Apple Maps up to five times more data efficient than Google Maps

“Apple Maps has been getting its share of negative attention since being released, but some new research shines a bright spot on the comparison between Apple’s and Google’s mapping apps,” Jim Dalrymple reports for The Loop.

“According to Onavo, a company that specializes in helping customers get the most out of their smartphone data plans, there are some big differences between the apps,” Dalrymple reports. “After running a number of scenarios, the tests showed that Apple Maps was up to five times more data efficient than Google Maps.”

Read more in the full article here.

“On Google Maps, the average data loaded from the cellular network for each step was 1.3MB. Apple Maps came in at 271KB – that’s approximately 80% less data!” Onavo reports. “On some actions, such as zooming in to see a particular intersection, Apple Maps’ efficiency advantage edged close to 7X.”

“Apple Maps’ overwhelming data advantage in Standard Map views is because of Apple’s use of vector graphics. Instead of downloading map tile images every time users zoom in or out of a map view, Apple’s vector graphics approach resizes dynamically, resulting in the drastically reduced data usage we observed, as well as smooth resizing and fast responsiveness,” Onavo reports. “However, it seems that even in Satellite View, Apple has considered data usage. Our tests found Apple Maps uses only half as much data as Google Maps for the same Satellite searches and views (an average of 930KB for a single page load on Google Maps vs. 428KB for Apple Maps).”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jeff A.” for the heads up.]

66 Comments

    1. You’re right, there is no “debacle”, both Map apps are FREE. Google Maps has it’s own issues, my city shows up 50 miles to the west of it’s actual location . What do you expect for free?

      1. Apple maps is nicer and better than Google Maps despite the data deficiencies that effect it’s accuracy. Those deficiencies will improve and be corrected fast with user input- the more people use Apple maps and send input, the better and faster it will be .

    2. MDN has always been knee jerk hysterical over losing their new found revenue and wealth that has grown incredibly in the past few years with the Apple moblie revolution… They are just as self serving and greedy as the assholes who attack Apple, their self interest is first and foremost- hence the knee jerk hysteria.

  1. Grasping for straws in the post-Jobs era. Fire some people, starting with the CEO, and refund investors’ AAPL losses calculated from the date of the launch of Maps.

    1. Hey I’ve browbeaten Apple over the maps issues myself, but your suggestion is total lunacy. “Refund AAPL losses”? What kind of dream world do you live in?

    2. Losses? When did you buy? Two weeks ago?

      Being up over 70% in one year, I’m fine with a few dips now and then. The FUD will intensify as we head into the earnings report. It is the same every time.

      Any personal investor who is not long AAPL is a fool.

      1. No, ppeterson=pat=Gary J.=edward=etc, etc. Most likely one or two people working for Samsung/Google on a pay per comment/response basis. Picture a room full of 4’x4′ cubicles and a bunch of pimply faced 20 somethings with tattoos and piercings, who can’t get a job doing anything productive. They have trouble paying the rent, much less buying a share of AAPL, or any Apple product.

    3. You might be the one grasping at straws, p. Nobody wants to exceed their carrier’s bandwidth quota, so this gives Apple Maps a significant advantage over Google Maps.

    4. Ridiculous. The same people who created iOS are still at the company running the development. Stop acting like Jobs was some perfect, God-like being. He had his share of screw-ups too, like giving Bill Gates all the information he needed to copy Mac OS and undermine Apple for decades.

    5. … if this model is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. We have a significantly reduced Data Load – less for the phone company to grumble over – but a significant added Computational Load for the CPU/GPU to deal with.
      Oh! Wait! We have significantly more CPU/GPU to deal with that. “Never mind!”. 😉 (anybody else out there old enough to remember that skit?)
      As for the recent AAPL “losses”, even forgetting how far the stock has RISEN on his watch, that would be an appreciated use of the cash stockpile Apple has in off-shore banks! Or in the US. A lot of that earned while Tim was at the helm. Yeah … he has SO much to apologize for. Yup.

    1. Think, “Consumer Reports is great for washing machines and lawnmowers and such. Consumer Reports is absolutely worthless for any computing or advanced communications devices. Therefore I will read what they have to say about washing machines but completely ignore *anything* they had to say about cell phones.”

      Consumer Reports has been absolutely inept for at least two decades with regard to computers and anything remotely high tech. Hell, back in Apple’s dark days, Consumer Reports ran a report claiming that Microsoft Office was in some tests more than ten times slower on the Mac than on a Windows based machine. As someone who routinely used both platforms in those days, I can tell you that I could not recreate Consumer Reports’ results. Not by a long shot.

      I was left with the only two options of 1) CR made the numbers up, or 2) CR — in their infinite wisdom to always compare things as directly as humanly possible — ran the Windows version of Office on both the Mac and Windows platform. That’s right — if you run Windows Office on a Mac under emulation then you get the horrible performance numbers reported by CR.

      It’s just not relevant to the real world. Virtually no one buys a Mac to run Office under emulation — not in those days at least. (Bootcamp changes the game slightly today.)

      While I doubted CR’s relevance in the higher tech venues before that report way back when, that report sealed the deal. CR has done NOTHING to change my mind since then.

  2. Wait a minute, what’s wrong with this picture? There’s still a few weeks to earnings. Surely we can wring some more price movement from the negative press on maps. Let’s not go all soft now.

    1. Dude, there’s still ‘scratchgate’ waiting in the wings to cover those bases. Thank gawd I have no disposable income for APPL… well, maybe not. I’d sure like to ‘wing it’ like some of our wealthier bro’s on this board though. Anyway, thanks again guy’s, prolly couldn’t have done it without you.

      Go Apple!

    1. I was thinking the same thing… jokingly of course.

      Now that all the hate articles have come out. I’m sure we will see a slew of “It’s better”, “best decision ever made”, “amazing” articles.

  3. By Valentine’s Day 2013, no one will be talking about Maps as it would have gotten better, thanks to all my “report problem” solutions daily participation on the iPhone 5 🙂

    AAPL stocks will be $1099 before 2015 ends 🙂 iBuy … uBuy?

        1. I agree with John, the satellite view around my home town, Chippenham, in Wiltshire, west of Reading, is hopelessly blurred, but just slightly to the west it turns high-res mono briefly, then colour high-res, so someone has comprehensively cocked-up the satellite tiles for a large chunk of southern England. This is easy to fix, but it’s so obvious it should have been picked up sooner. I’ve notified Apple, and when I next go into town I’ll check business and road positions and send back corrections, which is how crowd-sourced mapping should work.
          Google Maps is flawed, the place I’m going to stay in south Devon this weekend gets a location pin dropped right by it in Apple Maps, even though its a fairly remote house out in the country, whereas Google couldn’t even locate the address or postcode.

    1. Just returned from 10 days in Sweden. Absolute joy using Apple Maps – a major breakthrough instead of Google’s, now you can turn-by-turn. No need for my Garmin now. Travel light instead.

      About those problems seeing or not seeing their towns in UK. Well, it always rains in UK anyway, no wonder there is cloudy on their satellite pictures.

  4. Apple maps are vector based like fonts
    Google uses image tiles
    That’s why apple maps are smooth no matter how zoomed in you are, and about 80% faster to load.

    Hey wait! all this anti-map fud is washing off in the harsh light of reality

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