Apple Maps Beats Google Maps & Waze When It Comes To Navigation



According to an interesting PCMag article, Apple Maps app seems to lead the way in navigation, despite all its flaws and inaccuracies. When put to the test against Waze and Google Maps, Apple Maps came out on top providing better navigation among the three. The author and his friends drove around in three separate cars, each with a different navigation system, with several places to stop including 1 Infinite Loop at the Apple headquarters in Cupertino.

The guy using Waze was misdirected in one instance and took forever to get there. He got lost for unknown reasons at another target location. “Overall, he—and Waze—came in third (and last)“, says the author. Google Maps was the system of choice for the author himself, who was directed through the city streets for a cut across town and reached the destination second. Finally, the guy who was using Apple Maps, arrived at least five minutes ahead of him.

Glenn, who actually inspired my idea for the test, was using Apple Maps, which he switched to after iOS 6 dumped Google Maps. “I don’t have any trouble with it,” he said. “It works fine.” In fact, it worked better than Google. On one leg from the Apple facility to a shopping mall, Glenn beat me, though just barely. Leo was the laggard. But then from that location to a lunch spot, Glenn and I followed each other. Suddenly, Glenn jumped on to the freeway as Google Maps directed me through the city streets for a cut across town.

At the time, this seemed like a better route, not to mention a more scenic one. But the long stoplights in Sunnyvale are dreadful. Glenn arrived at least five minutes ahead of me. I gave the nod to Apple and now wonder what the fuss was about.

I have loved Google Maps until recently. I’m noticing that it is getting a little ragged. On this occasion, at one fork on 101, it told me to turn right to go south when 101S was left.

Looks like Apple Maps won this battle in the end. As the author calls it, “mistake, gag, or insult? you choose“.


  • FragilityG4

    I believe it. I haven’t had a problem with Apple Maps yet and I actually use the navagition more because I find them way more accurate.

    I always loved street view because I found google maps wasn’t accurate when it came to putting in an address and it showing you the exact spot (it always seemed the actual building was a few buildings over) with Apple Maps I find its right on in finding the building 99% of the time so I no longer miss street view.

    But that’s just me, here in Ontario — it seems BC has problems.

  • Gg

    I agree never had any trouble using apple maps an prefer them over google

  • Apple maps is useless in Montreal…. sends me directions to go through appartment buildings, simply drive accross a river and other ridiculous directions. No amount of testimonies of how “great” apple maps is will convince me to ever use that app again -_-

  • ryanrobert

    I’ve not had any problems with directions Apple Maps thus far. I haven’t been impressed with their satelite imagery but directions are fine. I tend to use Google Maps for imagery and also have the paid TomTom app on my iPhone which I will normally choose over both. The TomTom application is better than my built in Ford GPS system.

  • I agree, in Montreal, Google seems to have the upper hand. And when I’m looking for a place, I can search with a vague destination in Google Maps and get a very accurate location, whereas Apple’s Maps comes up with vague locations like “close to here” pins and such.

  • Guest

    I stopped using Waze a while ago because it led me into a wrong path too many times, almost every time actually.

  • mackman6151

    Maybe that’s Apple’s way of purposely getting Montrealers (Read: Habs fans) to actually driving into the river lol

  • Mark

    Leo has been a HUGE advocate for Waze. It will be interesting to see if he changes his very outspoken opinion after proving that it sucked by comparison. It’s not something that he readily does.
    His argument for it would likely be that it’s a social app, which provides up-to-the-minute traffic reports. My argument to that would be that paid apps, like Navigon, do the same thing, but without relying on people to take focus away from their driving to make a report.

  • Djelimon

    What I like most about google maps is the way it hooks into public transit. Also when I ask for a route by bus on the apple maps it gives me other apps to try instead. Wut?

  • Anon

    Tons of problems out here in Vancouver with Apple maps. I would be misdirected or location would be inaccurate about 30% of the time. (I usually have to open up Google Maps when this happens). Never had any problems with google maps, it is almost always dead on accurate out here in GVR.

  • mggOptimusG

    Had a 4s for a while. No matter what you say, Apple maps sucks overall. Yes navigation might be good but when accuracy plays a role that means nothing. Of course they are bound to do a few things great. Google maps are better overall when used in static mode, finding stuff, terrain, sattelite imagery and street view. Waze is much better in real world use especially for automatically adjusting navigation for road events, traffic, police, accidents and new roads configuration. For Waze any user can adjust the maps, with sub 5 days updates. The rule for any navigation is to know where you go before you use any tool. Dumb drivers will always be dumb. I use Google to find stuff if Waze does not, my wife has iPhone now and the navigation is pathetic. You need to have options open. Wake up, or should I say WazeUP.

  • FragilityG4

    It’s weird how it differs province to province …

  • Yup

    No street view? Google wins for me simply for this

  • Shorty_dammit

    Sorry, but you don’t even have to touch the device or interact with it in any way, shape, or form in order to “make a report.” Waze automatically reports traffic whenever it detects that you are moving slowly compared to the usual average for that time of day on that street. And it automatically adjusts your route based on reports sent to the server by other clients.

  • Mark

    You are completely wrong about that. No, you don’t have to “touch” it, but you still have to interact with it to make a report. And it will ask you to confirm if traffic is moving slower than normal. Waze is all about interaction. That’s it’s primary means of operation. It’s a social navigation app. As such, it’s dangerous.

  • Shorty_dammit

    Sorry, man, but I’ve been using it since 2009 and I know for a fact you don’t have to touch it, ever, for it to make a traffic report. Because you don’t. The prompt that comes up only makes the report get submitted earlier. If you ignore it, it will take a little while longer to confirm that you are indeed in traffic, and then it gets submitted automatically with no user interaction.

  • rob

    Oh my, how rich is this. apple fans just can’t get over how their products are second place. It’s like how every apple fan predicted the end of android and how apple was on top again because iphone shipped more phones for 1 quarter in one country. Now because 1 driver beat another driver and the guy who won (as opposed to ended up in a lake or stranded in the outback like others who used apple maps) was using apple maps all of a sudden apple maps is better. Talk about clutching at straws.

  • Farids

    I have not had any problems, though, the flaw is area specific. And considering I navigate to customer sites 2-3 times every day 5 days a week, that’s a lot to say. This is in Greater Toronto Area. From Hwy 27 north of Steels to Newmarket, to the eastern part of stouffville, approximately Morningside, north of Steels to Newmarket. When this Maps chaos started, I switched over from my Garmin GPS app and navigated with Apple Maps to test. It still hasn’t disappointed me. The flaw in my area is: when 3D is switched on, the hybrid and Sattelite views are not very good. Imaged are often somewhat broken and map looks distorted. It’s still functional although not Apple standard, and looks much better once switched to map view.

  • Mark

    Surely with your vast experience you know that Waze is about more than just traffic speed. You touch (or wave your hand) to initiate a report on various types of driving concerns.
    And now it also does road closures. So how exactly do you report a road closure when you are no longer on that road (or can’t enter the closed street) while you’re trying to drive? This app should be illegal (techincially, it is).

  • Mark

    More than one test, nimrod.

  • Shorty_dammit

    Yeah, too bad there isn’t an editor of some sort you could use at home. Oh, wait…

  • Mark

    What are you talking about? That’s 1 out of 9 possible types of reports.

  • Shorty_dammit

    Enjoy your ignorance. I tire of you.

  • Anon

    This is more of a joke than a REAL test, as wasn’t done in a controlled environment. There are so many variables can affect the outcome. IE. Traffic, variation in speed, traffic light timing, etc.

  • ThatGuy

    I use all 3. Google for entering unknown territory, because of accuracy and street view, apple because of the ease to access it when driving via Siri and most importantly in a city with variable traffic (such as Toronto) Waze, mostly during rush hours. It also does the morning traffic report on all accidents and other reports while I’m stopped at a light. They all have their benefits, for me it depends on the situation.

  • Probably due to their extreme highway revamping atm, I’m sure with the amount of highway construction here a lot of navigation apps will be erroneous.

  • If Apple maps had transit directions, I’d at least think about switching. Even just for the simple fact that apple maps is native. At least i can still use Siri with google maps, “Via Transit” works like a charm.

  • Bagobones

    Wait the test was done in apples home town to its home base?

    Try the same test in some other cities and watch it fail to locate an address altogether. It isn’t useless but DAMN it is missing things you can find in google maps or waze easy.