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Apple Maps has come a long way in its decade on the market, but Google Maps hasn’t stopped improving either. Here’s how the two mapping giants compare in 2022.
When Apple replaced Google Maps with Apple Maps in 2013, there was a period of chaos. The original map data was subpar, directions outright wrong, and imagery worse. Apple tried to combine multiple data sources into one map app with poor results.
However, Apple has now had ten years to build upon that initial failure and create a competent competitor to Google Maps — at least in the United States. Apple has even leapfrogged Google in terms of experience, feature set, and map detail in some cases.
Here’s exactly how they compare in 2022, and you can see how things have changed since our last compare in 2020.
Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: app design
A lot of information is presented as soon as either mapping app is opened, and what is shown tells you the app’s priorities. For Apple, you see the explore view with the search bar at the bottom and minimal interaction points. For Google, you see a multitude of icons, menus, a search bar, tab bar, and nearby locations.
The UI paradigms reveal just how different each company expects people to use its app as you navigate. Google hopes to help you however it can by presenting you with as much data as it has at any moment, while Apple only shows what information is needed for a given interaction.
Either method can be frustrating. With Apple, it may not show what you need — such as the way street names stay the same size or actually get smaller as you zoom in to read them.
With Google, you might find it fast to decide where to go, yet be stymied by figuring out which button means you want to get underway.
This design metaphor translates throughout both apps. Google treats itself like a database of information to learn about an area first, with map features in the background. Even…