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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 138
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,191member
    Personally, I still get better results from Waze... I wish Apple would make a sizeable investment in them before someone else snaps them up.
  • Reply 2 of 138
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member
    My bet is gag/insult. Isn't it kind of obvious?
  • Reply 3 of 138
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 185member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 138
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    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.

  • Reply 5 of 138
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member


    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.

  • Reply 6 of 138
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member

    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... image


     


     


  • Reply 7 of 138
    avonordavonord Posts: 65member
    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
  • Reply 8 of 138
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,912member
    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 [I]never[/I] 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.
  • Reply 9 of 138
    11thindian11thindian Posts: 181member

    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).

  • Reply 10 of 138
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 138
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 138
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 138


    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.

  • Reply 14 of 138
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 138
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 138
    zoffdinozoffdino Posts: 192member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 138
    cyniccynic Posts: 124member


    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.

  • Reply 18 of 138
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member

    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

  • Reply 19 of 138
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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".
  • Reply 20 of 138
    ilovestuffilovestuff Posts: 143member


    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. 

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