Shootout: Apple Maps vs. Google Maps

“Google Maps (Android, iOS) has been widely regarded as the go-to mapping software. But after a rocky start three years ago, Apple has worked steadily to bring Apple Maps up to speed. Earlier this year at its developer conference, Apple announced that Apple Maps usage on iOS is ‘3.5 times higher than the next leading mapping app,’ and iOS 9 has brought an improved version,” Clifford Colby writes for CNET. “It seemed like a good time to give Apple Maps another go-round to see how it compares with longtime favorite Google Maps.”

“We decided to test the two apps on quintessential autumn errands: a day trip to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch; a walk across the streets of San Francisco in search of a spooky Halloween costume; and a bumpy bus ride back to work,” Colby writes. “We didn’t want to do a tightly controlled mapping experiment: our goal was to take a few everyday trips and see how each mapping app behaved.”

“Over three outings, we found Apple and Google Maps comparable,” Colby writes. “That’s not to say, however, that they are identical. We thought Apple Maps was more visually appealing, especially its 3D map view. And we very much liked how you could view a small map window when in another app. Google Maps, using color-coded roads to indicate traffic conditions, offered more real-time data when driving. By the conclusion of our trips, we thought both maps held their own…”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A very well-balanced review. More of these will help Apple Maps finally overcome its tainted launch.

Plus, one important thing not covered in CNET’s review is that Apple Watch’s Maps integration is unmatched:

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

51 Comments

  1. I’ve given Google maps a shot on several occasions just to be sure that I wasn’t missing out on a better map app than what I typically use. It worked well in some instances but a good percentage of the time it was completely off. It told me to take a turn when there wasn’t any road to turn onto (happened multiple times). So, to get to my destination I had to go to other app, such as Apple maps, to get to my destination. I’m not saying that Apple Maps is the best out there but Google maps in my experience have been terrible. I present this as a cautionary tale that you should have a couple different map apps on your phone in case one isn’t that great.

  2. Meanwhile: The Latest Android malware nightmare


    Malicious apps in Google Play made unauthorized downloads, sought root

    Apps with as many as a million downloads removed following their discovery.

    Google has banished 13 Android apps from its Play marketplace after security researchers found the apps made unauthorized downloads and attempted to gain root privileges that allowed them to survive factory resets. . . .

    The apps found last year were hosted in third-party marketplaces. The latest ones, by contrast, were hosted in the official Google Play store. They are part of a malware family dubbed Brain Test. While the apps were caught only making unauthorized downloads of other apps, their design made it possible for them to carry out a host of fraudulent actions that could be updated on the fly by the attacker-controlled command server they connected to.

    The best option for removing Brain Test apps is to back up any data worth keeping and then reflash the ROM supplied by the device maker. As always, people should remain cautious and alert when downloading Android apps and be aware that even when apps have been admitted to Google Play and receive a large number of positive reviews, there’s no guarantee that they can be trusted.

    Shame On Google! 😛 So much for their new ‘vetting’ policy at Google Play!

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