3D Maps Comparison: Apple Maps in iOS 6 vs Google Maps in Android 4.1 [PICS]


With the latest addition of Apple Maps in iOS 6, we received a new 3D view for select locations around the world (we compared Apple Maps to Google Maps in Canada here). How do these new 3D maps compare to those from Google Maps in the latest maps from Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (I still laugh at these OS names), as seen within Google Earth?

iPhoneItalia has posted some side by side comparison images. Let’s take a look to see which maps provide more detailed 3D maps shall we?

Here we have Apple’s headquarters in Palo Alto at 1 Infinite Loop (Apple Maps on the left, Google Maps on the right):

Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington:

Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Here, the Apple Maps don’t offer a decent 3D snapshot–maybe an implicit jab at the big G?

Here’s the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Apple Maps seems to have more details of the bridge and the park in background, but Google’s Maps show more details of the waves in the water.

What maps look better in your opinion?

No matter how you look at it, the shift to Apple Maps in iOS 6 was by far one of the most significant changes for iOS users. Google Maps is definitely the leader when it comes to maps. When iOS 6 is officially released to the public this Fall, let’s hope Apple has nearly perfected its new mapping solution.

You can check out a couple other images of the Coliseum and Sydney Opera House over here.


  • Tim

    I’m worried about the change. The 3D aspect is the blingy, eye candy part. What matters is information. Blogs have been reporting that many layers of information you can get on google maps (e.g. transit stops), still aren’t available on apple maps. Google has spent nearly a decade developing their map application. I think this is a case where Apple is making a decision that be good for business, but bad for the customer. Or possibly, bad for both.

  • As far as the 3D goes, I like Apple’s implementation better, but I’d like to see comparisons of how many areas are available in 3D for and how much data each service uses.

    I agree with Tim though, once you get past the blingy eye candy of the 3D maps, you likely won’t use them again, and for the long run, functionality, usability and widespread coverage are key, which is where I’m worried that Apple will be playing catch-up for far too long. It’s hard to see them matching Google’s database of roads, businesses, transit info, street view, et cetera anytime soon.

  • ikwyl6

    Who wants to look at a 3d map when I’m trying to find directions or bus routes?