Google Maps still way ahead of Apple Maps in details and coverage, study finds



Google's Maps app and the data behind it have a head start of six years before Apple Maps, and, although Apple's mapping data is improving compared to the early days of its launch, it is still behind Google Maps, an in-depth study by Justin O’Beirne found. The difference is most pronounced in the level of details that Google shows, down to buildings' HVAC vents, but also the coverage of remote areas. 

Google uses satellite imagery and its own cars are constantly scouting the the world's routes for updating Street View, while Apple likely relies on third-party data like TomTom, and it shows in the side-by-side comparison snapshots above. Apple recently began releasing indoor maps as well, but it obviously has a way to go to match Google's undetaking.

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16 Comments

1. Boast_Rider

Posts: 535; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Google is a software company, Apple is not. There is no competition. In fact, the decision of producing Apple maps was itself a bad one, and now they can't back down since that would result in bad press.

6. BigBoat

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 28, 2017

No necessarily. While Apple maps is still behind, there will come a point where it Apple maps would have gotten to a point where people don’t care about the few things that are missing between the two. If it took 6 more years to get to where current Google maps is would be more than enough for most people. Apple maps have came a long way since it was released a few years back.

8. CHP19

Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 23, 2017

The problem with Apple Maps is the update system. It's just way too slow. Apple far underestimated the resources it takes to maintain a navigation app. The world is everchanging and it just takes too long for Apple Maps to adjust. As it is now it will always lag behind Google Maps. p.s. and we are not talking about days slower or so. Road changes that are updated within weeks of completion on Google Maps can sometimes take more than a year to appear on Apple Maps.

15. sgodsell

Posts: 7218; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It takes a long time for Apple to copy and input all the new data from Google maps to Apples maps. Besides Google has people all over the globe generating map data as well as street view data. Where are all those Apple zealots that said Apple maps is better than Google maps. Where are they hiding? I guess they are eating their crow now. Plus they said Apple maps has more users than Google maps.

14. Boast_Rider

Posts: 535; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Sorry, people aren't that patient. Apple lagging will mean shrinking user base, which is bad. Before 6 years, Apple will realize there is no user base to spend resources on, and will shut down the project.

2. Zylam

Posts: 1813; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

I wish Google would add a more comprehensive offline mode. I prefer Google maps over all others but keep Here Maps installed in my car and phone with full offline Australian maps downloaded in case I lose reception. Google only let's you download a really small amount.

11. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

You must travel quite a bit into areas you aren't familiar with that also have crappy reception. When I do a search on Google maps it will notify me immediately if my route will be taking me into spotty coverage areas and gives me the opportunity to download maps before I start my trip. Makes no sense for me to have map data for an entire country downloaded to my phone.

3. lallolu

Posts: 732; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Apple map really sucks. I just got an Iphone 7 from work and I tried using the map at one time. It was just making me go round and round the same place for about 5 minutes. Recalculating of route happens after one has already taken like two wrong turns.

4. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

I nearly always use Apple Maps and it works flawlessly in the UK. I still have Google Maps installed on my phone as it available and FREE but for navigation I haven't once has a problem with Apple Maps.

5. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

I am not surprised but Apple will definitely get their sooner than we expect because today's technology is much advanced and internet is much faster than it is 6 years ago... It's just a matter of time when Apple maps equal the Google maps in details. But for most of the people in urban areas Apple maps is more that adequate and works so well with the Apple eco system.

7. BigBoat

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 28, 2017

This is very true. I live in a very large metro area and it works great for the most part. Street view is the biggest thing missing for me.

9. CHP19

Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 23, 2017

But details continuously change. The biggest issue with Apple Maps is the update system, it's far slower than Google Maps. Apple underestimated the amount of resources it takes to maintain such a navigation app. Apple will add stuff, but Google isn't resting on its laurels either. The fact that Google is so much faster in updates means Apple, if they don't put more resources into it, will always lag behind. As it stands now it will never be as detailed AND accurate as Google Maps, it's simply too slow in adjusting to the real world.

10. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

iSlow performance makes a good couple with iFail map

12. tokuzumi

Posts: 1868; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Go figure. In news that should shock no one, a company who has been working on a map application since 2003 has more detail than one who has only been in the game for the last few years. I will say there was one time I was navigating to a location, and Google maps took me to a locked gate that I couldn't enter. I ended up firing up Apple maps, and it took me around to the front entrance. And this place has been around for decades, so it wasn't that the place was new.

13. Brewski

Posts: 672; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Didn't need a study to tell you this...

17. PSAfromThisGuy

Posts: 145; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

well duh! Apple maps is always giving my Sheeple friends bad directions and taking them to places that aren't actually there... like, saying Walmart is on the NW corner, when its on the SE corner... Google hasn't failed me since 2013 when it told me there was a taco bell in the middle of a corn field... I figured it was just where they sourced their ingredients... but ya, constant fails on apple...

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