Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
12/14/2012
02:49 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps

Google Maps' triumphant return to the iPhone exposes just how bad Apple's app really is.

10 Best Business Tools In Google+
10 Best Business Tools In Google+
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google published a new mapping and navigation application for Apple's iPhone this week. The app arrives three months after Apple booted Google Maps from iOS 6 over its lack of voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions. Google and Apple were unable to agree on the feature, so Apple dropped Google Maps.

Since then, Apple has suffered a lot of embarrassment over its replacement service, called Apple Maps. In fact, earlier this week an Australian police department warned motorists to use something other than Apple Maps due to its inaccuracies. (It appears Apple Maps was misdirecting people into the middle of the desert.) Your app really has to stink for a police department to warn against its use.

The new Google Maps for iPhone app includes voice-guided navigation and much, much more. Here are five features of the new Google-developed mapping application that trounce what Apple offers.

1. Speed.

There might not be a quantitative way to measure this, but Google Maps is much faster than Apple Maps. The speed is most obvious when rendering maps. Google Maps was able to render a close-up 3-D model of Manhattan faster than Apple was able to draw a 2-D map of the same area. Google Maps also is faster at configuring routes and driving directions, and it is faster to pan around maps and zoom in close. The speed of Google Maps is impressive.

[ Google adds a night-time city-level satellite view to its maps. Read Google Maps Adds NASA Nighttime Satellite Imagery. ]

2. Mass Transit.

Apple Maps doesn't offer mass transit directions. If you choose the little subway icon at the top of the screen within Apple Maps and attempt to find a route between two places, it doesn't work. Instead, it suggests mapping app alternatives from the App Store. The top suggestion is -- you guessed it -- Google Maps. Using Google Maps, finding train, bus or subway directions is a breeze.

3. Details.

Apple is working hard to fill in the gaps of Apple Maps, but Google outguns it with ease when it comes to the finer details. Case in point: Apple's satellite image of my house was clearly taken before 2006, the year I had a fence installed along the edge of my driveway. The fence does not appear in Apple's picture of my house. It does in Google Maps. In fact, Google Maps' satellite imagery is from 2009 or later. How do I know? I had a big tree removed from my back yard in 2009. The tree is not present in Google Maps' image of my house. These are small, mostly insignificant details of one location. They could just as easily be of something more important, like a new highway overpass, or a new one-way street.

4. Street View.

When using Google Maps, if you want to see what an address looks like from the street, you use Street View. Google's Street View cars have been scouring the country for years. The result is rich imagery that allows people to get an idea of what an address or storefront or building looks like before they make the trip. Apple Maps does not offer Street View.

5. Desktop Map Syncing.

If you use Google Maps in your browser, you can easily save favorite places, routes, directions, addresses and more to your Google account. These places are then automatically available to Google Maps on the iPhone. This is an invaluable tool when you need to plot directions on one device and then use them on another. It also makes it easier to manage your mapping tasks.

Stay ahead of the eCommerce technology curve. Watch our webcast, Next Generation e-Commerce Strategies for B2B Sales and Marketing, to learn the strategies and tactics you can use to more efficiently give your clients what they want, keep them happy and increase sales. Register now.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ANON1248837340478
50%
50%
ANON1248837340478,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2012 | 6:11:10 PM
re: 5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps
It was never clear exactly how much, if any, of the code for the original iOS Maps came from Google, but it still used Google's map data. Based on the look and feel, I'm guessing Google helped write it or at least provided big chunks of the code.
ANON1252035144238
50%
50%
ANON1252035144238,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2012 | 7:29:24 AM
re: 5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps
"Your app really has to stink for a police department to warn against its use."

What do you expect from a writer with an axe to grind with Apple but to write lies.

The problem with map data is Apple get them from many sources and if the source provides bad data it will be reflected in Apple Maps so for this instance the fault lies here -

The bad directions issue that led local police in Australia to steer motorists away from Apple's Maps app may not entirely be the iPhone-maker's fault.
Apparently there are two listings for the same problematic location in the Australian Gazetteer, the de facto local geographical dictionary that lists some 322,000 locations and their corresponding GPS coordinates.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1357...
klassendg
50%
50%
klassendg,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2012 | 4:18:18 AM
re: 5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps
Apple Maps is as good as it has to be. It made Google afraid it was being cut off from it's biggest revenue stream, iOS. So Google had to fast track their own Maps. Mission Acomplished!
David Berlind
50%
50%
David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2012 | 4:12:13 AM
re: 5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps
I think it's a bit of a stretch to sa that Apple has "almost took over the computer industry as well as the cell phone industry." Both industries are huge globally and Apple has "taken over" neither and if anything, is beginning to see it's share of the smartphone market erode due to Android. That doesn't mean that Apple won't continue to break sales records with every new iPhone. But "take over" isn't about iPhone 5 sales vs. iPhone 4 sales. It's about iOS vs other operating systems and in that battle, no one has taken over. It's a bit of dead heat.
veggiedude
50%
50%
veggiedude,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2012 | 4:08:58 AM
re: 5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps
Triumphant return? it is the first time Google has made a maps app for iOS.
ANON1248720440898
50%
50%
ANON1248720440898,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2012 | 1:40:43 AM
re: 5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps
This article has a huge anti-Apple slant to it, and has very little basis, if any, in truth. Apple maps literally BLOW AWAY Google maps, there is NO COMPARISON insofar as SPEED is concerned. Do another bong hit and tell us about some trollers in Austrialia and what they had to say.

There is no bigger fanboy than the Apple haters. You guys are hurting right about now. Apple has almost took over the computer industry as well as the cell phone industry.
jrenkel
50%
50%
jrenkel,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2012 | 10:27:18 PM
re: 5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps
I'm not an Apple fanboy by any means, but I compared the driving directions given by Apple maps, Google maps, my Garmin GPS, and a TomTom GPS, and Apple's were the best here in west suburban Chicago. Just giving props where due. Overall, I like Google maps better.
stefnagel
50%
50%
stefnagel,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2012 | 7:28:28 PM
re: 5 Ways Google Maps Beats Apple Maps
Bobbing at Apple.
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July10, 2014
When selecting servers to support analytics, consider data center capacity, storage, and computational intensity.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.