builds the “world’s most connected e-bike.” While that’s good marketing, it’s also impossible to measure. Nevertheless, the company does have a good record of providing owners with regular over-the-air improvements. In March, it delivered the latest new feature called AdaptivePower that’s meant to help riders overcome wind, hills, and heavy loads in a more natural way.

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