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Consumer Reports compares iOS 6 Maps directions to Google's Android Maps

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
Consumer Reports pitted Apple's new Maps against Google's Android Maps in a "showdown" to see which provides better navigation features.

The result: Jeff Bartlett wrote that while "both the free Apple and Google navigation apps provide clear routing directions," the group concluded that "Google provides a better overall package, but we feel that both provide a good solution for standard software."

Last week, the magazine expressed disappointment with Apple's new Maps service in iOS 6. Now, the group noted "having more thoroughly tested Apple Maps alongside a Samsung Galaxy S3 running Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Google Maps, we have a more favorable opinion--certainly more favorable than comments and articles that we've been reading online."

Testing both apps in the New York area, the firm states "both Apple Maps and Google Maps route effectively, providing clear guidance and great points-of-interest integration."

Apple-vs-Google-9-2012-map-thumb-240xauto-5382.jpg


The site says Apple's free Maps "lacks some of the features and integration found in dedicated portable navigators and other navigation apps from Garmin, Navigon, and TomTom, such as reality view, lane assistance, exit guide, and multi-destination routing," adding, "Frankly, we expected the app to match the state of the art, and perhaps even advance it. But, it didn't."

When compared against Google's free offering, the report stated, "overall, Apple impressed our staff with the graphic presentation for the interface, results, signage, and points of interest info. However, there is less customization throughout than Google--a mixed blessing when driving, where distractions can be dangerous. Google comes across as more business like and less fun."

It described Google at better at reporting traffic, albeit warning, "although in reality, it may often be a presentation choice rather than a data difference."

The report states that voice recognition "seemed compatible between the platforms" and that "for both, voiced instructions are clear and easily understood."

Consumer Reports stated that "much online grumbling about the iPhone app focused on weird 3D images," but added, "more often than not, we found rather intriguing 3D representations that bring a map to life. The reality is, this is a novelty feature, not a component of navigation."

Regarding complaints of "misplaced points of interest," the site said, "we programmed and traveled to numerous destinations. Almost all were found and successfully routed. Both platforms provided comparable information about restaurants and other attractions."

In 2010, Consumer Reports initially reported not seeing the "Antennagate" issues other blogs were reporting, then afterward announced that iPhone 4 was so crippled by antenna problems that it refused to list it as a recommended device, a standard it did not apply to other phones that also experienced similar issues.

Earlier this year, the group warned that Apple's new iPad could heat up to "116 degrees" if set to run video games for 45 minutes while charging the battery.

"When it was at its hottest, it felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period," the group reported.

AppleInsider is preparing a comparison of various iOS mapping apps. Add your comments about features you like (or miss) for inclusion in our upcoming report.
post #2 of 81

Man, AI is really milking this map thing for all it's worth lol. 

post #3 of 81
Now, the group noted "having more thoroughly tested Apple Maps alongside a Samsung Galaxy S3 running Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Google Maps, we have a more favorable opinion

So first it was bad but now it is better?

Way to destroy your own credibility...
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post #4 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Man, AI is really milking this map thing for all it's worth lol. 

I don't think it's as bad as the 'cartastrophe' everybody is making it out to be.

And we all know that it will get much better.
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post #5 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Way to destroy your own credibility...
Who said they were credible?
post #6 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Who said they were credible?

Touché! ;-)
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post #7 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Regarding complaints of "misplaced points of interest," the site said, "we programmed and traveled to numerous destinations. Almost all were found and successfully routed. Both platforms provided comparable information about restaurants and other attractions.".


So Mapgate was entirely fabricated by Apple haters.

Heck, when even CR (which has a long history of being unfair to Apple) says it's not an issue, maybe that will shut all the complainers up.

As for the rest, most of it is (as they acknowledge) differences in the way Apple does it. They automatically call it bad if it's different than what they had before.

Unfortunately, history says that this won't shut the complainers up.
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post #8 of 81
I guess it's good they have tempered their opinion. It would have been nice though if they had actually published a valid, informed opinion from the start rather than just repeating gossip and whining from the web.
Personally, I haven't noticed any real problems with iOS 6 Maps with regard to information and navigation. I think I'd like to have a bit more options/control over how much/how the info is presented, but I can say the same of any other mapping software I've used. The speed and visual clarity of the Maps is pretty stunning to me. I anticipate Apple will make rapid improvement as they build what will probably be the largest database of nav info out there.
Contrary to what CU thinks, I see this as an improvement on the state of the art in some ways and I think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg for now.
post #9 of 81
Given that Google Maps is the exponentially more mature/polished product, I'll stick with it for now, though I do look forward to Apple 'ironing' out the current issues with their fledgling effort.
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post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Heck, when even CR (which has a long history of being unfair to Apple) says it's not an issue, maybe that will shut all the complainers up.

 

IMO, Tim Cook may have realized (just like any other corporation being reviewed positively) that easier to buy CR than just ignore. lol.gif

post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Given that Google Maps is the exponentially more mature/polished product, I'll stick with it for now, though I do look forward to Apple 'ironing' out the current issues with their fledgling effort.

Exponentially? Really?

Well, I guess if you use a 1.0000000001 exponent, it might be.
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post #12 of 81
This is the same magazine which after careful testing could see no difference in the low-light abilities of the iPhone 5, right? These people are almost as bad as Enderle... Who cares what they think anymore?
post #13 of 81

Do you know who is most upset over Apple maps?

 

Fandroids who don't even own a damn iPhone. These moronic creatures who join Apple forums and complains about something that they don't even own or use. 

 

Android companies such as Google/Motorola who jumps on the "MapGate" bandwagon and makes fraudulent, lying ads, making up addresses that don't even exist.

 

As usual, certain people are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. This happens every single time whenever there is the slightest thing to criticize about anything Apple.

 

Apple shipped 5,000,000 iPhones and 23 people on a forum have a slight yellow tint on their screen? OMG, fucking Yellow-Gate!

 

Some retard takes a picture of the top of a garage, pointing their phone towards the sun? OMG, fucking lens-flare-Gate! Never mind that the flare could have been avoided if they would have moved their camera by just 1 inch, and that applies to any camera.

post #14 of 81

Who gives a rat's ass about maps on a smartphone? People use 3D flyover as well as maps out of curiosity, no practical uses for them. Navigation is necessary, though. I use my old and reliable portable Garmin device most of the time, and sometimes use Waze. By the way I own 5 Apple devices and am really happy with all of them.

post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


I don't think it's as bad as the 'catastrophe' everybody is making it out to be.
And we all know that it will get much better.

I haven't had time to read each and every 'map-gate' post, so I apologize in advance if this has been covered, but there's maybe 90 million iPhones on the planet according to Apple's numbers.  Arguably, some percentage of these are no longer usable (broken, abandoned, lost, etc.), but what is the percentage of actual iOS6 users out there that are 'angry' about their new map app?  Is the map 'outrage' a result of 5% of the user baser base?  10%?  20?  The vast majority of users can simply wait this out if a map app is a deal breaker -- and, of course early adopters really have no excuse for hyper-whining.  Never update any system that is mission critical without first vetting it!  In the case of iPhones, best to wait if you can't live without what you already have.  With the exception of new iPhone5 users, no one forced anyone to use or update to iOS6.  I too don't see the catastrophe'.

post #16 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple View Post

Do you know who is most upset over Apple maps?

Fandroids who don't even own a damn iPhone. These moronic creatures who join Apple forums and complains about something that they don't even own or use. 

Android companies such as Google/Motorola who jumps on the "MapGate" bandwagon and makes fraudulent, lying ads, making up addresses that don't even exist.

As usual, certain people are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. This happens every single time whenever there is the slightest thing to criticize about anything Apple.

Apple shipped 5,000,000 iPhones and 23 people on a forum have a slight yellow tint on their screen? OMG, fucking Yellow-Gate!

Some retard takes a picture of the top of a garage, pointing their phone towards the sun? OMG, fucking lens-flare-Gate! Never mind that the flare could have been avoided if they would have moved their camera by just 1 inch, and that applies to any camera.

They get to poke fun at Apple like we poke fun at their "lag" and cheap fragmented plastic devices.
post #17 of 81
The only thing of value in the review is the statement about you would expect Apple mapping to better than the stand along GPS systems since they are not easily upgrade. You would think Google or Apple solution which is based on software and their databases would be far better, but they are not.

Yeah having navigation on the phone is nice, but I still relay on my standalone unit why, because it works everywhere even places where you have no cell coverage or LTE or 3G data which does not exist everywhere and I had Google maps just stop working when you hit those places.
post #18 of 81
No doubt Consumer Reports will be branded a blatant Apple-lackey for not falling in line with all the other complainers!
post #19 of 81
I'm really surprised CR did jump on the bandwagon and make the iphone 5 'not recommended' over the maps thing.
post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The site says Apple's free Maps "lacks some of the features and integration found in dedicated portable navigators and other navigation apps from Garmin, Navigon, and TomTom, such as reality view, lane assistance, exit guide, and multi-destination routing," adding, "Frankly, we expected the app to match the state of the art, and perhaps even advance it. But, it didn't."

 

So does Google Maps have these things and are they also "expected to match the state of the art"?

 

Maybe their absence explains why Samsung phones ship with Navigon.

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post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarfungo View Post

I haven't had time to read each and every 'map-gate' post, so I apologize in advance if this has been covered, but there's maybe 90 million iPhones on the planet according to Apple's numbers.  Arguably, some percentage of these are no longer usable (broken, abandoned, lost, etc.), but what is the percentage of actual iOS6 users out there that are 'angry' about their new map app?  Is the map 'outrage' a result of 5% of the user baser base?  10%?  20?  The vast majority of users can simply wait this out if a map app is a deal breaker -- and, of course early adopters really have no excuse for hyper-whining.  Never update any system that is mission critical without first vetting it!  In the case of iPhones, best to wait if you can't live without what you already have.  With the exception of new iPhone5 users, no one forced anyone to use or update to iOS6.  I too don't see the catastrophe'.

You might as well not bother asking. I've been regularly asking the complainers for some real data as to how many people are affected and how many people have just as bad a problem with Google maps since the whole thing started. No response.

These Apple haters are great at whining but lousy at backing their position. And I'm willing to predict that this "there's no problem with Apple's Maps" story will get about 2% as much play as the "Maps-gate" nonsense.
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post #22 of 81
Apple haters didn't do this. All of the iOS drama queens who go ballistic every time a new app or product doesn't meet their expectations did. In another thread we actually had some bozo post "millions of iOS users are now disoriented" or some such tripe. Then we have the types who state their personal, often biased, opinion as indisputable fact. See above "Given that Google Maps is the exponentially more mature/polished product," What a self important blowhard.
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


They get to poke fun at Apple like we poke fun at their "lag" and cheap fragmented plastic devices.

IMHO it was Tom Cooks apology letter today that's making the map issues prominent. I've seen two different local new reports this evening on how Apple Maps is a rare failure for Apple. I'd guess that most consumers had no idea there were any complaints about the new maps, if they were even aware of new maps in the first place. A whole lot more have heard about it now with it making local and national news, The one report even pointed out how serious the problems were with the evidence being Apple's Cook suggesting other map providers for now . . .  even Google Maps who they replaced. Less informed consumers may be thinking it's a whole lot worse than it is based on today's apology.

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post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

 

IMO, Tim Cook may have realized (just like any other corporation being reviewed positively) that easier to buy CR than just ignore. lol.gif

 

CR doesn't accept advertising. Their methods aren't flawless (they over-rely on subscriber surveys, don't reveal their testing methods, etc), but they can be a good source of information as they buy their own products.

 

What may have happened is that the first blog post was based on initial customer reaction, but then they later did more controlled tests. What I'm finding are some patterns. For instance, it tends to give Brooklyn addresses when an address is present in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, while Google Maps tends to default to the Manhattan addresses (assuming you are in Manhattan). E.g. 541 Lexington is the address for the W Hotel in Manhattan. If I look for 541 Lexington, New York, NY in Apple Maps, I get a valid Brooklyn address. If I replace "New York" with "Manhattan" it works. I've already suggested to Apple (through Maps) that they replace the Brooklyn entry with "Brooklyn, NY") since that's how the USPS categorizes it. They use "New York, NY" to refer to Manhattan only.

post #25 of 81
Thank you 'Consumer Reports' for another thrilling article of things that have already been said. The should change their title to 'What bloggers were overreacting about yesterday Reports'
post #26 of 81

If you're going to do a comparison, don't limit yourself to San Francisco. Take in a major city from each continent.

post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


So Mapgate was entirely fabricated by Apple haters.
Heck, when even CR (which has a long history of being unfair to Apple) says it's not an issue, maybe that will shut all the complainers up.
As for the rest, most of it is (as they acknowledge) differences in the way Apple does it. They automatically call it bad if it's different than what they had before.
Unfortunately, history says that this won't shut the complainers up.

 

Eh, I wouldn't say it fabricated... blown out proportion? Yeah. Just as every thing Apple does. Remember how Siri was going to talk everyone into committing suicide? Now Maps is going to drive everyone off a cliff.

 

It gets ridiculous, so I tend to ignore it. I've only found one issue in my area so far... listed a business that is no longer in business. So, I of course reported it. So simple.

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post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

IMHO it was Tom Cooks apology letter today that's making the map issues prominent. I've seen two different local new reports this evening on how Apple Maps is a rare failure for Apple. I'd guess that most consumers had no idea there were any complaints about the new maps, if they were even aware of new maps in the first place. A whole lot more have heard about it now with it making local and national news, The one report even pointed out how serious the problems were with the evidence being Apple's Cook suggesting other map providers for now . . .  even Google Maps who they replaced. Less informed consumers may be thinking it's a whole lot worse than it is based on today's apology.

 

Most people won't care. If they've used it and works, they'll keep using it.

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post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Maybe their absence explains why Samsung phones ship with Navigon.

....they don't.

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post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


So Mapgate was entirely fabricated by Apple haters.
Heck, when even CR (which has a long history of being unfair to Apple) says it's not an issue, maybe that will shut all the complainers up.
As for the rest, most of it is (as they acknowledge) differences in the way Apple does it. They automatically call it bad if it's different than what they had before.
Unfortunately, history says that this won't shut the complainers up.

 

While I don't disagree with your overall statement, I do wonder where the "long history of being unfair to Apple" comes from? Have you subscribed to CR? Or are you basing that statement on what you've heard other people say (if you are basing it on what you read on AI, you need to find other sources of info)? And if that's the case, you are doing the same thing as so many people here claiming the iMaps "complainers" are doing. Namely, bitching only because they read bad opinions posted elsewhere.

 

I'm not saying that's what you are doing...saying CR has a long history of Apple bashing simply becasue that's what other people have told you. But I was a subscriber to CR for several years in the mid-2000s (I cancelled my subscription before the whole "antenna-gate" fiasco.)  Pretty much universally, CR was very favorable towards Apple products. Consistenly placing them at/near the top of their rankings.

 

CR may have gotten a lot of rightully deserved criticism for the antenna reporting, but to translate that into "a long history of being unfair to Apple" is just as CR-hater and people here are claiming iMaps complainers are Apple-haters...hating for no reason or because someone else told them to hate.

 

I haven't tried iMaps yet, but if the data on points of interest is in fact lacking, it is a issue to me. I use Maps in iOS5 far more for finding things than for directions. I can read a map and don't need a computer to tell me when to turn left or right. If there are deficiencies in the searching function and POI database of iMaps, than I want/need to know about them because that's far more important to me.

post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Apple haters didn't do this. All of the iOS drama queens who go ballistic every time a new app or product doesn't meet their expectations did. In another thread we actually had some bozo post "millions of iOS users are now disoriented" or some such tripe. Then we have the types who state their personal, often biased, opinion as indisputable fact. See above "Given that Google Maps is the exponentially more mature/polished product," What a self important blowhard.

 

Finally, a voice of reason.

post #32 of 81

Steve Jobs advised his team: "after I'm dead, don't ask yourselves what Steve would do", and Cook simply followed this advice. This is one instance when he should have ignored SJ's advice and not issued an apology. Every change is painful and it will take time getting used to the new Maps app. I have tried setting up different routes in Maps, and they all match my go-to satnav app, Navigon, producing the same alternative routes and the same road choices.

 

Cook's apology doesn't benefit Apple in any way, and I hope that all those people out there using iOS6 sit down with their dvice, plan some routes and say "hey, what's the problem, this thing works just fine".

post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

IMHO it was Tom Cooks apology letter today that's making the map issues prominent. I've seen two different local new reports this evening on how Apple Maps is a rare failure for Apple. I'd guess that most consumers had no idea there were any complaints about the new maps, if they were even aware of new maps in the first place. A whole lot more have heard about it now with it making local and national news, The one report even pointed out how serious the problems were with the evidence being Apple's Cook suggesting other map providers for now . . .  even Google Maps who they replaced. Less informed consumers may be thinking it's a whole lot worse than it is based on today's apology.

 

 

An anti-Apple friend of mine is going to buy an iPod Touch after reading the apology. Up until that point he thought that Apple was run by 'fashionistas with a God complex' (whatever that means).

 

I think the 'apology' was a good move. Staying quiet would simply give sites (like this one) an excuse to carry out more tests, write more articles, and keep the whole thing rolling for months. The letter will get the vocal faithful back on board, which will bring the press, because the press will write whatever will bring them the most hits.

 

But if you think it was just an apology then you need to read it again. Cook has also told the customer base (and the Google fans) that there will be no turning back, so here are the options if you want to get off. 

Risky? Not really, because Cook knows that the vast majority are using the system without any major problems, so they have no reason to move.

 

Oh, and along with the railway stations posting help signs for people who had downloaded maps, and the Irish Justice Minister publicly asking Apple to put Dublin Airport back where it belongs, the BBC has been running stories on the problems.

 

Trust me, 'the less-informed consumer' already knows. That's why a statement was necessary.


Edited by Rayz - 9/28/12 at 4:57pm
post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Apple haters didn't do this. All of the iOS drama queens who go ballistic every time a new app or product doesn't meet their expectations did. In another thread we actually had some bozo post "millions of iOS users are now disoriented" or some such tripe. Then we have the types who state their personal, often biased, opinion as indisputable fact. See above "Given that Google Maps is the exponentially more mature/polished product," What a self important blowhard.

 

And watch for the same people who said that Maps was a disaster, who will now say it wasn't that bad and Cook was weak for apologising.

 

"Look, I own a full-sized inflatable giraffe and shares in a lap-dancing club in Scunthorpe; so when I tell you Steve would have never apologised for anything, then you know I speak the living truth!"


Edited by Rayz - 9/28/12 at 4:57pm
post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Frankly, we expected the app to match the state of the art, and perhaps even advance it. But, it didn't."

i expected it to let me drive across the ocean. but it didn't. that let-down is on me.

where did your expectation come from? your own concoction, or something in the marketing?

yeesh.
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post #36 of 81
I like how no one has any respect for Consumer Reports at Apple Insider (and rightly so), until they publish something favourable like this and then it's a big story all of a sudden.

Oh, and there is a misquote in the article, "voice recognition 'seemed compatible between the platforms' ..." (should be "comparable," not "compatible").
post #37 of 81
Perhaps in America, Apple Maps is great but here in Japan, it's a different story. Here in Yokohama, my university is not even on the map! Google Maps not only shows the university but also shows the building names. And so many areas have much, much, much less detail than Google Maps. I went on a trip recently and I was impressed that Google maps had great detail, even in outback areas with small streets even listed. Not so with Apple Maps. The difference IS exponential!
post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

While I don't disagree with your overall statement, I do wonder where the "long history of being unfair to Apple" comes from? Have you subscribed to CR? Or are you basing that statement on what you've heard other people say (if you are basing it on what you read on AI, you need to find other sources of info)? And if that's the case, you are doing the same thing as so many people here claiming the iMaps "complainers" are doing. Namely, bitching only because they read bad opinions posted elsewhere.

Well, no. I've covered CR's reviews of Apple products for 2 decades now. Every review I've ever seen them do was full of total nonsense and false information. And even when the information was accurate, they almost always ended the review with something like 'it's faster than the alternatives, better built, more reliable, easier to use, more productive, and much higher customer satisfaction, but we can't recommend it because it doesn't run Windows.' They have a long history of setting up some silly criteria and using them as the gold standard whether or not the criteria are valid. Like the iPhone 4 nonsense. "It's the best phone on the market, but we can't recommend it because of the antenna thing" - even though other tests showed that every other phone on the market did the same thing and that Apple's reception was better than most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I like how no one has any respect for Consumer Reports at Apple Insider (and rightly so), until they publish something favourable like this and then it's a big story all of a sudden. .

That's because it is.

If Steve Ballmer says that Apple products aren't any good, that isn't news because he's been saying that (and being wrong) for over a decade. If Steve Ballmer says that Apple products are great, it would be news.

CR has been so consistently Anti-Apple that their saying it isn't a problem means it really isn't a problem.
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post #39 of 81

I am kind of surprised initially to see that there are so many issues with the US map.  TomTom has been in the navigation business for along time.  It is unlikely to give wrong direction if given a right address.  Occasionally, road change may happen, and no one should hold these companies to be 100% accurate.  Grant that Google spends more money and resources to update its map, and have a more accurate map than anybody on earth.  But that only applies to a small percentage of locations.  Google search is more likely going to give more refined response than Apple.  A lot of times, people are accustomed to typing incomplete address.  There are chances that Apple Map may give a wrong location.  In those cases, the Apple map is not completely not usable.  A user simply have to be more precise in putting the exact address.  Point of interests is the same logic.  But the Apple Map having a turn-by-turn navigation system is definitely an upgrade to the iOS5 version.  If people are more patient, I am sure that Apple map can be smarter to provide you with correct information even with incomplete address. 

post #40 of 81
Which University is that? What is the address?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphin0611 View Post

Perhaps in America, Apple Maps is great but here in Japan, it's a different story. Here in Yokohama, my university is not even on the map! Google Maps not only shows the university but also shows the building names. And so many areas have much, much, much less detail than Google Maps. I went on a trip recently and I was impressed that Google maps had great detail, even in outback areas with small streets even listed. Not so with Apple Maps. The difference IS exponential!
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