5 Reasons Google Maps Still DESTROYS Apple Maps in 2023
Is Google Maps better than Apple Maps in 2023? In a word, yes – here are five ways Google Maps beats Apple Maps…
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It’s fair to say Apple Maps didn’t get off to the right start. When the company’s mapping app replaced Google’s in iOS 6 in 2012, many thought that it would be inherently better than Google Maps.
Boy were they wrong. Apple Maps was plagued with a host of problems upon launch, the primary being a dearth of Points of Interest (POIs) – aka locations like stores. And of the POIs it did offer, many of them were incomplete or entirely wrong.
It was arguably Apple’s biggest public blunder to date. But in the almost 11 years since its launch, Apple has made Maps MUCH better.
Its POIs are almost as good as Google’s and it now sports features such as transit directions and some indoor maps, and you can drop a pin to share your location. All good things.
Why Google Maps is Still Better Than Apple Maps
Even so, Google Maps is still widely superior to Apple Maps in terms of feature sets. Here are five reasons why–and five things Apple should steal from Google for their next Maps update.
Regular & Frequent App Updates
One of the most common complaints you hear about Apple Maps is that you need to wait forever for the app to get new features. And this is a valid point. Apple usually only adds new features to Apple Maps in each annual iOs update – so iOS 15, iOS 16, iOS 17. Apple almost never adds a new feature to Apple Maps unless it’s in a new version of iOS.
This is frustrating because Google Maps gets new features added throughout the year instead of only once a year. This is because Google Maps feature enhancements aren’t tied to annual operating system enhancements. Given that Apple Maps still has much to do to catch up to Google Maps, it would be nice if Apple would add new features to Apple Maps throughout the year instead of waiting for the annual iOS release.
A Vibrant Google Maps Community
One of the reasons Google Maps is so good is because it has a community of hundreds of thousands or millions of people who contribute their reviews, photos, and more to the points of interest (POI) listings in Google Maps. This rich community of contributors is why the data for a location – a restaurant, movie theater, or club, for example – is so comprehensive and always up to date.
Apple Maps lacks a rich community of users who add their own photos and other information to POI listings. Until Apple creates a robust community space for Apple Maps, Google Maps will always have the better POI data.
Speaking of POI data…Another fantastic thing about Google Maps is the “Popular Times” feature in POI listings. This feature shows you, for example, the average and current foot traffic in a certain restaurant or club. It allows you to see the busiest and least busiest times so you can plan your trip accordingly.
Apple Maps has no such Popular Times feature–and the lack of one is a clear reason why Google Maps still rules.
Another feature Google has offered for a while now is Offline Maps. This allows you to select an area on a Google Map–such as an entire city–and download all of its maps content to your phone so you can access the map and some POIs even when your phone is offline.
Needless to say, this is a boon to travelers who often land in foreign countries yet don’t have a mobile Internet service plan yet. It also saves on having to use up your data plan downloading map information. The good news: Apple has announced that offline maps is coming to Apple Maps this fall with the release of iOS 17.
More Maps Types
Currently, when you use Apple Maps, you have the option to view four types of maps: explore (the regular map view), driving, transit, and satellite. But compared to Google Maps, these four map types are bare-bones.
Google Maps has all of the above types of maps, plus terrain maps, biking maps, and even maps that show wildfires. Here’s hoping Apple keeps expanding its Apple Maps offerings to include new types of maps.