Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: What’s the Difference?

Find out what sets these navigation tools apart

Apple Maps and Google Maps are popular choices when it comes to knowing that you have a comprehensive navigation tool on your smartphone. At first, Apple Maps had some navigation issues, but now both are top-notch and offer great services that are completely free. So you really can’t go wrong with either option. However, the two services offer important differences.

Apple Maps is only available for Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac systems. Google Maps is available for all of these devices, as well as Android smartphones and tablets, and is also available through its website.

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General conclusions

apple cards

  • Built into iOS for added convenience.

  • More elegant satellite view.

  • Siri integration.

  • It uses less data than Google Maps.

google maps

  • Available for all devices.

  • Lots of information about nearby places.

  • bike paths

  • offline mode.

Apple’s battle against Google Maps was pretty easy when Apple Maps first launched in 2012. There were a lot of issues with accuracy, a huge issue for any navigation app. Today, however, the difference between the two is much smaller. Ultimately, everything you use will get you where you need to go through a pretty slick and convenient interface.

The differences are much more subtle, although you should note that only iOS owners can use Apple Maps. It is not available in any other way, unlike Google Maps. For this reason, Google Maps has the advantage of complete convenience, but it certainly helps that iOS device owners don’t have to worry about installing a separate app. It is now ready to use on your device and updated along with iOS. The added Siri integration will surely help you on the go as well. Much of which you prefer will probably come down to personal preference.

App history: Google Maps has more experience

apple cards

  • Released in 2012.

  • iOS exclusive mapping option.

  • Regular updates through iOS updates.

google maps

  • Released in 2005.

  • Street View added in 2007.

  • Mobile applications introduced from 2008.

Is Google Maps better than Apple Maps? Once upon a time, it was obvious. Google Maps, launched in 2005 and having had ample time to refine its services and improve over the years, was easily better than Apple Maps. “Google Map it” has quickly become part of the vernacular for many people and the introduction of Street View has appealed to everyone’s need to look around the world from the comfort of their home.

Apple Maps was only released in 2012 (before iOS devices used Google Maps as a navigation tool). Apple Maps launched with features to rival most Google Maps features. The early days of Apple Maps were plagued with challenges, but those issues have been mostly ironed out thanks to iOS 13. To some, Apple Maps still seems like the new kid in the class, but it’s a much tighter competition than before.

Ease of use: simple and intuitive

apple cards

  • Very iOS style interface.

  • Siri support.

  • Custom icons for key locations.

google maps

  • Colorful and clearer icons.

  • Highlight more key locations.

  • Street View is the best street view viewer.

Apple Maps and Google Maps are quite similar in the way things are presented. As soon as you open any of the apps, you can immediately type in the location you want to go to, and the corresponding app will do all the work for you. This is somewhat intuitive for the most part, although there are a few differences.

In particular, Apple Maps offers a somewhat flatter design. The smaller text and icons may look nice and in-line with the iOS aesthetic, but Google Maps uses brighter and larger icons to make the interface a bit more eye-catching. However, Apple Maps uses custom icons for key landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as the current weather for those places, again making it a nifty option.

One of the most important and useful features is being able to get a street view. Apple Maps calls it Look Around while Google calls it Street View. Both work fine, but Google Maps has the upper hand here and takes cycling routes into account, while Apple Maps has yet to fully catch up. Google Maps generally has more 3D models of many buildings and some additional ways to view locations.

When it comes to navigation, both services are pretty good, whether you’re walking or driving, with proper and accurate turn-by-turn navigation. Google Maps offers additional information about nearby locations on the screen while you have to tap to find it in Apple Maps, but that can mean a slightly less cluttered interface than Google Maps.

Both apps offer arrival estimates based on current traffic conditions, and they’re usually pretty accurate.

Thanks to the availability of Google Maps on more devices as well as a web interface, it is easier to transfer addresses and locations through your Google account and sync them than with Apple Maps, although this depends on how you relate to the Apple ecosystem. . . are.

Unique features – both offer attractive bonuses

apple cards

  • Siri integration.

  • Use less data.

  • Scroll mode.

  • Yelp Reviews.

google maps

  • offline mode.

  • cycling maps.

  • Possibility of website.

In addition to basic navigation features, Apple Maps and Google Maps offer useful extras. The most important thing about Apple Maps is that it has integration with Siri. Just speak to your iOS device and it will tell you exactly how to get somewhere with Siri’s natural language guidance, making sure you speak understandably.

Apple Maps also generally uses a bit less data than Google Maps, which can be helpful, but there’s a catch here. Google Maps is the only one of the two that offers an offline mode that immediately makes data usage less of an issue. However, this requires some planning, so there are pros and cons here.

Apple Maps also has a Fly Over mode that lets you visit various city landmarks and explore densely populated areas with 3D models of key structures. It’s impressive, if not exactly something you’d wear every day. Yelp’s reviews integration for locations is something you’ll use every day and it’s something Apple Maps has instead of Google Maps.

On the other hand, Google Maps offers bike maps at a time when Apple Maps only lists bike share stations. Cycling Maps immediately makes Google Maps a far superior option if you cycle regularly and may need help with navigation.

Confidentiality: different approaches for the two

apple cards

  • Most of the data stored on your device.

  • Records are not kept.

google maps

  • An account is required for data synchronization.

  • Incognito mode is an option.

If you’re concerned about privacy, it’s worth paying attention to how Apple and Google handle your data. Through Apple Maps, many features can be accessed without having to sign in to an account. Much of the information stays on your device rather than in the cloud, and Apple insists it doesn’t keep a history of what you search for or places you’ve visited. Instead, all the data on your device is fragmented as part of your privacy protection, so that no one but you knows your full path.

Google Maps data, on the other hand, resides in the cloud, allowing you to easily switch between the website and the app. It has lots of customization features like incognito mode so your searches and locations stay private. However, you must remember to set them. Otherwise, Google has a location timeline that tracks where you’ve been.

final verdict

The clear winner between Apple Maps and Google Maps, for most people, is Google Maps. That’s partly because it’s available on more devices. It also offers a more intuitive interface and slightly better accuracy when tracking locations. Regular cyclists will also appreciate their cycling maps.

However, Apple Maps is still very attractive if you own an iOS device. It has many useful features, such as Siri integration, Flyover mode, and a more secure response to privacy concerns. There was a time when Apple Maps may have struggled to keep up with Google Maps, but that’s not a problem anymore.

Whichever you choose, you will be pleased with the results. It’s just that Google Maps has the upper hand at the moment. That may well change in the future with Apple regularly updating Apple Maps as part of iOS.

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