Android vs. Apple Mapping Systems: Traffic, Routing, and Reliability

May 4, 2017 •

Mapping Systems

Most people today use either Google Maps or Apple’s iOS Maps to navigate unfamiliar areas. Though both these applications may seem familiar on the surface, there are a few notable differences in terms of design and reliability. When choosing between two different types of smart devices, you may want to select the mapping system that is most usable to you.

Google Maps vs. iOS for Traffic and Directions

Google Maps tends to be more reliable and accurate in terms of traffic and directions. There’s one core reason for this: Google Maps has far more data. Both maps use user-reported data in order to identify traffic swells and locations, but Google Maps collects data from a far larger segment of users. Traffic information is thus updated far more frequently, as is information about local businesses and events.

Google Maps vs. iOS for Ease of Use and Readability

Google Maps allows for some advanced functionality, such as the ability to create multi-stop trips and to move from device to device with ease. But in terms of simplicity and readability, iOS often has the advantage; there are fewer pieces of information displayed in the iOS app, which brings navigation to the forefront. Some people greatly prefer the simplicity of the design of the iOS app, whereas others prefer to have their options and features readily visible.

Google Maps vs. iOS for Customization

Google Maps can be customized through the use of third-party extensions — whereas the iOS app cannot be. Conversely, the iOS app has an API that can be used directly inside of other apps — such as games, meals, and entertainment apps — which gives it more utility within the iPhone ecosystem overall. The consequence of this is that Google Maps can usually be customized within the app itself, whereas there are other apps that build on top of the iOS app for additional functionality.

Ultimately, Apple’s iOS Maps app tends to be far more user-friendly and easily read than Google Maps. At the same time, Google Maps generally presents more information and tends to have more up-to-date, reliable information. Whether one is better than the other depends on which functionality is most important to you.