Ever since Apple Maps was launched, there has been a lot of debate about which mapping service is better: Apple Maps or Google Maps. It really comes down to what you are looking for in your app.
While Apple Maps has made great strides in recent years, Google Maps is still the king of mapping services. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each service.
An Overview of Apple Maps vs. Google Maps
Apple Maps was released in 2012. Google Maps, which launched in 2005, has had years to perfect their product, which is why they are still considered the best mapping software available.
Apple, on the other hand, who was already years behind, struggled out of the gate with a lot of bugs and imperfections. But it’s had a decade to evolve.
Apple Maps may be catching up with Google Maps soon enough; there are many features that make Apple Maps a viable choice for consumers. But if you were judging based on seniority alone, Google would win the prize.
Apple Maps is used by just under 25 million people per month. On the contrary, Google Maps sees more than a billion users in that same timeframe. Gauging by the number of users, Google also takes the cake.
The Differences Between Apple Maps and Google Maps
The Features of Apple Maps in 2022
When Apple Maps was first released, it had a lot of glitches. People were frustrated with the poor accuracy and misleading directions. The app has come a long way since then.
There are now many features that make Apple Maps stand out from Google Maps:
- You can navigate without an internet connection. This is great for when you’re in an area with no service or if you’re traveling abroad and don’t want to rack up data charges.
- The public transportation feature is really comprehensive and accurate. You can find information about schedules, routes, and fares for buses, trains, ferries, and more in over 80 countries.
- The Flyover feature gives you a realistic view of the terrain from a satellite perspective. This helps you get an accurate picture of the streets and landscape that you’re traveling on or through.
- The Indoor Maps feature is great for navigating airports, shopping malls, train stations, and other public places with lots of twists and turns where GPS signals can be difficult to obtain.
- The Look Around feature is similar to Street View in Google Maps. It allows you to explore areas by panning around and zooming in.
While these features make Apple Maps pretty useful in most situations, its accuracy still leaves much to be desired compared to Google Maps.
If it doesn’t have your location pinned down precisely enough (which happens often), then you will find yourself scrolling around searching for your destination instead of getting turn-by-turn directions like Google Maps offers as standard with their Premium upgrade plan.
Apple has also been improving traffic data since the launch of Apple Maps. They have added more than 100 million miles of new roads to their system, including improved speed limit information for many highways in North America.
Right now, the traffic data is only available in selected areas, so it isn’t quite as advanced or comprehensive as Google Traffic, but that’s likely to change over time.
Apple has also added Flyover support to five additional cities: Berlin, London, Mexico City, Michigan Avenue (Chicago), and MoMA PSI New York. This number should continue growing because they already have plans for future expansions of this feature on their roadmap.
The Features of Google Maps 2022
Google Maps is a comprehensive mapping app with many features that Apple Maps does not have.
- You can navigate without an internet connection, but it’s not as seamless as using the app offline with Apple Maps. Google Maps will cache the map for you when you’re connected to the internet, and then you can use it offline, but there are some areas where this doesn’t work well or at all. With Apple Maps, everything works offline seamlessly, so you don’t even have to worry about it.
- The public transportation feature is great if you live in a city with good public transportation options (which most major cities do). You can find information about schedules, routes, fares for buses, trains, ferries, and more in over 80 countries.
- Google Maps has had a traffic feature since its inception. It is much more comprehensive than Apple Maps because it includes data on accidents, road closures, construction, and other events that can affect your commute. This information is available in most major cities worldwide.
- The Street View feature lets you explore neighborhoods and see what they look like before you visit them. You can also view interior photos of businesses to get an idea of what they’re like before going there.
- Google Maps also has a really useful “For You” tab. This lets you stay up to date on the places that are important to you. It creates customized lists of recommendations for restaurants, local businesses, and attractions based on your interests so it can be tailored just for you.
- Google Maps has an augmented reality feature that lets you see information about nearby businesses and points of interest overlaid on the live view from your phone’s camera.
- The Directions tab gives you multiple route options for getting to your destination, including walking, biking, driving, and taking public transportation. It also tells you how long each route will take and how much it will cost.
Maps and Smartwatches
One area where Apple pulls slightly ahead of Google is in regard to synchronizing the maps to smartwatches.
Apple has seamlessly integrated its map services into the iWatch, so the watch vibrates and makes audible blinker sounds with upcoming actions, such as turning or merging onto the freeway.
Google Maps are not native to a specific watch; however, you can install Google Maps on a plethora of smartwatches, but the functions may vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
in 2012, but Google Maps is still more accurate overall.
Yes, you can use both apps without an internet connection but with different levels of functionality. For example, you cannot get directions with Apple Maps offline, but you can view maps and search for locations. With Google Maps, you can get turn-by-turn navigation offline, but some functions such as traffic information will not be available.
Flyover lets you see a three-dimensional aerial view of select cities, while Street View gives you a 360-degree street-level view of locations.
Apple Maps offers more comprehensive information about schedules, routes, and fares for buses, trains, ferries, and other forms of public transportation in over 80 countries. Google Maps has this information available as well but not to the same extent.
Apple has also been improving traffic data since the launch of Apple Maps. They have added more than 100 million miles of new roads to their system, including improved speed limit information for many highways in North America. Right now, the traffic data is only available in selected areas, so it isn’t quite as advanced or comprehensive as Google Traffic, but that’s likely to change over time.
Apple Maps offers turn-by-turn directions for cyclists that take into account hills and other factors that could affect your ride. Google Maps does not have this feature at this time.
Apple Maps offers walking directions that take into account elevation data and time estimates. Google Maps does not have this feature at this time.
Yes, any iPhone user can download the Google Maps app on their phone. However, the same is not true in reverse. There is no Apple Maps app to install on an Android. This is one other area where Google has the edge over Apple. It’s more versatile.
Waze is a social mapping app that relies on user-generated data to provide real-time traffic information and directions. It is available on both iOS and Android devices. While it has some of the features of Google Maps and Apple Maps, it doesn’t have as many users, so the data isn’t always as accurate. However, if you regularly use Waze with friends, then its community feature can be really helpful in getting around.
No, the only GPS navigation system that can be used on Apple CarPlay is Apple Maps. You cannot install Google Maps to use with your car’s infotainment center even if you are an Android user.
No, Apple Maps does not rely on Google Maps for data. It has its own mapping data that it collects from aerial imagery, satellite images, and user submissions. It also gets data from third-party providers like TomTom, DigitalGlobe, and Waze.
Apple Maps offers detailed information about local customs, currency, and food in over 150 countries. Google Maps does not have this level of detail.
Both apps offer a variety of features like location sharing, voice-guided navigation, and public transportation directions. They also both have extensive search capabilities that let you find businesses and addresses all over the world.
There are a few other minor differences between Apple Maps and Google Maps. For example, in Apple Maps, you can view Flyover mode for certain locations even if you don’t have an internet connection, while with Google Maps, you need to be online to use Street View.
Additionally, Apple has been adding more transit information to its maps over time, while Google has been focusing on improving its traffic data. So overall, the two apps offer different strengths depending on what you need them for.
So, which is the best map app? Apple Maps or Google Maps?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on your needs and preferences. If you need comprehensive offline features and live in a city with good public transportation, then Apple Maps is probably better for you.
If you rely heavily on traffic data to plan your daily commute and want to explore neighborhoods before visiting them, then Google Maps is the better option.
Waze is another viable option if you have friends who use it regularly.
Ultimately, the best map app for you depends on what’s important to you.