Check out our ultimate showdown comparing the best features of Google Maps and Apple Maps! Review all the functionalities offered by the apps and choose the best one for you.
The era of digital upsurge has given us customized platforms that enable easy access to the world of technology and comfort. Many apps have been developed to make life easier and a lot more more smooth. Apps have a solution for all our problems, accessible at just one click. One such example is the navigation apps that have transformed our ways of exploring new routes and destinations.
There’s no denying the fact that navigation tools like Google Maps and Apple Maps have changed the way we search for places, directions, and explore local businesses. Both these apps are trusted by users for reaching their destinations. These two maps are the best location tracking apps that we have today. While both the apps serve a similar purpose, there are some major differences in their interface and features.
Google Maps has held the crown of being the best navigation app for years, but Apple maps is not far behind in the race. Both these apps are extremely popular for the sheer number of features they boast and their well-tested reliability. So, is Google maps better than Apple maps, let’s find out in our comparison below.
Launched in 2005, Google Maps has become synonymous with the word ‘map’, even more so than an actual map. Currently, this navigation app has a 70% market share and an unmatched acquisition power. Reason? Because it offers real-time traffic, predicts arrival times, and optimizes routes for many modes of transportation.
Apple Maps, on the other hand, didn’t arrive until 2012 and for years it struggled with technical issues. All the while, Google Maps continued to improve and reign supreme.
It was finally after the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 in 2019 that Apple got a foothold. The updated Apple Maps ditched third-party navigation data in favor of fresh data gathered directly by Apple. The new and updated maps were far more accurate and detailed.
Later with the release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple added routes for cyclists, routing for electric vehicles, congestion zones, and guides for finding the best places to visit in cities around the world.
Both apps are similar visually and offer basic mapping features, including driving directions with turn-by-turn navigation, walking, and public transit directions. However, there are some key differences between Apple Maps and Google Maps that might influence which mapping service you choose.
So, without further ado, let’s discuss their amazing features and find out which navigation app is most accurate.
There are some stark differences between the two applications. To further distinguish, below are their most usable features from a user’s perspective and how they tug with each other in the battle of Apple Maps vs Google Maps.
Apple Maps was exclusively launched for Apple devices - iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch. This means if you don’t have an Apple device, you’re barred from using this navigation app. So, does Apple use Google Maps? Luckily, Google Maps is built into all mobile devices, which means even Apple users can download it from the Apple store. In fact, Google Maps is quite popular on iOS devices, with Apple customers preferring it despite continuous improvements in Apple Maps.
The interface for iOS and Google Maps is quite similar. With Apple Maps, you can use the search bar at the bottom of the screen for finding specific locations. By hitting the information button in the upper right, you can switch between Map, Transit, and Satellite views. Just below the information button, you can find the Look Around button to get a street-level view. While the text and icons are smaller in Apple Maps, Google Maps has larger icons and more brightly colored, which seems more eye-catching.
Like Apple Maps, Google Maps also feature a search box and three different view modes - Terrain, Satellite, and Default. You can also hit the ‘Street View’ button to look around as you were walking down the street, or click the 3D button to get a 3D view. When it comes to actual navigation screens, both are simple but with distinctive artistic styles. If you zoom in to Google Maps, an immediate sidebar pops out with information about nearby locations, while zooming into Apple Maps you will see more locations pop up on the street.
Talking about the satellite view, Apple’s satellite view has a more photographic appearance because it uses vector graphics, while Google’s satellite view looks more realistic. Both apps base their arrival estimations on current traffic conditions. Both Apple and Google use different colours to indicate the traffic level on the road. You can also see alerts, from road closures to accidents.
When it comes to comparing the two navigation applications, there are stark differences. On one side Google Maps offer a much more detailed yet cluttered map design. It represents multiple pieces of information like street names, businesses, and landmarks for finding specific destinations.
Apple Maps takes up a much more minimalist design language. The maps are less cluttered and much easier to read for less tech-savvy users. However, it doesn’t unfold that much detail in comparison to Google Maps.
Considering the fact that Google Maps is a much older platform since it was launched in the year 2007. It enables Google Maps to be much more versatile in terms of exploring locations virtually. Google Maps offer a street view with a first-person perspective.
Apple Maps as of now is available in fewer places and doesn’t offer as many features as Google Maps such as a street view or 360-degree view. On the other hand, Google Maps also provide features such as the ability to pan and zoom and also view historical imagery.
Google Maps gives users a better idea when it comes to how traffic will impact a commute. It shows live traffic and helps commuters plan their ride better. It also provides more options on the main screen, while additional options on Apple Maps will have to be pulled up from the bottom part of the screen.
Both Google Maps and Apple Maps include public transportation information when you search for directions. All you need to do is pick a destination and hit the ‘public transportation’ button at the top of the screen. Using Google Maps has more advantages as it has data on where users are, plus a mix of historical and crowdsourced data. Google can also give an estimate on how busy the public transport system is at any given time.
Apple Maps doesn’t have that feature yet, but it may catch up soon. So, if you are planning to choose between Google Maps or Apple Maps, Google Maps wins in this particular feature.
Both Google Maps and Apple Maps have their own privacy policies. As compared to Google Maps, Apple has more privacy policies in place to protect and limit data collection. Talking further about Apple, they have developed a process called “fuzzing” that ensures anonymity. This process converts your precise location to a less-exact one after 24 hours. The app does not save the history of what you searched for or where you went.
Google Maps, on the other hand, offers numerous customization and control options, such as Incognito mode, that keep your location and searches private. With limited privacy features, Google Maps relies on user data to customize the experience for each user. Google also shares personal information to third-party apps in order to personalize Google’ ads.
So, if you are someone who values privacy and is confused about whether to use Google Maps or Apple Maps, you have a clear winner here.
Having hands-free control is essential to a navigation app. It is because primarily navigation apps are utilized while driving and therefore it is essential to have hands-free as a feature. Gladly both of these applications offer hands-free control. It means users can easily operate them without having to touch their smartphones.
The hands-free feature for Google Maps is controlled via Google Assistant. The user simply has to say “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” to give the command. For instance, the user can say “Ok Google, show me the directions to the nearest cafe”.
Both apps are pretty similar in their ways of directing you to your final destination. You can view ETAs and use turn-by-turn navigation while moving along your route. Each of these apps suggests relevant directions for cyclists, walkers, and drivers.
Google Maps tends to offer improved navigation accuracy that is based on its huge database and years of experience in mapping technology. The app offers multiple alternative routes if your path becomes congested.
Apple Maps can suggest alternate routes but does not give many options when compared to Google Maps. The latter helps in effective route planning by allowing you to add multiple pit stops.
It is no news that Apple Maps supports Siri integration while Google Maps relies on the good old Google Assistant for voice-guided navigation. If you are an Android user, Google Assistant is the only choice for you.
However, for iOS users both Apple and Google Maps are available to support navigation. If you wish to use the Google Assistant app on your Apple device, you will have to download a separate app for the same.
As far as integration is concerned, Apple Maps are only limited to being used with iOS-compatible devices. On the contrary, Google Maps can be connected to any mobile device and also support integration with the car infotainment center.
Both navigation apps offer complete details and information about a business, including addresses, phone numbers, reviews, and more. With Google Maps, you can find discovery options filtered as per different categories. It offers an extensive database with correct information about opening hours, food menus, customer ratings, and more.
Conversely, Apple Maps has a ‘Nearby’ feature that works similarly to Google’s feature but has partial information. Apple Maps provides curated guides to familiarize you with a new place. However, the information offered by this app is limited as compared to Google Maps.
As per Google Maps Usage Statistics Report in 2023, over 1 billion active users trust Google for navigation and route planning. With many years of experience in mapping technology and a strong database, Google Maps is the number one choice for many users.
Conversely, it is estimated in an Apple Maps usage report as of 2021 that 75 million to 100 million users rely upon this app in the United States. In the battle of iOS maps vs Google Maps, the latter triumphs in successfully capturing a wider user base through its exceptional services.
Offline map functionality becomes important, especially if you are traveling in areas with limited connectivity. Google allows you to take the maps offline, while Apple doesn’t. The offline maps, however, are incapable of providing real-time updates, alternative routes, and transportation options.
Google Maps offers offline support with certain limitations and is thus considered the most reliable navigation app available for mobile devices.
Apple Maps work with AppleCarPlay and Google Maps is available on Android Auto. Both systems offer a similar experience with voice-guided navigation and a smooth access to music and other apps.
Both these systems are available in car models and integrate seamlessly with your vehicle and device’s control. Apart from navigation, both these systems can act as an infotainment center for your vehicle. You can choose the best out of Android Auto and AppleCarPlay as per your preference and vehicle compatibility.
Apple and Google Maps offer multiple customization options and settings to enhance users’ experience while using the app. You can set a preferred route to reach your destination in lesser time. Google stacks up all the options in one place, making it easier for users to navigate through and make their choice. This app also allows you to save your preferred locations and access them easily, whenever required.
Apple Maps, on the contrary, displays minimal options on the screen. For exploring more options you will have to go to Settings Maps. The simple and decluttered design offered by Apple Maps is also a preferred choice for many users.
Google Maps has been around for more than 15 years now and is a preferred choice for most of the mobile users. It weighs navigation equally to landmarks and offers more features that can simplify the process of planning trips, mapping routes, and selecting the best alternatives.
Apple Maps are catching up by offering quality experience and services for all iOS users. Both platforms offer useful information that can help you reach to a particular destination or explore a new one. Google Maps takes it a notch up by also offering information related to nearby restaurants and customer reviews.
While Google Maps takes the lead in terms of interface, availability, and information, Apple Maps shines in terms of privacy and seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem. Ultimately, the choice between iOS Maps vs Google Maps comes down to your own personal choice and preferences. You can try both these apps for yourself, in order to make an informed choice.
Both Google and Apple Maps offer excellent navigation options and features to help users find the best route. You can choose a suitable application as per your preference and requirements. Google Maps is commonly considered as the best navigation app due to its universal availability and efficient mapping technology.
Yes, Apple Maps are as accurate as Google Maps in India. If you are looking for the best privacy features and a decluttered interface, Apple Maps is the best choice for you.
Google Maps take the lead as being the most popular and commonly used navigation apps across the world. This app is available for all devices and is extremely simple to use. Its intuitive features and advanced technology makes it a preferred choice for consumers.
Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.
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