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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."

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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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83


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

  • Reply 2 of 83
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    [B]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[/B]

    So first it was bad but now it is better?

    Way to destroy your own credibility...
  • Reply 3 of 83
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    freshmaker wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 83
    gtr wrote: »
    Way to destroy your own credibility...
    Who said they were credible?
  • Reply 5 of 83
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    postulant wrote: »
    Who said they were credible?

    Touché! ;-)
  • Reply 6 of 83
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 83
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 83
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 83

    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. image

  • Reply 10 of 83
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    daharder wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 83
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    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?
  • Reply 12 of 83
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,573member


    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.

  • Reply 13 of 83


    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.

  • Reply 14 of 83

    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'.

  • Reply 15 of 83
    apple wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 83
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 83
    No doubt Consumer Reports will be branded a blatant Apple-lackey for not falling in line with all the other complainers!
  • Reply 18 of 83
    I'm really surprised CR did jump on the bandwagon and make the iphone 5 'not recommended' over the maps thing.
  • Reply 19 of 83
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 83


    The article is entirely accurate. I blasted iMaps when it first came out because of what other people were saying. Then I actually used it for a week and it's been absolutely perfect. iMaps rocks. As Apple ][ said, most of the complainers are likely fandroids who haven't even used it.

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