Apple Maps has recently made a comeback among iPhone users, but is it better than Google Maps? Let’s explore.
Apple Maps has made significant strides since its disappointing introduction in 2012, triggering discussions on its comparison with Google Maps.
In 2012, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, even apologized for Apple Maps’ initial shortfalls and recommended alternatives.
Fast forward a decade, numerous updates later, Apple Maps is giving its primary competitor, Google Maps, a run for its money. So, which one should you choose?
Here are the key differences between the two to help you decide.
Switch to Apple Maps if you want…
- A visually simpler navigation
- Users are flocking back to Apple Maps because of its sleeker interface. While keeping the search boxes and settings menus aside, Apple Maps excels in delivering a visually relaxing experience.
- Given the volume of information we deal with on a map, Apple’s minimalist approach is beneficial for users who simply want to locate streets or general directions, without the distraction of additional details like restaurant or building names, which Google Maps provides.
- Seamless integration with other Apple products
Note that Apple Maps is designed to work optimally with other Apple devices. It’s integrated across Apple’s product range, from AirTags, FindMy network, CarPlay to Apple Watch.
For Apple Watch users, the synchronized directions feature when using Apple Maps could alone be the deciding factor.
Apple Maps and Privacy
Apple Maps ensures privacy by storing search and location data locally, unless you choose to share it through iCloud. In contrast, Google Maps collects and uses personalized data to recommend travel routes and eateries. You can read more about Apple’s privacy and image collection policy here.
Choose Google Maps if you:
- Are an Android user (or enjoy flexibility)
- Google Maps shines in terms of compatibility. It’s available on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Chrome devices, unlike Apple Maps which is confined to Apple platforms, making Google Maps more accessible.
- Despite Apple Maps being pre-installed, many iPhone users still opt for Google Maps, indicating its popularity.
- Value accurate travel calculations: With a larger geographical data pool, Google Maps is more reliable for calculating travel routes and plans. You can specify departure and arrival times for optimal navigation.
- Additional features include real-time information on the crowd level at various locations, which can be particularly useful.
- Google Maps incorporates user-generated reviews, providing insights about places you plan to visit. Although Apple Maps offers a similar feature, it relies on Yelp and directs you to the app for more information.
Important note about Apple Maps
It requires offline maps before iOS 17: The upcoming iOS 17 update will bring offline maps to Apple Maps, a feature already available on Google Maps. Offline maps allow users to download data for use in weak signal areas or without internet, a key reason many iPhone users prefer Google Maps. This feature also helps save on data roaming charges for travelers.
- Maps – Apple
- Maps – Google
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Google Maps vs Apple Maps (2023) [Video]
Video uploaded by Joshua Chang on May 7, 2023