Why Google Maps is better than Apple Maps

“I’ve been using Google Maps for years, since before Apple released its own map apps. When Apple Maps was first released, I found it very hard to read; there wasn’t enough contrast between roads and backgrounds, and texts were tiny,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “That’s improved a bit since the initial release, but not much.”

“Every now and then I try out Apple Maps, when looking for a certain location or a specific type of business. I tried again recently, to see if Apple had improved things with the releases of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra,” McElhearn writes. “Here’s an example. There are three pubs near me… Google Maps knows about all three pubs; Apple Maps only knows about one (and not the best one, at least for food).”

“This is what I find for anything I search. Look for restaurants, gas stations, any type of business, and you won’t find as many locations in Apple Maps as in Google Maps,” McElhearn writes. “Some people in the US have told me that it is very complete over there, but others here in the UK have confirmed that they have similar problems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s all about the dataset. In the UK, Googles is clearly more complete.

43 Comments

  1. I love Apple Maps and never had any problems with it. With iOS 11 it now also has land guidance! A feature I’ve been begging for since I first put away my old GPS unit in favor of Maps on the iPhone back in 2011. The data in the U.S. is pretty good now, and I’ve even noticed it quickly adapting to new construction. The feedback for stores that have changed or closed is very responsive and quick to update. Honestly anything is better than the privacy invasion of Google.

  2. Sought to confirm the location of a Chicago area loading dock recently using Google and Apple Maps satellite imagery; hands down Apple Maps was superior.

    Newer image, superior vantage.

  3. Apple Maps has been slow to catch up. I personally find now that when I send corrections or mark a new site that it is updated very quickly. And I even get an acknowledgement via email when it’s done. This seems to be pretty good crowd-sourcing.

    1. Have to agree. Recently sent in the location of a life guard tower (happens to be where my kid’s school trains) and within a week it was added and had an email from apple thanking me.

  4. I use Apple Maps. I figure my usage helps make it better, through telemetry.

    Also, I believe in the notions: For better or worse, through thick or thin, etc.

    I have never felt the need to jump into Google Maps for anything.

    1. In my opinion, Apple Maps is superior to Google maps, especially with the clarity of the displayed information, but for a number of years I have been making posts on here saying pretty well what Kirk McElhearn is saying about how poor the database is for users in the UK.

      If I specify where I want to go by means of a postcode ( Zip Code ), Apple Maps is excellent and finds a really good route according to the current traffic conditions and displays the directions clearly and without unnecessary distractions, but where it falls down is when I ask it to search for a named place. The database needs to be massively better suited to the task.

      One particular annoyance is that it doesn’t seem to take into account where you are when you search for somewhere. I was in Germany and my ( German ) wife asked me how long it would take to drive via Hanover. Apple Maps assumed I must want Hanover in Virginia, rather than the famous city that has been an important German city for a thousand years. It also lists Hanovers in NH, MA, ME and PA, but appears to be completely unaware of the original Hanover with it’s half million population. I’ve repeated this test with two iPads, two iPhones and a Mac and it has failed every time.

      This isn’t an isolated example, I’ve previously mentioned how a search for Loch Ness ( the place reputed to have the monster ) came up with businesses using that name in America, but didn’t list the actual lake. Similarly there is a town in the east of England called Eye. It now appears on the list of suggestions, but didn’t used to and the list mostly contains eye hospitals in America, which are still listed above the place that’s really called Eye.

      Regrettably I have to find a workaround. I use DDG to get the postcode of the place I want to go and then paste it’s postcode into Apple Maps. It shouldn’t be necessary to do that , but the database in Apple Maps is hopelessly centred on the USA.

      Somebody at Apple must surely be smart enough to work out that if there are several places that sound identical, the nearest one ought to be presented near the top of the list. Alternatively, the real places should take precedence over small businesses thousands of miles away using that name as part of their trading name. If I’m after driving instructions, it’s a pretty safe bet that I’m looking for somewhere on the same continent that I’m making the enquiry from.

      1. Apple maps, while improved, is no match for Google Maps particularly the 3D rotation and wonderful street views.

        You make an excellent indictment how it cannot figure out Hanover based on your location. Just terrible and Google has that function down pat.

        If anyone says AM is better just amounts to wishful thinking and loyal fanboy devotion. I wish it was the reverse …

  5. Apple maps never fail me. whereas Google maps is that creepy Eric Schmidt guy looking over my shoulder. Ugh, gives me a chill every time I see someone using Gmail or Google maps or anything else from Google. Ill never use anything google intentionally.

  6. Privacy issues. Companies who want to be listed must enroll their company info with Apple. You can go to: mapsconnect.apple.com to put your company on the map. Apple uses TomTom for their general map needs.

    1. What are you saying? If they allowed it, what use would a company listing be without the company info? And do you think a company doesn’t want their info out there!!!? WTF!

    2. That does’t explain why entire cities are not listed.

      I use Apple Maps and also a TomTom. The two databases are not the same and I find that can each produce unexpected results and they don’t necessarily produce the same results.

      I use a TomTom SatNav as well as Apple Maps because the TomTom gives warnings of speed cameras and also displays my true driving speed ( which is important if you drive into a country using kilometres rather than the miles that your car displays ), furthermore the TomTom doesn’t suddenly change it’s screen at a critical moment if an incoming call or alert is received. However Apple Maps is much better for showing an overview of where I’m going and what sort of traffic conditions to expect. While my TomTom will offer to route around traffic jams that crop up during the trip, Apple Maps often give me a better way of avoiding that area altogether.

  7. I love Apple Maps new lane guidance and speed limit display, very cool. I use Apple maps all the time.

    But when I travel (and only when I travel), I use google maps. Offline maps are really handy. It even stores businesses with the data. One other nice thing about Google maps is that you don’t have to start turn by turn directions mode to get the information. The next turns and such are just little notifications letting you know what’s going on, while still just looking at a map with a potential route selected.

    1. Speed limit display is very useful. It should be a default on all car navigation system map displays. My European rental cars had this year ago. It is an excellent idea anywhere. But maybe especially in the US where road speeds can change multiple times in relatively short distances (which I’ve always thought is crazy).

      1. When I’m driving in the US or Canada, I always bring my TomTom with world maps. Obviously it’s good for finding my way around, but it’s invaluable for alerting me to speed limits and speed traps. Speed trap alerts are illegal in some countries, but very useful when you’re driving a hired car in unfamiliar areas.

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