Google Maps has served as the lifeline of many a clueless traveler. For people like me, especially, Google Maps is an indispensable tool. Embarrassing as it may be, I have had to rely on Google Maps to get to my destination without being taken for a ride by unscrupulous cab drivers. In my own city. (In my defense, there are too many cab drivers who will jump at the smallest opening to rip a passenger off!)
While Google Maps has been the go-to resource for many of us for quite some time, we can hardly ignore the new map on the block: Apple Maps. With Apple ditching Google Maps in iOS 6, the inevitable comparisons arise. So, what do we get when we pit Apple Maps against Google Maps? Let’s look at some key aspects.
What are maps for if not to find your way? What I’ve always loved about Google Maps is how it gives you several options for getting from point A to point B. You may choose to walk, drive, or take public transportation, and Google Maps will give you those directions. It even gives an estimate en route time. Of course, it seems to me that Google has lied to me once too often when it comes to walking times. Then again, it might have something to do with my walking pace.
Apple Maps, the newcomer, seems to be able to hold up in this respect. You can’t really expect anything else if they want to be competitive. What Apple Maps needs right now, however, is information on public transport. On the plus side, it does provide turn-by-turn directions, which can prove to be very handy.
Both Google Maps and Apple Maps provide traffic data, of course depending on where you are at. Some parts of the world may not have this functionality. Where there is data, however, it seems that Google Maps has the upper hand. For now.
We have to realize that iOS 6 is not officially out, and while the developer’s build has been released, majority of iOS users don’t have access to Apple Maps yet. Bearing this – and the fact that traffic data will be pulled from user input – in mind, we have to see what happens after the official launch.
Local search is basically the same for both maps, with users being able to look for restaurants and businesses. One advantage that Apple Maps has is the fact that Yelp is integrated. This means more information such as ratings and reviews.
Street View/3D View/Indoor Maps
In a nutshell: Google Maps has Street View and Indoor Maps – the latter still being rolled out – while Apple Maps has no equivalent yet. The latter does have 3D View, which, I don’t know what I would find use for. It does make me want to play Sim City on the iPad, though. Take a look for yourself.
Knowing Apple, they will put more into their map application. For now, however, it looks like Google Maps will still continue to be the default – at least for me. This is not to say that things might change in the future.
[Image via iPhone Hacks]