Google admits Google Maps for iOS is better than Android version

By , Dec 13, 2012

As most of you have probably heard by now, the official Google Maps app finally hit iOS last night after several months of speculation. It’s fast, looks great, and the general consensus seems to be that Google really hit a home run.

New York Times’ columnist David Pogue certainly seems to like it, and he had a few interesting things to say about it in his review. The well-connected writer says that Google admits the iPhone app is even better than the Android version, and an iPad version is on the way…

From Pogue’s Google Maps review (via 9to5Mac):

“It’s a lot of features. The big question: How well did Google cram them in without sinking the app with featuritis? This, it turns out, is the best news of all. The brand-new, completely rethought design is slick, simple and coherent. Google admits that it’s even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus…

…Finally, although Google Maps runs fine on the iPad, it’s just a blown-up version of the iPhone version. There’s not yet an iPad-specific app. Google says that goodies like those will be coming soon.”

As we told you last night, Google Maps for iOS is quite impressive. It has a clean UI, it’s vector-based, so things load fairly quickly, and it has several useful features like Street View and voice-guided turn-by-turn directions. It even has a cool way to report bugs — just shake the device.

Unfortunately, since it’s a third-party app, Google Maps still isn’t a total solution. Tapping on an address in Mail, or Siri for instance, will still open up Apple Maps. Google has said, though, that it’s releasing APIs for its Maps so other developers can integrate and embed its data.

Now that Google Maps is on iOS, and it’s good, Apple needs to step up its game. It’ll be interesting to see how this battle-of-the-maps unfolds over the coming months. Either way, as with all competition, consumers win.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/shotan723 Shota Nagao

    I have to admit, the UI seems 2050

  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    So much better than Nokia Here Maps

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      that app is is pure BS

  • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

    I think that the only thing good about Google Maps it’s just the data that they collected in all these 7 years… because the UI, UX and performance, Apple Maps is way better. Kudos for StreetView…

    • Tr1pTr0p

      If Apple decided to beta test that crap and fix all the bugs BEFORE releasing it to the masses, I would agree with you. But that didn’t happen. Google maps are better (except for turn-by-turn) no matter how you twist it; bike, walking, transit directions, street view, all the information and content…
      How about you be realistic for once?

      • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

        Do you or anyone know if the public transport directions work in the UK? And how do I access Street View?

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Once again, you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. ALL MAPS grow up with the masses! Beta testing is just a few percentage of users.. it’s impossible to ANY Maps app collect data and grow up that way…!

        That’s why, even Google Maps that has a HUGE database still has a “report button”… because maps are a “living thing” that can change everyday!

        Seriously… you try so hard to talk crap about Apple that you don’t even make a comment with sense and knowledge…

      • http://twitter.com/ytos86 Yaseen AlSuwaidan

        The beta would not help anyway… you cannot compare some thousands beta testers with million users… the iOS6 was released in the end of September, but the Australian bug for example did not appear till December… The reason is that millions users are not enough to test Maps app… It needs time and time………. and time.

      • Aj

        suppose i develope a software which is in its beta state and i believe that it is perfect and has no apparent problem. I provide it to 1000 other people who provide me with atleast 2 bugs per person, i can easily full-fill their wishes and correct the problems. Besides, they give me a feedback if the app is running properly, if its crashing, the bugs noted, inacurate data, data duplication, the complications with the UI, give some useful suggestions on how to tweak the app etc

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        But we are talking about a “world map” … it’s impossible to developers (beta testers) only report any problem with innacurate data.

        Beta testers can only provide a nice feedback about the software, not the content. But as you confirmed, there’s nothing wrong with Apple Maps (software) but only with the data. Btw, answering your question bellow, im from Portugal but I work with people around the world, that use Apple Maps too, and only a few faced wrong data. The only thing we notice (specially in Europe) is the lack of information, because the service that provides data to Apple (Yelp) is very weak here… Google is way more active here. (and around the globe). Yelp is great but mainly in the US…

        The other problem (again, server side, not software side) is 3D rendering. Apple should disable the 3D in areas that have “bridges” and other stuff like that until they get a 3D (dedicated rendering) for those stuff.

      • Aj

        Salyut to u sir. I agree with everything mentioned above. You are lucky cause you face no issues with Apple Maps. And yes the mass market for apple is US so they will integrete their maps with services (Yelp) that work best in US. But as such, I have faced no issuse with apple maps but now i feel horrified using them because of all the crap reported by the media. The app definitely works well and i guess that it is the media which is making it sound like a crisis situation. And when this is reported by the media, my friends with droids would come and brag about their cheap trash and make it sound like it is a god given gift. :(

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Show them this… :)

        pbs.twimg . com / media/A-AT5ROCYAIwaBF . png:large

        Every maps have flaws… it’s only worst on Apple Maps because it’s very recent… they obviously need time and better partners.

      • Antsa

        7 years of collecting information and some of our news (I live in Finland) reported that on Google Maps, there was an airport placed in the middle of the forest and its should be in Germany (about 1500 kilometres from its location). Google have also wrong information in their maps. Admit it.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        He’s the kind of person that I bet that doesn’t even use any GPS app, not even Google. But read some “trash” about Apple Maps and pull that card to bash apple even without having any kind of issue. Here in my country I never had a issue with Apple Maps, all data is correct. But there’s a huge change to find something wrong, like in any GPS app…

      • Aj

        Which country are you from? Because i have not just faced one but millions of other problems with apple maps
        Yes the UI is great but it lacks data. Apple can always skin things to pleasure the eye (and they do it well) but they (most of the time) provide inacurate data
        On the other hand, google’s data deserves 5/5 stars but the UI deserves hardly 3/5

      • kgelner

        Would you really give 5/5 stars to a map that can’t even find an airport in a major metropolitan area?

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/kigiphoto/8269178965/in/photostream

        Google has data issues to. They hardly deserve 5/5 for data, even though they are very good they have flaws to correct also…

      • Tr1pTr0p

        I’m from Croatia, and that city in the screenshots is Osijek. There is around 200 thousand people living in this area, so it’s not some village in the middle of nowhere.

        You can compare the amount of data in those two images. The “winner” is obvious. Also search is completely messed up… (www idownloadblog com/2012/12/12/samsung-apple-maps-australia/#comment-734131856)

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Professional bullshitting at it’s finest. Nicely done.

        Have I ever mentioned the Passbook app? No, because I don’t use it. (I don’t believe it’s even supported here.) Have I ever mentioned Stocks or Weather apps? No, because I don’t use them. Have you ever heard me mention the compass app? Besides me maybe mentioning how useless it is, probably not. But hey, I guess you know me better than me, and what applications I use.

        I recently moved to a new city (for college) and unlike Apple’s maps, Google’s saved my lost ass countless times. Compare the amount of detail in both maps. Yes, Google’s maps have been out for many years, but here’s an idea. If you don’t have a better service to offer, don’t force me to use junk.

        img28 imageshack us/img28/6892/img1740.png
        img94 imageshack us/img94/1056/img1742.png

        That little triangle in the top left corner next to the letter “K” in “Kapucinska” is a pedestrian zone, but Apple’s maps show it as a normal road. Nice job, Apple.

      • Tr1pTr0p

        And where have I denied that? Apple’s maps have improved over time, and will continue in the future. But, that day the app was released, it was a complete and absolute embarrassment.

      • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

        Will you ever let someone voice their opinion without crapping all over it. Why you always gotta cause drama? We know, you like android better, that’s completely fine. Just leave people to their opinions for once instead of pouncing on them like the plague.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        you know what is worst? is that he’s so blind to bash Apple that he didn’t make any sense on his answer.

        I said: “Apple Maps are bettter (UI, UX and performance) and Google Maps has better data. He disagree with me (almost calling me fanboy,..and using the same kid arguments that he always say), but ended saying exacly the same thing that i said… lol… and giving me a lecture about to be “realistic” lol… if this guy is not retarded, I don’t really know how can I describe him…

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      very very very true….lol in 2 year apple maps will be king.. well goggle maps does have that very cool street view thing .. but apple map has 3D mode..lol using both apps would be best

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Apple makes better software, Google has better data since they are, mainly a “social network” company. The only way to Apple catch Google is getting better partners or (not going to happen) creating a social service…

        Would be great if Google never had betrayed Apple… providing all the data and Apple dealing with the software (UI and UX). The old Google maps were fast and smooth and it was made by Apple. Like the Youtube App. The only thing that Google did was providing the data.

      • disqus_QEe0bzGGE5

        Very much so I agree on that. I’ve constantly use apple maps and let me tell you has some flaws but turn by turn its out stranding.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mohammad.faisal.507 Mohammad Faisal

    still the apple maps are good but really apple have too improve !!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

      Sure they will improve. Apple Maps has only 1 year… competitors have years of experience, so obviously much better data collected. Apple can IMPROVE way faster making deals with other companies like Waze.. buying the data that they have. But no one is safe os mistakes. Every GPS maps has flaws. Before Apple Maps and even Google Maps, I remember TomTom giving me totally wrong directions on the Nokia N95 that I had on that time. That’s why EVERY map app has a warning intructions before you use those apps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sammi.simpson Sammi Simpson

    A jailbreak tweak will fix it being a third party app.

    • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

      Was gonna say that myself

    • Miketyler

      Yes that will fix that… But for ios 6 users it wont be anytime soon if ever… That is unteathered

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        yeah will 4S and ipad3 on 5.1.1 with jailbreak are the best IOS devices to have

      • No Whammy

        You keep telling yourself that.

      • DJ Garcia

        Chronic dev team should get some anonymous hackers that shit would be done in a day lol

    • MagicDrumSticks

      Have fun waiting for that.

      I rooted my note 2 on day one andnnow have

      -lockscreen notifications
      -lockscreen widgets
      -better battery performance than even before (2 days of use)

      Oh. That’s the only features I need need to list, iphone doesn’t even have any of the other ones.

      • Tr1pTr0p

        Stick your pathetic obsession up your own ass, deranged sheep! You’re just butthurt because he’s absolutely right.

    • http://twitter.com/digitalfeind Dani Hayes

      According to phonearena it comes with an SDK already ;)

  • http://twitter.com/MrSergioRamos Sergio Ramos

    It’s better than the previous standard google maps, only difference is when it comes to direction it takes u the longer way.. Just tested it a few times this morning and the traffic report is wrong, it shows traffic when there isn’t any and where there is traffic it shows none.. Apple maps gives u more options for directions (at least 3) and it shows the short or fastest way… And traffic is pretty accurate too.. So at the end of the day to me apple maps is still better.. Street view is nice but it doesn’t show u which building is 203 on East 63rd st..

    • Dustin Hills

      I hope you are aware that none of them supports real-life traffic updates. Google Maps gives you options for different directions too, and most of the time there are at least three

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        Apple Maps support real-life traffic, and with your permission, you can share that info to apple too. When you use Apple Maps, they know if you or other iOS devices are stuck in the traffic. Like “slowing down” in certain areas or even stop” .. they see that there’s a lot of devices there that run at the same speed or stop so they know that theres a lot of traffic on those areas.

      • http://twitter.com/Jackzzz99 Jack Wong

        It does give 3 routes but unlike the Apple, it shows the route on the map, which is much easier for “me” to pick which one I prefer.

        I will still stick with AppleMap for driving, what I miss from google map is just the street view.

        As for the life traffic, it is traffic everywhere in NYC, all I care is if there is accident on my route.

      • No Whammy

        I get three routes on the map in Apple Maps. I’m not sure why you don’t…or maybe I’m misunderstanding you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      i will only use google maps for map browsing.. the link to tomtom for nav etc apple maps is cool for playing with the 3d effect

  • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

    Everyone is praising this as if it were the perfect maps app yet it also gets people lost in Australia
    -___-
    http://www.macworld.com.au/news/australian-police-issue-google-maps-warning-82428/

  • http://twitter.com/asdtfdr asf

    Laggy as hell, does not cache map info.

    • john

      Loads almost instantaneously for me though.
      Not laggy “as hell” imo but yea the scrolling and zooming dosent seem to be that smooth as it was in the pre ios 6 maps stock app.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        it scrolls and zooms like a damn android app…lolol typical

      • MagicDrumSticks

        Probably because your shitty last gen dual core processor can’t handle it, try picking up a jelly bean device and show me some lag.

        Silly iSheep keep using the same argument from 2 years ago. Let’s not forget about lack of notification center on iphone? Or lack of copy and paste, lack of multitasking, lack of flash support (jellybean has this optionally now) lack of etc

      • john

        Or rather, because of google’s poor software optimization. Do tell me how i can run modern combat 4 much smoother than google maps then. =)

        Notification center – check. I would suppose you’ve been hiding in a cave since pre ios 5?
        Copy and paste and multitasking – hi there, caveman.
        Flash support – its a brand new html 5 world now, sry to inform you, caveman.

      • MagicDrumSticks

        You’re obviously lack enough intelligence to make the connection in my post so let me explain.

        I said Apple fan boys keep using the “android is laggy” argument from two years ago. So I simply pointed out how 2 years ago, iOS didn’t even have some very basic features which android has had for years. I hope that clears it up for you; I know being an idiot probably results in public humiliation, but I’ll save you that since this is the Internet

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002090550614 Kash Gummaraju

        Let me explain this- an android phone will lag after reboot even jellybean- ios doesn’t. Our arguement is still valid, a Samsung galaxy s3 is slower than the 4s due to all those animations and bloatware crap that is allowed on your devices.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002090550614 Kash Gummaraju

        He was never complaining about speed either, the A6 also beats the pants off of most “current” gen android phones anyway- number cores doesn’t always equal better performance. Go read more tech news phandroid.

  • http://twitter.com/Grolubao Grolubao

    All recent apps from google (gmail and now maps) are so laggy in pre iPhone 5 devices…

  • http://twitter.com/klouud Timothy Polumbo

    I only need it for bus routes. The Safari based google maps was a PITA when doing the bus thing. The old app was perfect. Hopefully Google hit this one out of the park. Honestly, I wish Apple would step up their game so I don’t have to use multiple apps for similar functionality.

  • RarestName

    The pervious one is smoother.

  • Greyhound Mom

    Soooo I just downloaded it. There is no button for settings. So you can’t change any settings? Everyone loves this app? I don’t see it.

    • john

      I really dont see what you can change in a maps app besides the satellite / traffic layering which is available o.o

      • No Whammy

        @Veronica there’s a little slide out bar in the lower right with 3 dots on it. That’s like Apple Maps’ page peel menu.

        @John Unfortunately, Satellite isn’t available without road labels, ie. it’s “Hybrid” only.

  • Miketyler

    Tried it this morning on my way to work and its great

  • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

    Google maps is apparently also getting people lost in Australia. Can’t link article here for some reason but search google for “Australian police issue Google maps warning”

  • gigaSproule

    Interesting, but where does Google say that iOS version is better than Android’s?

  • http://www.granniethegeek.com/ GrannieTheGeek

    I thought they had 3D display? Or am I dreaming again. Other than that, it is quite impressive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      nah it has a slight 3d effect in map mode but not in satellite mode like apple maps does..lolol

      • http://www.granniethegeek.com/ GrannieTheGeek

        Ok so I was dreaming. Thanks!

    • pawfyd

      Google Earth has 3D view.

      • http://www.granniethegeek.com/ GrannieTheGeek

        Will check it out. I love Google Earth. Next best thing to being there.

  • jdshorrock

    Main turn off that I have is that it doesn’t access my contacts to grab addresses.

    • No Whammy

      You are correct, but there is a way to get identical functionality. If you have a Gmail account (which you should) you can set up your phone to sync its contacts with Gmail (which you should). Then, if you’re signed in to your Gmail account in Google Maps on your phone, it’ll access your contacts.

      • jdshorrock

        I do have it setup to sync with my gmail contacts, but still aren’t showing up in Google Maps…am I missing something?

      • No Whammy

        Are you logged in to Google Maps on your phone? Tap the little person icon top right next to the search bar.

      • jdshorrock

        I am signed in, but all that shows up is a recently saved search, along with my Home & Work address.

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Hmm, I suggest you contact google’s support.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    “There’s not yet an iPad-specific app. Google says that goodies like those will be coming soon”
    Yay!

    • Disqus Commentor

      Because, you know with IOS you “must” buy the “tablet version”.

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Buy? I don’t know what you mean? But let’s be clear: the iPad version will be as free as the iPhone one and it will take full advantage of the extra screen space, unlike some other OSs out there! So I think it will be worth the waiting, just like the YouTube app, for which I am thankful to google.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000465687976 Jason Hur

        He was referring to the fact many apps on iOS are sold for iPhone and iPad separately, instead of a single purchase that works for both like on Android.

        Granted, some apps are designed to work on both iPhone and iPad, but since Apple doesn’t allow developers to upload different .ipa files for different devices, said apps are humongous in size.

  • http://twitter.com/ToanNguyenDuc Toan Nguyen Duc

    Wow…so this laggy piece of software is better than the Android version? Poor Android users…

    • Disqus Commentor

      That’s your phones laggy hardware, poor you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.vogt.14 Steven Vogt

    I’m really not sure why so many people say that apple maps suck when I’ve never had one problem with it yet. As a matter of fact it is the best navi app I’ve ever used. The voice guided part works flawless and I was quite impressed with it after having heard everyone saying it sucked. I live in southern Cali. Also and I haven’t heard anyone mention this but the data comes from tomtom, it says so when you hit the fold at the bottom to change the view options. I love apple maps and I’m not just saying that cause I like apple but it really is the best map app I’ve used.

    • mickey

      I live in southern Cali (DTLA, whittier, south orange county) as well and there have been about a dozen times where the apple map route just didn’t make sense. Poi’s are often off and searching isn’t as spot on as google. I prefer the apple maps interface but the data just isn’t as good. Overall very usable but I’ll go with google maps just because it’ll the job done right. People l know outside major cities have a lot more problems then me. People I know outside the US just avoid it.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Apple will lose in the Map game.. give it up already and FOCUS on other areas like iCloud, Siri..

    • disqus_QEe0bzGGE5

      Just dreams

  • Fish

    Fuckers! Show your own OS some love. All you people who develop for iPhone only or make shitty Android versions suck balls!

  • Bart

    I heard the opposite… it’s just what you want to believe…

  • http://twitter.com/burlow burlow

    google refused to allow apple to implement turn by turn on the “old” iphone maps app, now apple made a maps app of its own, and google adds the feature.
    good to have competition but lame that it took apple dumping google for google to get off its high horse.