Google Maps vs Apple Maps: which is better?

The two most used navigation applications in the world are Google Maps and Apple Maps. The first has been with us since 2005 and has some 1.8 billion userswhile the second was released in 2012 and is used by some 500 million each month. It's been a long time since Apple's disastrous launch of this app, which It arrived with incomplete, inaccurate maps and notable errors in the visual representation of the routes. The issue was controversial enough that Tim Cook apologize to users and Scott Forstallthen head of iOS, was fired a month later.

Since then, Manzana has applied numerous improvements to the application, incorporating new functions and fixing bugs. Real-time traffic information and pedestrian navigation options were added to Maps in 2013year in which the app reached Mac computers with macOS. In 2015Maps was updated with Nearbya feature that offers local points of interest and transportation directions in some cities.

At the beginning of 2020, Apple completed a revamp of its maps in the United States, adding much more detail, including updated buildings, parks, sports fields, swimming pools, and more. The function Look Around in select cities it is similar to Street View from Google, and the updated maps have been implemented in more countries since then, although Its coverage is still less than that of Google Maps.

In iOS 15, Apple introduced immersive walking directions displayed in augmented reality, guides for select cities, real-time traffic updates, and more detailed roads for improved in-car navigation. In iOS 16, gained the capability of multi-stop routes. And in iOS 17Apple made it possible to download maps for offline use, something Google Maps users have been able to do for quite some time.

Have Apple's improvements been enough for it to be considered an equal to Google Maps in the eyes of users? Of course, Google developers have not stood by and watched the evolution of Apple Maps. Google has introduced several improvements aimed at enriching the user experience using AI technology and more immersive visualization tools, and has even taken some ideas from Apple.

A notable recent update, in this regard, is the Immersive View for Routes, which provides a complete preview of the user's journey, whether they are driving, walking or cycling. Launched last year, the tool combines millions of Street View and aerial images to create a detailed digital representation, allowing users to visually navigate bike lanes, sidewalks, intersections, and parking spaces along their route. It also indicates how certain conditions change, such as air quality and weatherthroughout the day, helping users plan their trips more accurately.

Another significant improvement is Lens integration in Maps, an evolution of the Search with Live View function. Leveraging AI and augmented reality, Lens in Maps helps users orient yourself in a new location by providing information about nearby services such as ATMs, transportation stations and dining options. The feature has expanded to more than 50 cities.

Google Maps has also implemented updates so that navigation maps better reflect real-world conditions. These include more detailed and realistic renderings of buildings and improved highway lane guidance. For owners of electric vehiclesGoogle Maps also offers information about charging stations, including compatibility details, charger speed, and the last time it was used.

Choosing between Google Maps and Apple Maps largely depends on the specific needs of each user and the ecosystem of devices they use. If you are an Android user or already immersed in the Google ecosystem, Google Maps is probably the best option for you because to its wide coverage, precision, powerful search engine and additional functionalities such as the price of gasoline or those dedicated to electric vehicles. However, Apple has a better track record than Google when it comes to user privacy, a clearer and more intuitive design, although with fewer features, and seamless integration with your application ecosystem.