Apple Maps vs Google Maps - smartphone mapping titans battle it out in 2020



  • Reply 21 of 67
    I have been using Apple Maps ever since it came out with the early issues.
    Apple Maps is now definitely the clear choice for me.  Gotta love the new look around feature.

    The progress in Apple Maps and AR also means that autonomous systems are making progress in the self-driving car area.
    Looking forward to the differences between Apple and Google.
  • Reply 22 of 67
    big kcbig kc Posts: 141member
    They're both good. It pretty much comes down to personal preference nowadays. But a lot of people have only ever used one or the other, and don't really have a preference, never having tried the other. Everybody should try them both and figure out which works better for their own purposes. I do prefer the way Apple displays maps & directions via CarPlay over Google's. Street names are much larger and plainly displayed, making them easy to read at a quick glance. Google's labels are smaller and fussier. And what about Waze? Tons of people absolutely fawn over it and refuse to use anything else. It does have a few nice unique features - like being able to flag an incident or lurking speed trap. But visually it's ugly and a mess and always has been.
  • Reply 23 of 67
    bulk001 said:
    I need to revisit Apple Maps and give it another shot. Does it now do lane assist? Also, can you report things like accidents, lane closures, speed traps etc.?
    I’ve been trying Apple Maps since it came out in 2012. I give it a try every 6 months or so, and it fails every time. I don’t care about the features if the simple navigation can’t get you where you need to go. 

    Apple Maps Suri « intelligence » is nowhere close to Google Assistant or Google search. If you try to navigate to a POI, Apple Maps will try to take you a state away even if you have a POI with this name a couple miles away. 

    Google Maps always figures y out the correct POI. Apple hasn’t been able to figure this out for 8 years now. Apple Maps is a big fat FAIL. 
  • Reply 24 of 67
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,494member
    I’m a big boy, I’ll use whatever tool helps me the most for a particular situation. So far Apple Maps always seems to work perfectly fine for getting driving directions linked to one of my Contacts, which corresponds to the majority of my queries. I have used the Google Maps app for getting walking directions overseas. It worked fine. 

    You really have to have some sort of personality disorder to get all twisted up about pledging allegiance to a specific tool when you have ALL of these tools at your disposal. I’ll let Apple and Google lose sleep over who gets to wear he Princess Crown and keep using whatever tool works best for my particular situation. 
  • Reply 25 of 67
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,481member
    I was just thinking of how anytime an Apple competitor like Google enters a space Apple is in, they get the benefit of being new. Apple took an enormous amount of flack for the release of maps not being perfect, even though Google had a 7 year lead that leveraged Apple’s platform to become viable in mobile. 
  • Reply 26 of 67
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    When Apple Maps can have waypoints on a route being panned for long distance driving it will be far more useful , if it already can I would love to know how.
  • Reply 27 of 67
    Google Maps is still rubbish here in New Zealand. To help you understand this statement a little more I'm a postie and often we find mail for addresses we're not too sure about. In most cases I can find these addresses in both systems but I find far more in Apple Maps than Google Maps.

    For example there's a street here in town called Totarahoe. This is a brand spanking new street and for a good few months this did not show up in anything other than the local council's mapping system. However this street now shows up in Apple Maps but has only just shown up in Google Maps since the update last week. That's at least three months behind Apple Maps.

    The only thing I hold Google Maps in high regard for is the plot numbers which for a postie is a great advantage and something I wish was in Apple Maps. That being said though I'm finding using a mix of Apple Maps and the local council maps to be far superior and so Google Maps is just an app taking space on my iPhone now.
  • Reply 28 of 67
    I'm quite happy to see Apple trying to compete with Google Maps and Bing Maps. If Apple has the money and resources, then why not go after Google Maps and Bing Maps. Apple needs to show that it's not just a pushover of a company. I'd certainly like to know why Apple Maps on iOS doesn't carry over to Apple Maps on OSX. Is Apple saying that OSX users are less important than iOS users? It seems a bit unfair in my opinion. Apple still should get some Greenway markings for bicycle paths considering how Apple is always yapping about how green they are. I definitely want bike paths marked in green on Apple Maps just the same as Google Maps has and until that happens, I will continue to use Google Maps.
  • Reply 29 of 67
    Each user has to try out each map and compare for themselves.  I use map everyday, so it was worth my effort to test them out.   I last tested them around 1 year ago.  

    For everyday usage at home in California, Apple wins.  
    • Apple Map seems to learn my pattern.  In the morning, it recommends my work address.  In the evening, it recommends my home address.  Google Maps is dumb.  It doesn't know seems to know what is work or home.  When leaving work, I see my work address on top of recommended list.  On weekends, Google still list my work address.
    • Apple Map takes 1 less button press to navigate, at least when I tested them last year.
    • Routing is same between Apple vs Google.  
    • Apple Map visual is cleaner and easier to use.
    I used Apple vs Google Maps when traveling in Europe multiple times in past year.  For routing, both are same.  Again, Apple Map has better visuals so it is just easier to use.

    When I used walking navigation in Europe, Apple Maps wins.  It's direction was correct and it is much easier to see.  Google Map gave me wrong directions in Italy and did not work in Greece.  And it is hard to figure out when to turn, because the visuals is so poor, especially in European cities with many small streets and alleyways.

    For finding restaurants in Europe, both are hit and miss.  Apple shows some restaurants but not others; and vice versa for Google.  This happens when I use the Map app for suggestion; or even when I find restaurant on TripAdvisor and try to use Map apps for routing.  So in unfamiliar European city and looking for places to eat, I have to use both Map apps.  

    One advantage of Google map is the offline map.  I didn't really have to use this.  But I downloaded the maps when traveling in Europe just in case if I cannot get signal.

    And I did encounter 1 issue with with Apple Map around 2 years ago.  I was going camping and driving on small road, which was closed due to construction.  Apple Map didn't know the road closure.  When I used Google, it showed the road closure.
  • Reply 30 of 67
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,927member
    Google maps is still better, shows stores and restaurants along with reviews like yelp. Much better than apple. 
    So does Apple Maps. Try again.
  • Reply 31 of 67
    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with congratulating Apple. Much better? Yes. FWIW, Apple got a bum deal for the EXACT same mistakes that Google Maps was making way back when. But...

    1. Apple seems to think of mass transit as an optional choice. Otherwise it would allow the user to set arrival and departure times In ONE minute, not FIVE minute increments, as Google does. This can make all the difference in catching a train or bus. And this is coming from someone in Los Angeles who uses both car and mass transit. Which is why I have Google Maps running in Opera next to Apple Maps on my iOS Home Screen (I mean I’m not that crazy to use a Google app). I simply can’t count on Apple Maps’ transit directions, despite being more legible.  

    2. Let’s back away from how smart Apple’s data is. If I type my friend Joe Schmo’s name, or Dr. Jones from my contacts into Apple Maps, they will invariably appear either at the end of a list, or after names on the opposite side end of the country. Whatever algorithm Apple is using is simply maddening. 

    3. I’ve also had instances where the garage entrance in the BACK of a building on a different street appears in Look Around as the address I’ve asked for. 

    4. And off topic, don’t get me started with how asking Siri to call ANY Doctor (“Hey Siri, call Dr. John Smith”), results in “Sorry, I can only call one person at a time“. A bug in iOS 13 that the Genius Bar now calls a feature. As does asking Siri to call “Vons Pharmacy” will bring up the names of 10 random friends. Sigh...
  • Reply 32 of 67
    Eric_WVGG said:
    This article is overlooking some very serious issues with hardware lock-in.

    If you want maps or directions on your Apple Watch or AirPods, it has to be Apple Maps. These use private APIs in a way that is arguably anticompetitive. 

    Meanwhile, if you want directions for bicycling that won’t get you killed, you’re stuck with Google Maps. Apple will either send you the wrong way up one-way streets if you pretend to be a pedestrian, or up freeways if you pretend to be a car. 
    Re, hardware lock-in, FTA: "Apple users can choose either. Android users are effectively stuck with Google Maps. "

    That while true is mildly disingenuous. The reason android users are stuck with Google Maps is because apple doesn't (yet?) offer their product on Android. Not due to any action by Google.
  • Reply 33 of 67
    Apple maps is ok. But it’s very location specific, and they use a lot of third party tie in’s for reviews and place photos. Like trip advisor etc. And tries to open third party apps. Find that very annoying.

    Google has more first party data, is more global/universal, and is of course better at search.

    Google works best for me.

    But I can imagine if you live in an Apple Maps supported city and hardly ever leave you could live with Apple.
  • Reply 34 of 67
    In the beginning, it seemed like Apple was trying to solve something that was already solved. It was hard to see what they could contribute to the experience of using maps and GPS. But today, I vastly prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps for navigation, with the one exception of it preferring U-turns instead of alternate routes that Google Maps chooses. The quality of the maps is also better in Apple Maps now over Google Maps. Maybe not as detailed, but readability is way better
  • Reply 35 of 67
    Eric_WVGG said:

    Meanwhile, if you want directions for bicycling that won’t get you killed, you’re stuck with Google Maps. Apple will either send you the wrong way up one-way streets if you pretend to be a pedestrian, or up freeways if you pretend to be a car. 

    If you're pretending to be the wrong kind of transport and expect an automated navigation app to give you proper directions, you're placing idiocy on the wrong side of the fence. Sorry.

  • Reply 36 of 67
    TheBuccaneerGentlemanTheBuccaneerGentleman Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    Its really no comparison. Apple Maps may be good in the US or Canada or even parts of Europe but its terrible in every other part.
    1. No transit directions in many many countries. 
    2. Transliteration support is terrible. Meaning when writing in Roman characters with languages typically written in non-Roman characters
    3. No intelligence for misspellings. Get it exactly right or get nothing 
    4. Almost no support for things like "Embassy" or "City Center" or "Malls" or "Food Courts" (Google knows them all BTW)
    5. Terrible discovery for whats around you
    and many other complaints I have. 
    We travel a lot and live outside the US. We have to rely on Google as nothing else has the power all over the world.
  • Reply 37 of 67
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,384member
    But I can imagine if you live in an Apple Maps supported city and hardly ever leave you could live with Apple.
    You're funny in an FUD kind of way. I've managed to live with Apple Maps in four western states without city-agoraphobia. 

    That said there are a few features which would make Apple Maps 99% perfect for me. 

    1) Offline maps. First and foremost, this is Maps greatest deficiency for me. As long as there's cellular service, Maps works great. Without it, you're stuck with just GPS which leaves much to be desired.

    2) Marshall or waypoints. A somewhat distant second, I'l like to pick a Start and Stop destination and pick various points in between. The would be by both dropping a pin or dragging a segment of the route to wherever the spirit moves me.

    3) Press a button in Maps to get GPS coordinates that can be sent via text or read out over the phone. It could be done via the Compass app, but I'd like it available without ever leaving maps. I'd also like to see that button on the screen when you make a 911 call. You'd have the option of pushing it to immediately send it to any agency supporting that data so a caller provide a very accurate location as needed.

    4) "Hey Siri, call 911 with my location!"

    There are other things that would go towards making Maps and the iPhone a full fledged sat nav, but the four, in order, would be huge for me.
  • Reply 38 of 67
    I relied on Apple Maps (and haptic feedback on my Apple Watch) twice while touring on my bicycle.

    The first time, in the Netherlands, it kept switching back from Walking to Driving directions, and it led me to a motorway bridge (bicycles not allowed). I had to make quite a detour to find a ferry.

    The second time, in Germany, I was keen to stick to Walking directions. It sent me up an unrideable hill-track into an abandoned firing range. Had to backtrack for quite some time (not too much of a distance) and manually find a way around. (Roaming charges applied at that time.)

    I've read that Apple is updating Maps, adding Cycling as a means of transportation. Until Apple haa become aware that in (at least) this part of the world Cycling has its own network of both forbidden and dedicated roads, we cyclists can't rely on Maps. (In the UK and Germany, many closed railway lines have been converted to cycling ways.)

    Moreover, Apple seems to use map data from Tom Tom. For a Dutch company, Tom Tom is unbelievably unaware of cyclists, seemed to treat us as drivers of impeded cars.

    So it's Google Maps for me. Using Bluetooth earbuds for directions. Besides, I have noticed that iPhones outlive Android smartphones when using GPS.
  • Reply 39 of 67
    bbhbbh Posts: 134member
    I just returned from a week in Tokyo with a side trip to Hiroshima. All in all, I preferred the presentation and info in the Google Maps. I thought walking directions in both were lame. By the way, this was on my T-Mobile iPhone X (unlocked, of course) which worked just fine in Japan. T-Mobile includes Text and Data in, I think, all of their plans.
  • Reply 40 of 67
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Yeh, like the article says:   PRIVACY!
    There may be no other app that can gather as much truly personal information about you as mapping software that knows if or when your body moves from point A to point B and which points it passed through on the way.

    The Beach Boys even wrote a song about that:
    "Seems like she forgot all about the library like she told her old man now.  And with the radio blasting goes cruisin just as fast as she can now..."
    Yeh, I know its unlikely she would have been using Apple Maps.  But the integration of all information collected by a smart phone with its location & mapping abilities provide profound ability to know an awful lot about you.

    I don't trust any organization but Apple not to (eventually) misuse that information for their own advantage.
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