It was no surprise when Apple announced at the WWDC 2012 that iOS 6 will no longer feature Google Maps, with grand plans to push their own map and navigation app. The two are battling over market dominance and Apple’s decision to opt out of Google Maps may take a huge toll on the internet giant and give Apple the edge they need for the self-sustained ecosystem they long for.
Apple Maps is crucial to the iPhone maker’s future, as it could gain them more users if their maps offering is far superior than Google’s, but it could also be a fatal push in the wrong direction if it doesn’t stack up to Google’s Maps, which has been around and in use for mobile users for years.
Though we won’t be seeing Apple Maps until the iOS 6 is released later this year, we already have some idea as to how it will work. So let’s take a look at how Apple Maps compares to Google Maps on iOS.
Maps+Compass: If you get lost, it’s easy to find exactly where you are in the world as it uses GPS, WiFi, and cellular towers to pinpoint your exact location. It gives you turn-by-turn directions or you can just follow the highlighted map on the screen. When you move, your location is updated automatically so you’ll know if you’re going the right way. And since it has a built-in compass, it tells you which direction you’re looking so you won’t have to guess whether a certain shop is on your right or left.
Maps: This also uses turn-by-turn navigation but the difference is that it offers spoken directions thanks to Siri integration, so you never have to take your eyes off the road.
Maps+Compass: This app utilizes the iPhone 4S’ Retina Display, so everything looks crisp and sharp. Plus you can switch between map view, satellite view, and hybrid view or even Street View in some locations.
Maps: It uses a vector-based engine that keeps text crisp, graphics clear, and panning and zooming smooth and responsive so that searching for places is easy and you won’t get disoriented or lost trying to find the right direction. It also features a 3D view of the map so you can see whether the next turn will be on your right or left.
Large signs and arrows are superimposed over the image of the map to show you which way to go and how long it’s going to take to get there, even if your screen is locked. As you approach a turn, the camera angle changes dynamically to show you where to go. If you miss a turn, don’t worry. Maps automatically reroutes you and updates your ETA. It also gives you real-time traffic updates and 3D viewing. Another perk is the Flyover view, which lets users see major metro areas from the air with photo-realistic, interactive 3D views.
Maps+Compass: Siri is integrated to this app, so searching for places such as a coffee shop or gas station can be done either by typing your query or by asking Siri where the nearest Starbucks is.
Maps: Tap a pin you’ve placed on the map or a search result to see a card full of useful information about that location. View photos, tap to dial phone numbers, get an address, find websites, peruse Yelp ratings and reviews — even find deals to save you money. Tap the Quick Route button and Maps instantly gives you turn-by-turn directions to any search result.
Maps+Compass: It allows you to share your location information via email, iMessage, or MMS, or tweet without leaving the map.
Maps: It’s not clear yet how socially integrated the new Maps is but as I’ve said, it’s not yet released so we can expect that there will be more changes or added features to the app when the iOS 6 launches.