David vs Goliath - Apple vs Google Maps - One week in LA/Minneapolis

worldspy99

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Jul 11, 2014
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Hello everyone.

Okay so here is my short review of Apple Maps (the upstart) versus Google Maps (the 800 lb Gorilla). My review is slanted simply because I am not wedded to any single platform.
I switch phones/tablets all the time.

My primary line is a WindowsPhone - yes it is a tiny fraction of marketshare but I am eccentric. Using a Lumia 950 with a Walnut Black Mozo Wood cover.

My secondary line is usually a device that I play with for a week or two and then move on to something else. Currently it is an iPhone 6s. I also have the LeEco Pro 3 sitting in a drawer and a sealed iPhone 7 which I am debating whether to open and use it or give it as a gift for the holidays to a family member.

My tablet line is currently in a Samsung Tab S2. I also have an iPad 2 and am looking for an iPad Air 2 to replace it.

My personal computer is a Surface Pro 3.

Here is my review of using the two mapping applications on the iPhone 6S in the Los Angeles Metro area and in the Minneapolis metro area and I-94 corridor between MN/WI in USA.

Apple Maps Plus points:

- Results seem to pop up really fast - a hair faster than Google Maps because of tight iOS integration.
- Directions and street names are spoken well.
- If searching for a business or establishment the results pop up nicely but seems like data is coming from multiple sources.
- Usage interface is quite nice but there are a few items that bug me - see section below for details.

Apple Maps Minus points:

- - Siri is a hit or miss for me so I am not going to belabor it. My wife cannot even get Siri to recognize or do anything despite training her iPhone multiple times.
- Driving time estimates are not as accurate
- Interface seems a bit disjointed, for example looking up a restaurant or review pulls data from Yelp. The pulled data comes through like the OG app and doesn't get translated to the design language of Apple Maps.
- Data is sparse in rural areas and zooming in doesn't tend to help.
- Rerouting options aren't as great as the other app in my experience.

Google Maps Plus Points:

- I like the interface and design. They have been consistent throughout years of development for various platforms. Looks and feels the same on iOS/Android/Computer.
- Can push directions from computer to phone
- Data integration using Google Search is bar NONE.
- Driving time estimates are scary accurate. I suspect Google has years of data on me and my driving habits and that gives it a huge leg up over Apple Maps.
- Information pulled up on business, restaurant etc is consistent across all platforms, the presentation does not seem disjointed.
- Street view integration is very well done.

Google Maps Minus Points:

- Looks lousy on the iPad. I actually switched to Apple Maps on my iPad.
- Siri integration is not present, but I am not too bothered by it.
- Option to choose no toll roads is buried and gets untoggled after each use, absolutely drives me crazy. This is true of Google Maps on any platform and I hate paying toll!

I am someone who likes familiarity/consistency, so I use Google Maps on the iPhone because it is very similar to the computer/Android interface. Driving times in horrbile LA traffic are important and Google Maps wins on this particular issue everytime - something to do with Waze integration and information on my personal driving habits. Search results have better and more detailed information thanks to Google Search.
As much as I want to use Apple Maps for my particular preferences Google Maps seems to work better.

Thank you for your time and I hope this helps in deciding which app is better suited to your needs.
 

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