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Apple Maps directions beat Google Maps, Waze in pundit's head-to-head test

post #1 of 137
Thread Starter 
Apple's much maligned Maps application for iOS outperformed competitors Google Maps and Waze in a California driving test orchestrated by columnist John C. Dvorak.

Dvorak is somewhat notorious among Apple supporters, as the longtime pundit has over the years predicted the demise of numerous Apple products, including the Macintosh and iPhone. But in a new column for PC Magazine, he found that Apple's Maps for iPhone gave better directions in a head-to-head competition than both Google Maps and Waze.



Also involved in Dvorak's tests were TWiT broadcaster Leo LaPorte and writer Glenn Rubenstein. All involved were in separate cars with different navigation systems: LaPorte with Waze, Dvorak with Google Maps, and Rubenstein with Apple Maps.

the three vehicles made several different stops in California, including Apple's corporate headquarters in Cupertino. The fact that Apple outperformed Google and Waze in providing directions with traffic a real-world scenario made Dvorak admit he now has to "wonder what the fuss was about" regarding dissatisfaction with Apple Maps.

In addition, Dvorak said he believes Google Maps has been a "little ragged" as of late, suggesting that the search company's service has actually become worse over time ? even when accessed via a regular computer.

Maps
Apple's headquarters, as displayed by Google. Via PC Magazine.


Dvorak also noted that Google Maps on his phone shows Apple's headquarters via Street View as a series of trash bins on the company's campus. He questioned whether the picture is a "mistake, gag or insult."

"I had to laugh," he said. "But whatever the case, Apple Maps still won this battle. So Apple got the last laugh."
post #2 of 137
Personally, I still get better results from Waze... I wish Apple would make a sizeable investment in them before someone else snaps them up.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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post #3 of 137
My bet is gag/insult. Isn't it kind of obvious?

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #4 of 137
Who is he kidding? It may work within 20 miles of Silicon Valley but Apple maps is still a disaster in the rest of the world.
post #5 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

My bet is gag/insult. Isn't it kind of obvious?

And a good one. That is the back entrance to a secret research lab area.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #6 of 137

Google shows Apple's HQ as a bunch of trash bins?

 

Apple needs to update Apple maps straight away, and when somebody types in Google's address, a huge toilet bowl, rendered in wonderful 3d of course, will show up.

post #7 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

My bet is gag/insult. Isn't it kind of obvious?

 

Well, good that Apple would never do something like that... 1wink.gif

 

 

post #8 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamsandwich

Personally, I still get better results from Waze... I wish Apple would make a sizeable investment in them before someone else snaps them up.

+1
post #9 of 137
I haven't had a problem with Apple Maps finding an address... even a log cabin up a dirt road way up in the mountains of North Carolina. Most addresses have been around for years and years... unless it's a brand new subdivision or shopping center parkway. Map/address data has been around for years. If Apple is using that data... there shouldn't be a problem finding an address directly.

However... Apple Maps falls short for me sometimes with POI data. For instance... Apple thinks there are 2 Walmarts in my town. I don't know where they even got that 2nd address... there has never been a Walmart there. It was an old factory. I've reported it many times since iOS 6 came out... but it's still there.

I use Apple Maps if I know the exact location but I need turn-by-turn directions for getting there.

But I use Google Maps for general searching as their POI data seems more reliable.
post #10 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Who is he kidding? It may work within 20 miles of Silicon Valley but Apple maps is still a disaster in the rest of the world.

 

As someone who lives in another part of the world, you are incorrect.  I've used Apple Maps exclusively since launch and have never had an issue in Southern Ontario (Canada).

post #11 of 137
Totally backs up what I've found. Apple Maps give great directions and is a fantastic UI.

Where it flops is it's search. Fix that, and I'll never touch Google Maps again.
post #12 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Who is he kidding? It may work within 20 miles of Silicon Valley but Apple maps is still a disaster in the rest of the world.

 

As someone who lives in another part of the world, you are incorrect.  I've used Apple Maps exclusively since launch and have never had an issue in Southern Ontario (Canada).

I think it is case by case but in Central America, generally speaking, Apple Maps only shows major roads and even those are usually very inaccurate. For example they don't show any of the curves in the road, only long straight lines that don't align with the satellite imagery at all.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #13 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Who is he kidding? It may work within 20 miles of Silicon Valley but Apple maps is still a disaster in the rest of the world.

You don't represent the rest of the world.

post #14 of 137

I agree with PaulMJohnson. If I put in the address I need then Apple Maps gives the best directions, but if I am just looking for something that I don't know the address for Google is more accurate.

 

I went to my parents house in a remote part of Kentucky. It was two weeks after iOS 6 came out and I wanted to see the problem with maps. My car has built-in navigation and my wife has an Android phone. We put the address in all three systems and started our trip. For the most part they were the same. There are some back roads that I always take to my parent's and it cuts off almost twenty minutes by not taking the highway to the town closest to them. Both Google, and my car wanted me to stay on the highway until the next town. Apple Maps had me go the way I always take. It took Google over five miles to finally decide I wasn't going to U-turn and then had me go the way I wanted, it took my car another three miles.

post #15 of 137
That's great if you live in California. The past 2 times I used Apple Maps to take me somewhere it took me to the wrong address in a completely different city both times.
post #16 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Who is he kidding? It may work within 20 miles of Silicon Valley but Apple maps is still a disaster in the rest of the world.

 

Really depends on where you are, but it definitely is not only working in Apple's neighbourhood. I found the maps to be very reliable in e.g. Germany and France (just the POI lists are a bit lacking, but Google's are not up to date or accurate either, Google lists some businesses that were closed half a decade ago). My attempt to use Apple Maps in India, Thailand and Laos were an unmitigated disaster though (to be fair: Google's and Nokia's maps were not worth a dime in either of these countries either, the only decent Indian maps I found were commercial ones from Navigon).

 

I assume collecting quality data by means of crowdsourcing will always hit some limits. There is a reason that more professional solutions (like Navigon's) do cost a few bucks.

post #17 of 137
May be directions and stuffs are fine in Cupertino, but when I had a vacation in Vietnam last year, the entire city of Hue did not have a named streets in Apple Maps. It was completely useless. Google Maps at least gave the correct walking instructions. Granted, Hue is a class C city but that just shows how thorough the information in Google Maps is. I like Apple Maps for big cities, but the constant need to use Google Maps for less well known locations is irritating to say the least.
post #18 of 137

In my opinion this whole move by Apple might have been necessary, however the execution was extremely bad and nothing short of stupid. They should have rolled out their own service slowly, perhaps starting first with the US and review maps for the rest of the world.

 

I do agree that Apple's maps are more interactive, more fluid and generally pretty - for some places. However, where I am from you basically have no information about anything at all. Nothing, not even hospitals or green areas. All you see is the brown background with white streets, which if you're lucky have names, if you're not they don't.

 

Navigating from a street address to another works flawlessly, if the street itself is known. However, don't even dare trying to navigate to some city centre, because it will direct you 10 miles off into some field. Horrible.

 

I can not understand all of this, because Google maps, as well as OpenStreetMaps is extremely detailed for my location, in fact you can even see ATMs, toilets and water sprinklers on the university campus, whereas Apple's maps don't even know about a University.

 

Naturally, such bad maps will ruin the app's or even Apple's reputation in such areas. I cannot understand how you can overlook such obviously blank maps.

post #19 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

 

As someone who lives in another part of the world, you are incorrect.  I've used Apple Maps exclusively since launch and have never had an issue in Southern Ontario (Canada).

Ditto in Saskatchewan with one caveat: my house isn't on Apple Maps yet and it is on Google Maps, sort of.  The new area is about 1/6th on Google Maps and not on Apple Maps at all. But of course, this has and will always be true of new neighbourhoods.  Looks like google cruised through only slightly after Apple on the last go around

post #20 of 137
Why is it that every time someone tries to do a side-by-side comparison, Apple Maps comes out looking at least as good as Google Maps. Yet it doesn't stop the trolls from "well, in MY part of the world, it doesn't work at all".
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #21 of 137

I use Apple Maps a great deal. For the most part it has worked out great. I do run into a few errors which I send in using the report a problem button. I have seen some of those errors fixed, so I know they are working to make the results better. I prefer the look and 3d rendering of Apple maps to that of Google maps. 

post #22 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Who is he kidding? It may work within 20 miles of Silicon Valley but Apple maps is still a disaster in the rest of the world.

 

Maybe in your personal RDF but in the real world you are dead wrong, the screeches of a few nincompoops in Australia not withstanding. Everything you read on the Internet is NOT true and counting hits on a Google search is not proof of anything.

post #23 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Who is he kidding? It may work within 20 miles of Silicon Valley but Apple maps is still a disaster in the rest of the world.

Are you just being a jealous Android/Windows user or do you have valid RECENT data.  Like anything that requires 3rd party data, Apple gets updates for their Maps app on a regular basis.  I know if you have a bad experience one day, that you might not recheck it.  But so far, in MY area, which is well over 120 miles away from Apple HQ, I have not had any issues.  I've done my own comparisons between Apple, Google Maps and others (I haven't tried Waze yet) and I have found Apple to be better in MY area.  I also like the fact that there are little icons of places like restaurants, gas stations, etc. which Google does not.

 

I've also checked out photos of places that were posted as being poorly rendered and they fixed them, so the Hoover Dam road doesn't look weird like it USED to.

 

So, the only thing I can say is, check your area on a monthly basis, and send in via the app fixes.  It takes time to fix whatever problems there are, as like everything things don't happen in a vacuum or over night, it takes time.

 

But in terms of just the user interface, Google does a bad job IMO.  They can't even get YouTube to have a decent interface.  I have still yet to find a Google app that actually has a nice interface.  To me, that's as important as the accuracy, security, and how fast it works.

post #24 of 137
Well...

Doesn't that kookle your goombahs?
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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post #25 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Why is it that every time someone tries to do a side-by-side comparison, Apple Maps comes out looking at least as good as Google Maps. Yet it doesn't stop the trolls from "well, in MY part of the world, it doesn't work at all".

It's not even their part of the world. Apparently some people live everywhere, and speak for the entire world and they have used Apple Maps on all continents and in all countries.

post #26 of 137

It doesn't occur to anyone at all that "testing" these apps only in the USA, and only in southern California, within a stones throw of the headquarters of the companies in question is not really a test at all?  1rolleyes.gif

post #27 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Personally, I still get better results from Waze... I wish Apple would make a sizeable investment in them before someone else snaps them up.

 

With ya there, use my Waze daily, both directions, to and from work.  And then some... LOL

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

Who is he kidding? It may work within 20 miles of Silicon Valley but Apple maps is still a disaster in the rest of the world.

 

Yep, Step away from the city, then you will see what happens. :)

You don't want to make me curmudgeon, you would not like me when I am curmudgeon.  I go all caps, bold, with a 72PT font and green lettering.  

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You don't want to make me curmudgeon, you would not like me when I am curmudgeon.  I go all caps, bold, with a 72PT font and green lettering.  

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post #28 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

May be directions and stuffs are fine in Cupertino, but when I had a vacation in Vietnam last year, the entire city of Hue did not have a named streets in Apple Maps. It was completely useless. Google Maps at least gave the correct walking instructions. Granted, Hue is a class C city but that just shows how thorough the information in Google Maps is. I like Apple Maps for big cities, but the constant need to use Google Maps for less well known locations is irritating to say the least.

Well, in China, Apple Maps is supposed to be light years ahead of Google. So I guess it depends on where you are going.  Either way, you have a lot of alternatives and over time I'm sure Apple will address it.  So far, I have no complaints.  But if i do, I'll go to their feedback site and submit complaints.  They do read the submissions.

post #29 of 137

I find some anomalies in Apple Maps...

 

I was born in St. Louis Park, MN, population 45,882, a suburb of Minneapolis -- It has 3D Fluover.

 

I grew up in Pasadena, CA, population 138,101, a suburb of Los Angeles -- it has the Rose Bowl, Pasadena Playhouse (Oscars), Heidi Fleiss -- but no 3D Flyover.

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #30 of 137
Quote:
The fact that Apple outperformed Google and Waze in providing directions with traffic a real-world scenario made Dvorak admit he now has to "wonder what the fuss was about" regarding dissatisfaction with Apple Maps.

 

The "fuss" is that the Yelp-sourced locations often tend to be in the wrong place; frequently nearby, but not accurate enough.  That is the one thing that makes Apple Maps undependable, and Apple needs to correct this ASAP.

 

The dumpsters in Street Maps is nothing short of childish, and about what I'd expect with the likes of Larry Page in charge.

  Google Maps: ("Directions may be inaccurate, incomplete, dangerous, or prohibited.")

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

  Google Maps: ("Directions may be inaccurate, incomplete, dangerous, or prohibited.")

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #31 of 137

Funny!

post #32 of 137

IMO, the new Google Maps app on iOS is pretty bad...  I know it offers features that were on Android but not on iOS 5.

 

The UI takes up too much of the screen and it is iPhone only... What's that all about?

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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post #33 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

That's great if you live in California. The past 2 times I used Apple Maps to take me somewhere it took me to the wrong address in a completely different city both times.

 

The wrong address in the wrong city? Does that mean that you didn't specify the city in the search? What did you give it?

post #34 of 137
The reason Google Maps shows Apple's headquarters as a collection of trash bins is because that's where Google goes rummaging to get ideas for Android - trying to find hints in Apple's trash.
post #35 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11thIndian View Post

 

As someone who lives in another part of the world, you are incorrect.  I've used Apple Maps exclusively since launch and have never had an issue in Southern Ontario (Canada).

 

Well it's still pretty much a joke on the west coast.  

I also question the whole concept of "testing" maps just by doing a driving directions test.  

 

There is a lot more to maps than driving directions and many people do not drive at all.  I'm kind of sick and tired of hearing people post about how they used map directions to drive through Kansas or whatever and they were "totally fine."  Tell me a story about how Apple maps helped you find a restaurant in a town you'd never been to before or how it got you on the right bus to the airport and I will consider it a much more realistic "test" of the maps capabilities.  

 

Look at the picture I've attached for instance.  It shows one of the busiest intersections of the third largest city in Canada.

 

There are no transit directions or stops but we already know about that debacle.  No bike routes are marked, no transit stations are marked.  What's worse is there are no listings for the literally hundreds of stores and venues lining these streets.  There's a half a dozen or so entries for restaurants that are reviewed on Yelp only.  The icons for said stores and restaurants are all incorrectly located (but you'd have to be on the street to see that).  The buildings are sketchy and incorrect in many places, lots of them are totally missing.  

 

The giant error is the boundary to the park which Apple maps shows as being 50-100 yards off from where it actually is.  

 

Ironically, Vancouver is one of the cities in North America that pioneered digital city maps!  All information on the city, including pictures, locations of transit lines, all buildings and roads, bike routes etc. is all digitised and freely available from City Hall.  They even have 3D mapping data for every building in the city, but somehow Apple isn't even aware of this resource.  

 

Almost everything about Apple maps is wrong in Vancouver and horribly so.  This is just one tiny example.  

 

All this is is just a badly drawn vector map based on out of date information with an overlay of whatever restaurant has been reviewed on Yelp lately.

This is just a bad joke IMO.  

 

 

post #36 of 137
Writing this from Ottawa, Canada, apple maps works like a charm.
post #37 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Personally, I still get better results from Waze... I wish Apple would make a sizeable investment in them before someone else snaps them up.


They disagreed on the purchase price.

post #38 of 137

I wish Apple had done more with the Maps app before deploying it. But history cannot change itself. Furthermore, mapping is an eternal endeavor. I am glad to see Apple Maps is improving even if it is only in some corners of the world. Whining is silly because there are alternatives. In fact, don't people usually gripe that Android offers more choices? Well, we know that there is at least one mapping choice on iOS that is not available on Android! Heh ...

 

Most importantly, this is healthy competition. We ALL benefit. So why whine?

post #39 of 137

I may be wrong about this...but I'll stick with Apple Maps. I like the simplicity and the integration with Siri. 

 

The TomTom was great...but I had to type the address, street, street #, city all separately. With Siri, I just say the address or the place (e.g., "Home") and bingo she does the rest! It's wonderful.

 

A little thing.... I really liked how my TomTom App used to change to a dark blue background at night! Wish Apple would incorporate that. :)

post #40 of 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

That's great if you live in California. The past 2 times I used Apple Maps to take me somewhere it took me to the wrong address in a completely different city both times.

 

The wrong address in the wrong city? Does that mean that you didn't specify the city in the search? What did you give it?

 

Yeah... Google Maps has a friendlier search interface...  Apple Maps requires you to be pretty precise in specifying city and country.

"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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