An Analysis of Apple Maps and Google Maps Over the Past Year


Apple and Google are both working on their respective mapping applications constantly. Justin O’Beirne has posted an incredibly detailed analysis comparing Apple Maps and Google Maps.

“Coincidence or not, it was interesting. And it made me wonder what else would change, if we kept watching. Would Google keep adding detail? And would Apple, like Google, also start making changes?

So I wrote a script that takes monthly screenshots of Google and Apple Maps.1 And thirteen months later, we now have a year’s worth of images.”


The screenshots in his post perfectly demonstrate how Google Maps has been considerably improved in many areas over the past year, while Apple Maps has remained essentially the same.

“Over the course of a year, Google quietly turned its map inside-out – transforming it from a road map into a place map.

A year ago, the roads were the most prominent part of the map – the thing you noticed first. Now, the places are.”

This isn’t to say that Apple Maps is bad. It is meant to show that Google simply has an edge in the collection of business information. With this large amount of information and infrastructure, the search giant is constantly evolving their location data at a significantly faster pace than Apple, which could in part be due to Google’s experience in the space.

We should see the next-generation of Maps updates at WWDC 2017, which could remove the dependence on TomTom data to accelerate the updates.

[via Justin O’Beirne]


  • Mario Gaucher

    I prefer Apple Maps for its integration in iOS…
    But I’m using google maps because it has way better data! You can easily find POI/Places in Google Maps… and also roads info are updated faster. There’s an exit that has been added to the highway near my home end of October last year… the exit was available the next day on waze when it opened and a few days later on google maps. We are still waiting to see it on Apple maps.

  • Michal

    google maps hands down a better product. apple maps ‘integration’ is forced. 🙁

  • To be honest I’d waffled back and forth between the two for quite some time until I got a car last year with CarPlay support, which of course only integrates with Apple Maps. At that point, unless I was willing to switch to an Android device, there didn’t seem to be much point in relying on anything else, since the car was where I used mapping and navigation about 95% of the time.

    However, even though I no longer have my CarPlay-enabled car (a long tale of woe), I’m still primarily on Apple Maps since it wins for not only tighter iOS integration, but especially for Apple Watch support. Google’s Apple Watch features were weak when they were there, and now Google has pulled the Apple Watch app entirely (although they’ve said it’s coming back in some form).

    With Apple Maps, all directions show on the watch face automatically, even if you don’t start navigation from the watch. Plus, the haptic feedback telling you when to turn — and which way to turn — is great, and even works with driving directions. Even transit navigation on the watch is pretty handy, as it will update as you move between different steps, which is much more than Google offers even in the iPhone app — Google’s transit directions are a static list rather than step-by-step.

    About the only place where Google Maps wins out for transit is better support for looking up transit information (Apple still hasn’t added real-time schedule data), but honestly I prefer the third-party Transit app over both of those when I’m looking for that kind of information (which also offers Apple Watch support), as it’s almost the best of both worlds (Apple Maps still has the edge in the presentation of transit information while en route).

  • FragilityG4

    I can’t compare…. Deleted Google Maps a long time ago 🙂