Apple Maps or Google Maps? Which is Better?
For six long years, Apple Maps has been the ugly stepsister of Google Maps.
It made its big debut in 2012 in an effort to steal away Google Maps users, but it didn’t quite work out as planned.
From the beginning, there were endless criticisms of the many Apple Maps flaws, from its various glitches to its lack of support and sometimes dramatically incorrect driving instructions. People who happened to use public transportation were completely out of luck. While later updates were designed to solve some of these problems, Google Maps continued to dominate the space.
Apple Maps Versus Google Maps
While both apps are for the most part similar in cost and functionality, there are certain things about Apple Maps that really are superior to Google Maps.
On the other hand, it’s equally true that there are still a number of areas where Google Maps simply crushes Apple Maps. For instance, while Apple focuses on tremendous detail in its maps, Google is much more concerned with accuracy, a vital piece of the puzzle and an area where Apple struggles.
One of the first things users notice when using these two apps is a big difference in the user interface and how the maps are shown. The interface for Apple Maps itself is much simpler and cleaner. Users can easily search for specific locations using the search function and change from satellite to map or transit by simply tapping on the button at the upper right.
Apple Maps also offers other useful extras, such as information on the current weather at a particular location. It provides users with custom icons for certain important landmarks, such as the Capital Building or the Washington Monument. And it’s definitely true that Apple Maps provides almost excruciating detail of the area in question, for the limited areas it covers. For instance, users see get many minor roads that aren’t shown on Google Maps.
Google Maps Still Tops in Practicality
Much of the detail Apple Maps provides is geographic and not entirely useful for people who just trying to get from point A to point B. In fact, some of that detail is so over-the-top that it actually makes it difficult to see the important details, such as the road needed to get to a destination. Sometimes with Apple Maps, users literally can’t see the forest for the trees.
The largest failing by Apple, by far, is that Maps only covers a very small percentage of the United States when compared with Google Maps. Right now, it’s coverage stands at roughly 3.1%, with Apple focusing on major metropolitan areas and similarly important spots. Google Maps offers a much more extensive and all-encompassing approach to mapping.
In those areas where Apple Maps does have coverage it’s generally more detailed, but for those going on longer drives this might not be enough. In the years to come, Apple Maps will likely add more to its mapping system, but for the time being it can’t hold a candle to Google Maps for overall usability. And really, that’s what a map is for.