5 ways Google Maps beats Apple Maps

“Google published a new mapping and navigation application for Apple’s iPhone this week,” Eric Zeman reports for InformationWeek. “The app arrives three months after Apple booted Google Maps from iOS 6 over its lack of voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions. Google and Apple were unable to agree on the feature, so Apple dropped Google Maps.”

“Since then, Apple has suffered a lot of embarrassment over its replacement service, called Apple Maps,” Zeman reports. “The new Google Maps for iPhone app includes voice-guided navigation and much, much more. Here are five features of the new Google-developed mapping application that trounce what Apple offers.”

5 ways Google Maps beats Apple Maps:
1. Speed
2. Mass Transit
3. Details
4. Street View
5. Desktop Map Syncing

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
iOS 6 adoption after Google Maps release stays flat, any negative impact of Apple Maps highly exaggerated – December 15, 2012
Apple execs reportedly ‘seething’ over Google Maps for iPhone – December 15, 2012
Why Google just crowned Apple’s iPhone king – December 14, 2012

70 Comments

    1. IMNSHO, Google Maps for iOS sucks big time.
      Yes, it is pretty fast, but the (maps, as wel as street view) image quality is sub-par and jumpy, and its (Googly) GUI that is very wasteful of screen real estate is very un-iOS-like.
      Controls are either hard to locate (e.g., trying to get out of Street View), or they are in your face when you don’t want it (e.g., the right black slide-out menu, which is trying to sell you on Google Earth).
      Google’s iOS Maps proposes that you register or login (mostly without a reason, but it IS a form of social engineering to get Trojan-like behavior — trying to link all your activities, not only search, to your identity).

      AND, public transportation routing gives immediate results and looks rather nice , AS LONG AS YOU DON’T LOOK AT THE RESULTS: it may send you off into neighboring states or suggest you leave a day early to complete a 9 hour trip with multiple connections in time, a trip for which there is a perfectly valid 1:30 hour train connection. Worthless…

      The only reason I downloaded it, is for the occasional Street View when I need it.

  1. Street View is the only one that I find useful occasionally. Mass transit if you live in a big city, I guess, though I don’t need that. But look at the negatives:
    – worse interface
    – giant search bar
    – google tracking
    – incessant nagging to login to a Google account
    – no Siri control
    – ads (aren’t there now, but are surely coming)

    Apple’s Maps have worked perfectly for me so far in dozens of uses (including a long trip to the Bay Area), so I’m sticking with it.

        1. if i want to know how many cups in a pint there are lots of conversion/kitchen apps out there

          problem with Siri is its one piece of data in and out at a time. an app can present you with lots of relevant data at once. it looked cool on star trek, but TV needs dialogue to be interesting. almost everything they ever asked computers to do by voice on star trek could be done faster and more efficiently without using voice and just typing commands in

          1. Siri will get better year after year. Your expectations are just too high for the number of iOS users and the level of database “depth” and computational power you are asking for.

            1. Instructive is the training of HAL-9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Starting with nursery rhymes, working up to singing “A Bicycle Built for Two”, mastering the game of chess, and finally becoming a psychotic killer.

              Now that’s human.

              An AI by any definition is, like a human child, a work in progress. One should judge Siri by her progress, not by her current grade level; rejecting that, one has the freedom to adopt Google’s competing product, the autistic teenager trained to rifle through your drawers.

      1. I disagree to some extent.

        I use Siri everyday as I ride my motorcycle to work, etc. it allows me to answer/make calls and messages, listen to TuneIn Radio plus a few other functions.

        I would definitely like Siri to interact with 3rd party apps to allow me to change radio stations at least.

        I’m sure more reliability and usefulness will happen to which I look forward.

        1. Wayne, I agree. I have only had Siri for a week on my iphone5, but there are a lot of conveniences when using one while driving that would be dangerous if you were trying to type them.

          And as I learn what it can do, I find it does more than I expected it to be able to do.

          And you can’t expect it to answer questions that the high school students that I teach pose to it for fun. No human being I know would could, or should answer some of the incredibly juvenile questions they ask. So that problem eventually solves itself.

      2. Your take on Siri demonstrates a real lack of use of it? I use Siri all the time, especially for maps. Today, for example, my wife wanted me to drive her to a store about 2 hours away. I asked Siri for directions to that store by name and city and it opened found it and opened maps for me with directions.

      3. Others are right. It will be improving year after year. You are clearly clueless about how technology develops. Since you don’t like it, stop using it.

        Artificial Intelligence develops slowly. But it develops. The bad machines in Terminator were effectively autonomous. If you want to take a look at early autonomous robots developed at a university, look here:

        They don’t talk (yet). But anything bordering on autonomous operation is something to which we should all be paying attention. Even at this stage in their development, they are fascinating to watch. Siri will progress.

    1. – the interface is fine
      – the search bar is fine
      – google tracking is poor if it is there. I have turned off all the tracking options
      – I have not been nagged to login with a google account. I was asked once when I first used the app but no further times
      – Siri is of marginal benefit, if at all, for maps
      – there are as yet no ads

      1. Oh-puh-lease
        Do you think anyone who has used both dosen’t recognize that as astroturfing?

        People aren’t as gullible as you take them for, and if google stays on this course up will suffer the same fate as MS (attempting to force people to you platform via crippleware)

        When google makes a better product then the apple maps app I will gladly use it, but paying bloggers and astroturfers to proclaim it as such (when it is pretty obvious to anyone who has used them both that it is not) will only make me distrust google more and more.

  2. POI searching is a lot easier on google maps. with apple maps you have to be exact a lot of times. google is amazing at knowing what you are looking for

    thank steve jobs for that. he had lunch with sergey before he died and google has released some excellent software ever since

    1. WRONG!

      I did it several times today and it found exactly what I was looking for.

      One was the Great Pacific Forum, California. Had the location mapped and routed within 5 seconds (maybe even faster)

      So far Gurgle Maps ain’t tempting me one little bit.

      1. Google maps still can’t do what Apple Maps, Garmin. Tom Tom , the US Post Office, fed Ex, UPS and Bing can do which is find my address or even my street. But then the street has only been here for about 15 years.

        If you look at the map of my neighborhood, they don’t match the satellite view.

        Please someone let me know how you get current location without allowing Google to track you.

  3. #1 – Don’t see any big speed diff
    #2 – Depends highly on town. Google doesn’t track my mass transit in my town. I’d rather have a operation dependent app
    #3 – POI database will catch up pretty quickly.
    #4 – Don’t use Street view.
    #5 – Don’t use desktop map syncing

    Why I hate Google Maps. Simple – it ignores the iOS infrastructure. Can’t even get addresses from Contacts. Forces me to sign into Google for the simplest storage need.

  4. Much more detail on the pics and street view is nice as well ….

    The BIG honkin’ search box on top could go ……

    Otherwise gotta admit Apple Maps is not be used much, now!

  5. I hate to say this, but Google Maps is much better. Apple Maps not even finds my village and leads me 25 kilometres to the next bigger village, Google Maps finds it immediately. The satellite view of Apple Maps of my area is extremely poor, Google Maps is not perfect, but much better. Apple should not have released this maps application without a huge EARLY BETA – USE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT on it.

      1. Not in Siberia, not in North Korea, not deep in the Rocky Mountains, but not far from Berlin, so it should be possible to find, even Bing does find it. I really hate how often Apple did punish themselves in the last time.

        See no real update for iWork since ages, see no real update for MacPro, see so much more. And yes, I love Apple a lot, I love the iPad mini, the Retina 15″ MacBook Pro, and much much more.

    1. Oddly enough, before all the bullshit about Apple Maps problems, there was an issue with the satellite view of my area being low res. That was updated to satellite views that were really up to date, like around twelve months old or less, but now those satellite images have been replaced by the same shitty out of date images that Google Maps uses, and THAT has really pissed me off. I don’t want satellite views that are eight years old, which is what my local ones have changed to.

  6. I still prefer Apple maps for the overall ease of use. The uncluttered look actually helps me find my way around without being distracted by too much information. It’s weird that a map that holds less details should provide more information than a map chockfull of details but it’s more a matter of focus. All extraneous details are removed while I navigate my way around.

    The downside to this is that if you want more granularity to the map, Apple maps is missing some local landmarks but I’m sure these finer details will be filled in over time as Apple maps gets fleshed out.

    Of course Street View is a huge gap in Apple maps but that’s about the only thing I find useful in Google maps. Transit information too – I hope Apple will find some way of incorporating this in future editions of maps but it’s not a huge downer for me.

    1. Unfortunately, Street View will never come to Apple’s Maps. I don’t see Apple investing the resources in it or Google ever licensing that data out to Apple. I have found it useful a few times a year when I needed to find a not-so-well-marked business.

  7. Oh look lists, I can play that game too

    Why Apple Maps are better
    1 – Doesn’t keep trying to get me login to do anything
    2 – Doesn’t waste 1/5 of the screen with a search box
    3 – Gives me 3D flyover for directions
    4 – Scrolling dynamics are spot on making it a pleasure to use
    5 – Google doesn’t support transit directions at my location, but an app does and that’s now integrated into Apple Maps.

    But more importantly it works well for me so I don’t need Google’s stuff. If I ever do I can just go on the web anyway.

  8. Like many I already had the TomTom app which kicks Google Maps to the curb when it comes to reliability, routing, traffic information and premium features.

    Plus one gets full offline maps, which Google only offers on Android and even there only a limited selection with many restrictions.

    Why anyone would consider Google Maps a product for serious navigation is beyond me.

  9. Never use a map app so this whole brouhaha is moot for me…. I know where i am and where. I am going ….have a car so I don’t need transport info…and don’t live in Australia or England…. So if I needed directions Apple Maps would probably work.,,, but as I said, I have never even opened the maps app… Along with 99% of IOS ushered apparently!

    1. It appears there are three kinds of people in the world

      Strangers in a strange land, wanting guidance

      Experienced travelers scoffing at outsiders’ deficiencies

      Alarmists seizing on navigational issues to promote a political agenda

        1. That’s the first thing I spotted when I used Apple Maps.
          My buddy gave me directions to his location. He said, “I don’t know the name of the road but it’s exit 12.”
          Errr… Wait, where are the flippin exit #s?!?!
          An absurd oversight Apple.

    1. THANK YOU! With all of the hoopla around map apps this was really the only glaring error I ever noticed about Apple’s app, and this is the first time anybody other than myself has brought it up as an issue. Apple maps actually work a bit better than either Google maps or Mapquest for the rural area that I work in. My business depends greatly on map apps and not having exit numbers is at least a major inconvenience.

      But how about these: No multiple destinations in either Google or Apple maps?! You gotta be kidding. And spare me the web browser work-around. Mapquest’s app for iOS has multiple destinations per trip, but it’s clumsy and clearly an afterthought. And, no ability to email routes – and again, spare me the web browser work-around.

      For me, all Apple has to do is bring in visible exit numbers and the ability to add destinations to a trip and I’m staying with Apple’s app. Add the ability to email routes and it’s definitely a done deal.

  10. I live in Altrincham on the outskirts of Manchester UK.
    My question is, if Google Maps app is so good why, when I request a route from Altricham to Manchester by Tram and I ticked the box that said ‘tram’, why does it continually show me the Train route when the tram started operations in 1992? This is one of the features that is applauded in the above article.
    I’ll stick withh Apple Maps thank you!

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