THE SEARCH GIANT NO LONGER SITTING SO COMFORTABLY
When you retrieve your iPhone from your pocket in preparation for a long journey on the road, which mapping application do you load up first? Whereas Google Maps might have once been the straightforward choice, Apple Maps has made significant leaps in functionality since the application’s belated debut in 2012. By 2015, the adoption level of Apple Maps was more than treble that of Google Maps on iPhones and iPads – and things now look set to get even better.
In an interview with TechCrunch in June, Apple announced that it was rebuilding its own Maps app “from the ground up”, giving it a wealth of new data sourced independently by Apple. The new Maps has since broken cover with iOS 12 – and although the major improvements are currently centered around San Francisco with a broader roll-out still on the way, it’s hard not to be impressed. The maps are now more intricately detailed, extending to greenery and various public landmarks.
As Apple Maps has become increasingly shorn of its reliance on data from third-party providers and leaned more towards collecting data from its own Apple Maps vehicles and the iPhones of everyday users, it raises an interesting but controversial question. That question is: has Apple Maps now bettered Google Maps in quality? Even if it is continuing to trail the longtime standard-bearer in the digital mapping space, could Apple Maps be about to throw the Google competitor off its perch?