Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which is better?

Remember back in the old days when you had to look at a paper map to figure out where you were going? Or what about looking it up on the computer and either writing down or printing off the directions? Now, we all have our smartphones with map apps on them. And everyone has their preference, either Google or Apple, iOS or Android. But which one is better?

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which is better?
Apple Maps and Google Maps Screenshot

Chances are, you use either Apple Maps or Google Maps consistently when you’re using a mobile app device. If you’re on an Android device, you don’t have access to Apple Maps, but if you’re on iOS, you have your pick. And many people on Apple devices choose to download Google Maps and use it over Apple Maps. But why? Is there really a difference? We’re here to give you the skinny on the Apples Maps vs. Google Maps debate and help you decide if one is better than the other.

If you’ve been around for a while and using both apps, it used to be that Google was the clear winner. Apple tended to be glitchy, and a lot of times, it wouldn’t be updated when roads changed. But Apple has improved the app over the years, and those issues don’t happen the way they used to. Both Apple and Google have fantastic apps, and we’re going to share with you some of their key features—some you might not have even known about. Because what it’s going to come down to is which features benefit you the most.

Both companies have just made some pretty big upgrades to their map applications, and with those updates come a lot of cool features. So, let’s lay it out for you.

What are some of the features of Google Maps?

  • You can change your departure time. If you’re planning a trip through Chicago and you’re looking at your map at 10 p.m., it’s going to show you the current traffic. But if you’re planning on leaving at 7:30 a.m., that traffic is going to look much different.
  • Let Google make suggestions on where to go. This is another one that is helpful when traveling. Or when trying to answer that never-ending argument of where to go for dinner.
  • Use the “Commute” tab to help you on your daily commute.
  • Need to use a map and you’re not sure if you’ll have cell service in a certain area? Just download it before you need it.
  • Add stops to your trip. This is super helpful on road trips.
  • Find parking at your destination.
  • Let Google Maps tell you how crowded your train will be.
  • Book an Uber or Lyft ride.
  • Check to see how crowded your favorite restaurant is.
  • Got turned around while you were walking? No worries. Google can use your camera and augmented reality to show you the right way to go.

What are some of the features of Apple Maps?

  • Like Google, you can change departure times, but Apple will let you know if the train or bus you need to take is delayed, or show you where it is. It will also show you outages.
  • Send your ETA to family or friends. Once you send it, they’ll even be notified if there is a traffic delay.
  • Receive notifications about your flight status, gate location, and changes or cancellations.
  • Visiting a new mall? Use the indoor map.
  • Don’t like the robotic wording of your map app? Siri now uses “Natural Language Guidance” to give you more easy to understand directions.
  • Use Flyover in more than 350 cities to do just that—fly over them.
  • If Street View was a deal-breaker for you, Apple now has its own version.

Are there any significant differences between Apple Maps vs. Google Maps?

I spent a lot of time playing around with both apps on my phone to check out any real differences, and I have to say, both are very similar overall. For your every-day use, you’re going to be just fine with whichever you use.

One of the biggest deciding factors is what type of device you’re on. And to help you find the best device to use your map application, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite mobile devices.

Apple iPhone 11 Dual-Camera Smartphone shoots in 4K

The iPhone 11 Dual-Camera Smartphone features a dual-camera design, and it includes a wide and ultra-wide lens, so you can see 120° of the scene around you. As the world’s most popular camera, it’s highly sensitive to a variety of light, bringing better quality to any subject or landscape. Of course, you can review it all on the stunning 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display, complete with True Tone. Paired with the stunning image is spatial audio for theater-like sound. It does all this with the new A13 Bionic chip, the fastest ever put into a smartphone.

New Apple 7th Generation iPad has iPadOS

See even more in one place with the New Apple 7th Generation iPad. Featuring a beautiful 10.2-inch Retina display with nearly 3.5 million pixels, this tablet utilizes the all-new iPadOS for unique capabilities. This operating system is specifically designed for the iPad, meaning every process from opening apps to watching videos is improved. The software update also includes great features such as the floating keyboard and full-page PDF creation with the Apple Pencil. In line with Apple’s green initiative, the 7th Generation iPad features a 100 percent recycled aluminum housing.


7.9-inch iPad Mini with A12 Bionic Chip is compact but powerful

Now you can do even more on the go with the all-new 7.9-inch iPad Mini with A12 Bionic Chip. Featuring the same cutting-edge processing chip announced in previous iPhone models, the iPad mini combines incredible access with superfast speeds that come in three times faster than previous models. Designed for multi-tasking, the A12 chip allows for advanced machine learning to achieve features such as AR experiences, exceptional 3D rendering, and impressive graphics. The iPad mini sports a beautiful 7.9-inch Retina display. This miniature tablet also now supports the Apple Pencil, giving a whole new range of productivity to the device.


Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+ Series 5G Edition Smartphones boast AI camera technology

You’ll take better photos than you thought possible with the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+ Series 5G Edition Smartphones. Whether you’re a social media influencer, avid traveler, or devoted parent, you’ll love the cameras on these phones. Using AI technology, the S20 and S20+ take seriously impressive photos. With Single Take mode, you can capture different versions of the same moment by taking a 10-second clip. The phones use different cameras to find the absolute best shot—letting you choose your favorite. With a 64-megapixel high-resolution camera, these phones let you crop and zoom up to 30 times.


Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ have two screen sizes

Just announced, the Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ give you two screen size options of 6.3 inches and a larger 6.8-inch screen. And with a new edge-to-edge display, these phones are almost completely free of bezels. So you get more screen to watch and space to work. Thanks to its dynamic AMOLED display, you’ll find that the Note10, along with the Note10+ display crisper, brighter images than ever. You’ll take incredible photos and videos that will impress even your professional friends. Available in LTE and 5G options, you can purchase the Note10 and Note10+ starting August 23.

Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL Smartphones offer gesture control

Now with gesture control, the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL Smartphones upgrade your interaction with your phone. These smartphones use radar sensors to improve the touch and gesture experience. Additionally, through Motion Sense technology, this smartphone activates when you reach for it. Using Google Assistant OS, it works across apps so you can quickly search, share, and multitask. With full voice control, an OLED display, and 100 GB of cloud storage, this Google Pixel is better than ever.


Amazon Fire HD 8 Alexa Tablet offers up to 10 hours of battery life

Set yourself up for road trip success with the Amazon Fire HD 8 Alexa Tablet. With up to 10 hours of battery life, this Amazon tablet will keep your kids engaged for the whole drive. Whether you’re heading out of state for Christmas or abroad to ring in the New year, this Fire tablet ensures travel is easy. It’s likely you’ll use the Amazon Fire 8 for movie watching and game playing. It’s great for this task with its 8-inch HD display. Finally, its minimum 16 gigabytes of internal storage guarantee you have enough room for all your essential apps, photos, games, and more.


Lenovo Smart Tab M10 FHD Plus 2nd Gen Google Assistant Android Tablet is a smart display

The Lenovo Smart Tab M10 FHD Plus 2nd Gen Google Assistant Android Tablet is the epitome of versatility. It works as a tablet when you hold it or a smart display when you dock it. With a 10.3-inch Full HD display, the M10 Plus offers enough room for everyone to see. That’s also thanks in part to its 87% screen-to-body ratio. And just in case you’re worried that the whole family shouldn’t have access to the new Smart Tab M10, you don’t have to. This device actually offers built-in parental controls and integrates eye-care technology, so everyone remains safe and healthy while using it.


ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 360º Hinge Laptop can be a tablet or laptop

Gone are the old days of low-quality Chromebooks. The impressive ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 360º Hinge Laptop is here. The new C436 has a hinge that opens completely, so you can use this Chromebook as a tablet if you want. If you move the hinge partway, you can use the computer in tent mode, open completely flat, or as a laptop. Inside, this ASUS Chromebook boasts a 10th-generation processor from Intel along with up to 16 gigabytes of RAM for all your performance needs. With its built-in fingerprint sensor, it’ll stay safe from prying eyes. Plus, you can even use its Wi-Fi 6 compatibility for fast connectivity.


Nokia 7.2 Triple-Camera Smartphone has PureDisplay color

Using the company’s PureDisplay technology, the Nokia 7.2 Triple-Camera Smartphone gives you clear, accurate color. The 6.3-inch screen displays in Full HD, and the 7.2 phone can translate any content into HDR in real-time. This Nokia smartphone also has a fingerprint sensor for added protection and security.  Additionally, you’ll get a 118-degree wide-angle lens that’s eight megapixels with a five-megapixel depth sensor. Furthermore, you even get three cool bokeh effects from Zeiss. All this, along with the Qualcomm 660 processor and two-day battery life, makes the Nokia 7.2 a powerful smartphone.

TCL Plex 3-Camera Mid-Range Smartphone is perfect on a budget

Looking for something capable yet affordable? Check out the TCL Plex 3-Camera Mid-Range Smartphone. Featuring a beautiful 6.53-inch Full HD+ LCD display, this spiffy smartphone sports 128GB of storage, which can be expanded via microSD up to 256GB. Along with this, the TCL Plex has one thing many smartphones are ditching: a headphone jack. Of course, the star of the show is the three-camera design. The Plex combines a 48MP, a 16MP, and a 2MP camera. This way, it can handle everything from low light to HDR quality.


Motorola one zoom Four-Camera Smartphone is an affordable phone

Take the perfect shot every time with the Motorola one zoom Four-Camera Smartphone. On the back of this device is a four-camera setup complete with a 48MP sensor with OIS. In addition to the camera, the one zoom is loaded with great features. It comes in a single storage size of 128GB. Likewise, it comes unlocked. This means you can use it with a variety of carriers on the market to suit your needs. With a battery that will last you days at a time, the one zoom also recharges super fast. Using turbopower charging, you can have hours of power in just a few short minutes.


Now that you have information about the Apple Maps vs. Google Maps debate, and you’ve seen some of the products, have you been swayed one way or the other? Or are you still in the “Both work fine” camp?

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe ➜

Meet Tera Cuskaden

Tera has worked in the publishing industry since 2004 and considers the written word her first love. When she's not writing or editing, she's usually traveling, knitting, or binge-watching Netflix.

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