Faceoff: Apple Maps vs Google Maps!

pkcable

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Folks,

Rich Cermele here, or PKcable as most of you know me. I'm a BlackBerry guy, as I was the Mod Team Leader at CrackBerry.com for several years, plus I volunteer at other Mobile Nations sites. I'm the Q&A guy now (Jedi I suppose ;) ) Anyways I was asked to take a look at and compare Google Maps and Apple Maps. Going in I will admit that I am lazy and I usually just ask Siri to navigate and she picks Apple Maps of course. Also I came in believing Google would win. I use google for everything it's better right? More on that later. I tested both apps for several weeks, taking a look at accuracy, integration with the OS, integration with Apple watch, Bluetooth, issues and bugs, voice controls, and look and feel. I'll look at each app separately, and then summarize my findings and conclusion.

First up was Apple Maps. Apple Maps was very accurate, directions were good AND it got the names of difficult streets correct! Often it gave more choices of route than Google Maps. OS integration was another score for Apple Maps. (or a fail for the iPhone? On Android you can change default programs) Several settings could be changed under the hood to adjust how Apple Maps functions, and retrieves directions. Also when you ask siri for directions it's Apple Maps she uses. Apple Maps and Apple watch was another plus. At turns and other important driving directions your wrist vibrates. Bluetooth was a mixed bag, BUT it worked better with voice control on Apple Maps than Google Maps where it was unusable. And this MAY have been due to my older 3rd party bluetooth car kit. Bugs and issues were minimal with Apple Maps, just the bluetooth issue. Loved the look and feel of Apple Maps, and it worked perfectly. Turns and other driving directions were signaled at JUST the right moment, more on that later.

Ok now Google Maps, which I LOVE and use on my Computers. Not so much on the iPhone. Routes were accurate, BUT less alternate routes were given. There was little to no OS integration, NOTHING could be adjusted within the apps settings under iPhone, although within the app itself there WERE a few adjustments that could be made, but they were not as easy to use as Apple Maps. Also Google mispronounced street names enough times to concern me. No siri use possible, BUT there IS an Apple Watch app. BUT no vibration, just visual directions. Another big flaw of Google Maps (and it may be by design) is that direction signals came TOO soon for my tastes and I almost made wrong turns several times. Look and feel was nice, but I still preferred Apple Maps. I DID like the day in to night transitions of Google Maps.

So bottom line? Apple Maps is a better fit for me. For the watch integration alone, PLUS the better directions and it's better use of signaling turns. YES you need to signal BEFORE the turn or exit, BUT Google was constantly signaling WAY too soon, and there was another turn there, or exit. Also Google got my home street wrong! My HOME STREET! lol
 
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Annie_M

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The one thing I've noticed is when I ask Siri for directions to a restaurant, she often says she can't find any info on it. When I ask Google, it find's it right away. When I tap on an address, Apple Maps works very well.
 

Chemy JMHT

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OK PK, now please a comparison of those with Waze :D

Great way to show it, I can say I never used the Apple Maps very seriously, but I almost never use the Google Maps on the go, always Waze, I know this last one is now property of Google, but I also think Google acquired because Google Maps is not good enough to compite against others.

Another one you HAVE TO (lol :p) include in your next review and comparison is Here (By Nokia years ago), I think because it was a huge competition for all, now I don't know what are they doing after the VW/BMW and who knows who else acquisition.
 

pkcable

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The one thing I've noticed is when I ask Siri for directions to a restaurant, she often says she can't find any info on it. When I ask Google, it find's it right away. When I tap on an address, Apple Maps works very well.

Totally forgot! When sent addresses via text, I can click on them and Apple Maps comes right up and offers to take me there! File that under OS integration. ;). (It would be nice if you could select which mapping program you want to use as it would work on Android, BUT, whatever works!)
 

Rob Phillips

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Great review, Rich! I like the tighter integration that Apple Maps offers but Google Maps is still my go-to app for a few reasons. Mainly, Google Maps provides lane guidance and seems more proactive in offering and displaying alternate routes.
 

pkcable

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Great review, Rich! I like the tighter integration that Apple Maps offers but Google Maps is still my go-to app for a few reasons. Mainly, Google Maps provides lane guidance and seems more proactive in offering and displaying alternate routes.

My experience was different, Apple offered more alternate routes, BUT this could have been a fluke or configuration issue, and really it was only in 1 case that it offered 1 additional route, in all honesty. ;) Both were pretty good in this regard. I WILL say that Google offered more and better views such as street view for example, which Apple did not, HOWEVER it didn't really enhance the function for me all that much. For an iPhone user I still think, and mainly due to OS integration, that Apple Maps is the better choice!
 

pkcable

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Apple map is good for apple users but google map is great

You actually said a LOT in this little statement! I think Apple Maps is the best solution for the Apple iPhone user, BUT for general GPS, mapping and directions Google is great! When I say "ok google" on my Pixel, and ask for direction guess what SHE uses. ;) (Actually I can set which program is the default)
 

Fable

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Coming from Android I used Google Maps quite a bit on my new iPhone 7+... however, I have a very different take on GPS / Directions with the Apple Maps. Here are my current list of discrepancies and currently why I think Google Maps is better when it comes to raw directions (note I will include a plus or two also).

1) Apple Maps wins on visual display - its very well laid out.
2) Apple Maps works wonderfully with my AWS2. That blinker is really handy when turns are coming up.
3) GPS seems slightly off. This is the bad. What I mean by that is that I am commonly brought one street over from where the final location is. I do not experience this same issue with Google Maps on my iPhone 7+.
4) Google maps always seems to be trying to look for traffic blockages and reroute me... Apple Maps honestly doesn't seem to function this way. It just tacks on time to my drive as I hit that big red line on the highway.

I still use Apple Maps a lot as it works well with the Apple Watch but I do yearn for the precision and route planning that I get from Google Maps.

As strange as it may seem, I feel like Google Maps works better on my iPhone than it did on my Android device.
 

DarlaMack

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I hate to say this... but while I do use Apple Maps occasionally I'm not a big fan of it. Using the desktop version I've found myself submitting corrections via the app for locations that Google Maps clearly picks up. Lol I do blame that a bit on my location as well. I do like the integration of Apple Maps with my address book, and agree that hopefully in the future we'll have the option to choose which navigation system we'd like to use... but until then I'll rely on my OnStar lol.
 

msm0511

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I've actually found Apple Maps to be better for the area I live. Google Maps, while it gets me to the right street, often tells me the incorrect side of the street, or tells me to turn after I've already passed where I'm trying to get to. Apple Maps may not have as many features, but at least I'm not turning around constantly once I get to the street I'm looking for to get to the specific address.
 

jorge Hewitson

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Although it is true that the native maps of apple have improved a lot since its very bad start, google maps, are still superior by little margin, are in constant development both offer new functions constantly, but, you have offline navigation, and Its maps are much more careful outside of usa or other countries, instead apple has focused on some and others are relegated, that is very noticeable when one travels in that country. The one who hits first, hits twice
 

cruces9033

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Google Maps (especially Maps Pro) are quite advanced and more detailed. Apple Maps are pretty good as well and are ios friendly, but they aren't that detailed. If you're only using these maps to get from point A to point B I would recommend Apple Maps for their simplicity.
 
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