Apple vs. Google: The mapping war that’s just beginning or something

“Apple Inc. might soon be launching the public transportation directions feature on Apple Maps, which will put it head to head against Google Inc’s Google Maps,” Ritesh Anan reports for Benzinga.

“Kevin Nabipour, SVP, Content Strategies at Allison & Partners, was on CNBC Friday to weigh in on this,” Anan reports. “Nabipour was asked how difficult it would be for Apple to convince people to switch from Google Maps to Apple Maps. He replied, ‘I think it’s going to be tough. It’s an uphill climb for them to be able to justify that they are the provider for this type of information. I think you could see that it’s going to be a valuable feature on the Apple Watch. I mean, imagine just kind of walking around and being on-the-go and getting transit updates on your wrist. That makes a lot of sense and it feels like that’ll be a really exciting feature.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iOS users have already switched from Google Maps to Apple Maps. Any non-technical iPhone or iPad user (in other words, almost all of them) use what comes baked in: Apple Maps.

As we explained back in November 2012:

Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong. Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.

iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the “Hee Haw” demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.

And, as we wrote back in September 2012:

Have fun tracking and trying to sell ads bound for your cheapskate “Buy One Get X Free” Fragmandroid pigeons. This is all Google’s loss: iOS users are the ones with money to spend and the will to spend it; you’ll have no access to hundreds of millions of the world’s cream-of-the-crop consumers…

That’s right, the world’s best, most well-heeled mobile consumers do not use Google Maps.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Maps will relentlessly continue to improve…

Let Google’s rueing continue unabated.

Related articles:
Apple Maps makes killer comeback as Google Maps loses access to world’s most desirable mobile customers – November 12, 2013
Apple Maps puts the hurt on Google Maps – November 11, 2013
WIth iOS 7, Apple’s Maps has arrived; it’s now better than Google Maps – September 25, 2013


  1. I still think Apple maps suck compared to Google maps. There are places on Google maps that Apple still doesn’t apparently know about – and not remote places either. I’m a big Apple fan, but not in that area.

    1. I continued using Google Maps for a while after Apple Maps came out. But after Google gave me wildly inaccurate directions on two different occasions, I switched to Apple Maps. It has never made a mistake, not once. And its integration with iOS, Siri, Contacts, etc., streamlines the process and makes it a pleasure to use.

    2. I use Apple Map to get from point A ti Point B… never, never been disappointed, but have gotten twisted with Google Maps.. I use as little Google as possible, I simply don’t trust them…. their founder once stated there is no such this as privacy, all info should be available to anyone who asks, and that’s exactly what they do, collect info on everyone to be sold to the highest bidder, or to inundate you with advertisements.

    3. Let me know when Apple Maps gets some version of Street View. I think any mapping app without that feature needs to get it. It’s so much fun exploring neighborhoods on a street view level. Apple has more money than any company on the planet and yet they can’t afford to spend money on such a must-have feature. That makes no sense at all. They may get it eventually, so call me when they do. Meanwhile, I’ll stick with Google Maps or Bing Maps.

      1. “Apple has more money than any company on the planet and yet they can’t afford to spend money on such a must-have feature.”

        Errrr, macnificentseven48, are you a super-secret member of the Apple board who has first-hand knowledge that Apple is NOT spending money on street view? I am especially curious since I have driven alongside an Apple street view mapping van (Dodge Caravan) as it went up and down the streets of Riverside, CA.

      2. Apple’s Maps is improving, but it’s not a patch on Google maps.
        Sorry, it just isn’t.
        Google’s lead here is obvious to impartial observers.
        The trick is, maps is what they do, and we can be fairly certain they are intent on keeping it on top.
        Who even knows if Cook will lose interest in another two years, as he’s done with so many other things.

        1. Apple Maps is quite good, and has forced Google to work to improve its map product in response. It is ridiculous to state that Apple Maps is “not a patch on Google maps.”

          Apple Maps is already a variable challenger to the incumbent Google maps for most situations, and Apple Maps will continue to improve. You use Google if you like, but most of the rest of us prefer not to give our information away to Google for monetization.

        2. Maps is not what they do, collecting data is what they do and having a mapping solution to collect even more data is part of their business model. As is mail, social networking, etc. These “free” services are there to collect user data.

          Google’s maps isn’t better because Google is better at it; it’s currently more feature rich, because they’ve had almost a decade’s head start.

          What Apple has achieved in the year or two they’ve been working on their own solution is commendable. And it far out paces where Google was two years into their endeavor.

          And please list this many other things that Cook has lost interest in? It’s ironic you say that when Google is widely known for losing interest in MOST of their services and products…

          1. Maps IS what they do, that’s why they’re on top.
            Beyond the confines of this myopic group on MDN, people in the real world need something that they know they can rely on.
            Apple haters resort to this logic. You don’t like the company so anything they do is crap. It’s just not so.

            I’ve used Apple Maps extensively, they’re getting better, but it is highly unlikely they’ll replace google for these reasons:

            1. Data. Google has better data. Don’t like how they gather that data? Don’t ever sign in and google cannot link your usage data to you.
            2. Ubiquity. Apple gathers data from only iOS users. Google gets it from everyone.
            3. Search. Google trounces Apple here. If Apple wants to catch up they had better get serious about search.

            – In FL. 9 miles from Downtown Disney. I asked Siri for directions and she dutifully plotted a route to Disneyland in CA.
            – In Columbia, SC I asked for directions to Columbia college. Siri showed me to Washington DC. You know, ‘District of Columbia’.
            Over and over this sort of thing happens, and I doubt very much if I’m the only one that experiences these sort of errors.

            As others have said here, Apple Maps will have arrived the day I can stop double checking with google maps.

            1. “Beyond the confines of this myopic group on MDN, people in the real world need something that they know they can rely on.”

              Not sure what you are talking about, maybe you are using Apple Maps in some country that has poor coverage? In the US I have been using Apple Maps almost daily for my business. When Apple Maps came out that was the very last day that I ever used Google Maps for anything, including my Mac. I despise Googles spy-on-you business model. I avoid them everywhere I can and use other search engines, only using YouTube as there is no viable alternative for it.

              “2. Ubiquity. Apple gathers data from only iOS users. Google gets it from everyone.”

              Nope, not from me and there is a significant number of users who are avoiding Google now because they do not trust them. Note that Apple iPhone users mostly do not use Google maps as it requires extra work to download and install and use it. There’s no way they are collecting data from “everyone” and in fact iOS users are by far the most valuable people to track and Google does not have access to many of them.

              “Search. Google trounces Apple here. If Apple wants to catch up they had better get serious about search.”

              Google’s entire business model started as a search engine and heavily relies on it for almost ALL of it’s revenue. No search = no Google. They had better be superior here or they’d be in dire trouble. Apple not beating Google at search is like Apple not beating Pixar at making computer animated movies, or American Airlines at flying passengers. Kind of obvious and irrelevant.

    4. Google maps has been out for how long and every time I look something up the marker is off by a mile. Look it up on Apple Maps and its usually dead on. But I have seen some things that Apple doesn’t even have on their maps. I wish Apple would make live!! I would probably use it alot more then!

  2. Although I use Apple Maps predominately, I often need to use Google Maps for Street View. Particularly when going to some place I haven’t been to before and need to know what a place looks like.

    Apple Maps really needs a street view option. Fly Over looks really neat, but if you aren’t Superman or have a flying car… what practical use is it? I haven’t found any… outside of showing off Apple Maps to people who aren’t familiar with Apple stuff.

    Also, both could use multi-point routing. Almost every time I travel, whether it’s local driving or on vacation, I’m going to multiple locations.

    If Apple could give me a street view option and multi-point routing, Google Maps would be toast.

  3. Google maps is still better in certain crucial areas than Apple maps. I travel
    To different cities every week for a living. Google maps will tell me which lane to be in, which is helpful in unfamiliar territory. Also Google maps understands directions into and through parking lots where apple maps will simply dump you to the address in the middle of the street which may not even have a driveway entrance to where you want to go. Apple has come a long way and I would love to use it but usually need to revert when I’m in a new area.

    1. Apple Maps has been telling me which lane to be in for quite some time. On a freeway it may actually tell me this information more than a mile in advance of the exit.

      I occasionally check out Google’s Maps and MapQuest Maps just for comparison, but within the last couple of years, Apple’s Maps app has been as accurate and as informative as either of the other two.

      Of course, for individual cases, there are ALWAYS going to be errors. And, as always, YMMV.

      1. He’s right about the “dump you to the address in the middle of the street” thing.
        Siri says, “Arrived at…” but has no clue how the building is shaped or where the entrance is, or anything of practical use.
        The day I can remove Google maps from my iPhone is the day Maps will have arrived.
        I’m not holding my breath.

  4. I use Apple maps most of the time. I avoid Google wherever possible.
    Apple maps is mostly okay here in Australia but a lot of times it has locations wrong (such as addresses). Also has companies at wrong locations and doesn’t show companies when searched for. Apple has so much money. Why can’t they fix this?

  5. To what end? Bragging rights? We get you within 3 meters. We get you within 10 meter. I doubt if you are looking still looking at your phone at 3 meters. But this would be good if tracking people. Really.

  6. The framing of the question and the idiotic answer suggests neither the interviewer or interviewee use an iPhone, or know anyone that does. Either that or it was a paid-for spot to persuade Google advertisers that they could still reach the apple market.

    So many lies are told every day in the American media…

  7. No, iOS users have not switched to Maps.
    Ask any traveler.
    Maps is still vastly inferior in many ways.

    Take the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga TN.
    Go ahead. Go to google maps and Apple Maps and compare the two.
    In Maps it shows up as a little dot. Google maps shows the building outline, visitor store, auditorium, lobby AND breaks out the second floor, showing the interior detail.
    Everywhere I go, malls, landmarks, theaters, it’s the same story.
    Apple is years behind google, and while directions have definitely improved, the nod goes to google.

    1. Okay, I’m a traviler. I use Apple Maps 7 days a week for work (yes, I work 7 days a week) and my ONLY complaint is that Apple’s red traffic line isn’t thick enough. Ive seems to love those thin lines. 😉

      1. A “traviler” eh?
        I see.
        You must not ‘travil’ anywhere but CA then.
        Two and a half years in and Maps STILL doesn’t even show exit numbers on any expressway anywhere, Siri insists on mispronouncing even common names, then there’s the lack of street view, almost no building outlines, zero interiors, and about a third of the information.

        Check out the Victoria and Albert Museum in London-
        Google: Oh look, there’s the entrance, the elevators, various galleries, etc..
        Apple Maps: Nothing but a tiny circle.

        Maps *is* getting better, but it’s not there yet.

  8. “how difficult it would be for Apple to convince people to switch from Google Maps to Apple Maps”

    Difficult to switch? Just one word, BlackBerry.

  9. MDN Take “Google made a crucial mistake: . . .”

    Google also made a crucial mistake by not allowing Apple to use turn-by-turn with their map data while making it available on Android phones.

  10. i don’t have a single Google app on my phone, don’t use gmail or You Tube and only use duckduckgo for search. really don’t understand the mentality of letting Google (and creepy Schmidt) have access to all of your personal info. even worse is schools using Google docs and requiring students to use them for assignments etc. why is it that only Europe seems to understand how insidious Google really is?

  11. How can user experiences be so polarized? I’m definitely in the camp where Google gets things right 99% of the time and Apple Maps 60%. I’ve become completely accustomed to hearing the group who arrived late to an event describe how lost Apple Maps made them. When helping set someone up with a new iPhone I can’t in good faith recommend sticking with Apple Maps.

  12. I’m using the Maps app as a bad example. Pick any address from my Contacts or internet and 95% of time it says “Not Found”, it can’t even find countries, no cities. But it can route me to the right place if I drop a pin, and the Apple Watch takes over and does a good job.

    What is needed is this, u drop a pin and it will give you data which bus is going there, how much time I have to catch it, and alarm when to get of the bus. I think Google based apps do that already.

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