Did hell freeze over? Was there an announcement?
I’m pretty sure hell did freeze over because longtime Apple critic and grumpy old man John Dvorak did something totally unexpected. He got himself directly involved in an Apple Maps vs. Google Maps contest and declared a winner in Apple Maps Leads the Way in Navigation.
Wait. How’s that even possible? Everyone who uses maps on an iPhone or Android smartphone knows that Apple’s Maps suck and Google’s Maps app was rendered on high from Jesus himself.
Dvorak, TWiT’s Leo LaPorte, and a couple of other folks traveled in three cars to visit Apple’s shrine and temple at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA.
One of my favorite apps was bested by the other two used in the test.
Leo was using Waze, which he thinks is great. He was misdirected in one instance and took forever to get there. He got lost for unknown reasons at another target location. Overall, he—and Waze—came in third (and last).
What about Google Maps vs. Apple’s notoriously wonky Maps app? How did Apple fare?
In fact, it worked better than Google. On one leg from the Apple facility to a shopping mall, Glenn beat me, though just barely. Leo was the laggard. But then from that location to a lunch spot, Glenn and I followed each other. Suddenly, Glenn jumped on to the freeway as Google Maps directed me through the city streets for a cut across town.
Apple’s Maps won?
Admittedly, this is about as unscientific as a comparison can be but it is telling. Dvorak:
I gave the nod to Apple and now wonder what the fuss was about. I have loved Google Maps until recently. I’m noticing that it is getting a little ragged.
Yeah, really. What is all the fuss anyway? Has anyone done any kind of actual study that involved math (number of maps users, number of uses, number of accurate locations vs. amount of wrong data)?
Dvorak finally made it to Apple’s headquarters, although Google didn’t make the journey easy.
And although Google Maps on the computer shows the correct portal for 1 Infinite Loop, here is the location at Apple headquarters shown by the phone:
I’ve been using Apple Maps on my iPhone since iPhone 5 and iOS 6 hit the streets. Chicago is a large metropolitan area and I’ve run into three locations which were incorrectly mapped. With Google’s new Maps app I’ve run into three locations (not the same) where locations were incorrectly mapped.
Apple’s turn-by-turn directions are better than Google’s, but who cares? Both Maps apps and data are decent and they’re free. Competition is a good thing. But hell has certainly frozen at least a little if John Dvorak can find something good to say about an Apple product that has suffered so.