Navigation Wars: Google Maps vs Waze vs Apple Maps

The break of day of the telephone age had us cheering for GPS chips and easy, on-the-cross navigation. No longer were we beholden to web sites like MapQuest (which still exists as a mobile app, by way of the manner) and printing out directions.

Instead, we could open up our maps app, input a destination, and get hold of live, turn-by skill of-turn directions.It develop into like having a pocket-sized Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, or Ferdinand Magellan as your permanent wingman. It changed into surely also a death blow to paper maps — having mentioned that it didn’t cease there.Once we also can navigate with our smartphones, the query became: “which tool does it higher?” Obviously, Google Maps is the best-known map app — it’s in reality synonymous with cellular telephone navigation. In fact, Google Maps became at first the iPhone’s default, preinstalled navigation device, until Apple introduced its own Apple Maps. An app referred to as Waze emerged as a 3rd-party alternative, arising quite a following in the beyond Google received it.We at Android Authority decided it turned into time to settle this once and for all. We’ve analyzed of all three apps, making a alternative on their weaknesses and breaking down their enjoyable strengths. Welcome to the Navigation Wars: Waze vs Google Maps vs Apple Maps. Who will reign supreme?Waze vs Google Maps vs Apple Maps — Google MapsOne might expect Google Maps to take the gold. It’s Google, after all.The company has positioned incomprehensible amounts of money and materials into mapping the international.

Beyond effectively mapping the streets, the search giant sent out a fleet of Street View cars — which, according to a report from a few years ago, have jointly driven an estimated seven million miles — to take 360-degree photographs along 99 % of all public roads in the U.S. Users get to definitely preview their direction from a first-person perspective. Google is all the time repeating and perfecting this technique in countries all over the world.

Google Maps can supply you directions on your next Florida vacation, then again also whilst you ultimately take that trip to Greece.More recently, Google began providing specified 3D imaging in so much of highly-populated and tourist-heavy locations.

So in addition to getting a first-person street view of your path, you can zoom out to see a computer-rendered brand of the surrounding arena for contextual tips such as the shapes and sizes of buildings.Algorithms outfitted into Google Maps can even account for matters like traffic jams. Basically, the device monitors user location and circulation to move to how they circulate thru bound areas and compares that to ancient files, so Google Maps can put out a traffic alert whilst drivers start to slow down. It also can sound fundamental, then again making it all paintings calls for a few finesse.Google has invested into complex device that provides exact 3D imaging in quite a bit of highly-populated and tourist-heavy locations.When you open Google Apps, you get a very blank interface. At the best, you’re invited to either seek for your destination — obviously applying Google’s normal search engine — or input an cope with.

Whether you’ve certain a destination, the map displays you the destination on the map, as well as reviews (if it’s a business), the amount of time it would take you to trip there, an alternative to be told more approximately the destination, and a big blue button that says “DIRECTIONS,” which will start plotting your direction.

It will typically supply you the choice of a few routes, depending on how many alternative methods there are to get to your destination.Arguably the best promoting feature of the ones standalone GPS devices we used to purchase for our vehicles become spoken turn-by way of-turn instructions.

Google Maps rolled out turn-thru-turn instructions a couple years back and currently offers three alternatives: spoken instructions for each step of your path, no spoken instructions, or an alert mode, which means Google Apps will simplest speak to you about things like shuttle indicators and missed turns.Google Maps permits you to program varied stops into a cross back and forth or behavior a seek for an additional cease while still en course.In operation, Google Maps continues its clean UI. Your location is denoted by an arrow elements in the direction you’re facing. From what I can tell, the app uses the direction in which you were final moving to examine the direction to point the arrow in view that the arrow will amendment direction if you begin to reverse.On occasion, though, the app seems to get perplexed approximately which direction you’re facing. This has a tendency to occur whilst you’re sitting still for a few mins (like at a stoplight), or if you commence a commute at the related time as you’re sitting still, at which time the app can even believe you’re diverting from the path and commence needlessly amending it. If I begin a commute while sitting at a stoplight, for instance, the app can’t seem to remember the direction in which I had simply been traveling and can even tell me I desire to turn around at the related time as I’m certainly facing the right way.

These hiccups are effortless to deal with and won’t cause any catastrophes, on the other hand it’s worth making note of them. Some Google Maps points are particularly effective.

You can program distinctive stops into a trip or seek for an additional cease at the same time as still en route.

The options menu offers toggles for option map views, adding satellite (replaces the common map appearance with satellite images), terrain (overlays a topographical map over the current roadmap), and traffic (adds color-coded traffic details to all roads as an alternative of just the ones you’re traveling).Even anything as primary as being ready to settle on option modes of trip — car, bus or public transit, walking, and cycling — is a considerate addition that really expands your options with Google Maps.On top of directions, Google Maps comprises tons of helpful tips about nearby agencies, restaurants, and elements of interest, with so a good deal of filters to find what you’re looking for.Due to the bevy of guidance Google Maps comprises, it has a few brought functions. One of my favorites is employing it to discover restaurants. When you open Google Maps, open the menu bar on the lefthand side and select “Explore.” This will open a directory of restaurants and other venues internal reach.Along the easiest, you have a toggle with which you can filter out the results by capacity of meal (options are Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner), discover a region where you can get your next caffeine restore (Coffee), or plan for your night social hour (Drinks).Naturally, Google is always rolling out new aspects and innovations.

It’s gained a few pretty robust offline functionality, asking you for your permission to download a bite of the map (your general vicinity) or to store trips to local garage so you can pull them up without a files connection. Essentially, it makes Google Maps valuable even while you don’t have an web connection.If you are using Google Maps with Android 8.0 Oreo or higher, you can use the picture-in-picture mode. You can visit a small window that shows Google Maps operating on the leading app page. You can visit the map, a turn indicator, which road you are lately traveling on, and an ETA for your destination.Google Maps these days introduced a manner to seek for comments of stores, restaurants, hotels and other places from within the app. There’s also a new tab labeled “For You” which deals recommendations of areas and agencies in your immediate arena, particularly emblem new or “trending” ones, based often on Google’s records.A number of voice commands also work with Google Maps to do things like mute or unmute the voice guidance, inquire about your next turn, steer clean of highways or tolls, and find a gas station.It can also sound like Google already has it in the bag, then again keep reading to find out if that’s really the case. (Insert devilish grin here.)Waze vs Google Maps vs Apple Maps — WazeAs someone who appreciates and uses either Android and iOS devices, I’m pretty typical with either Apple and Google’s navigation apps. Aside from a handful of times over the beyond few years, although, I’d never in reality used Waze rather a lot.

Before I began writing this article, I took a brilliant 10 days or so to familiarize myself with Waze.Did you recognise that Google has owned Waze considering that 2013?

If we’re splitting hairs, Waze is technically owned by the use of Google’s discern company, Alphabet. It allegedly operates in general independently from Google, then again there has absolutely been some crossing of the streams. The acquisition of Waze brought traffic alerts to Google Maps later that year. Waze has incorporated some of Google’s data too, including Street View.You wouldn’t know Waze turn into owned by means of Google thru shopping at it — it has a absolutely choice aesthetic. Personally, Waze’s cartoonish appearance reminds me of emojis. Everything looks very bubbly, nonetheless Waze manages to maintain minimalist elements, which assists in keeping it from being too a great deal.But the modifications among Google Maps and Waze are more than skin deep. When you open the app, you’re caused to login or create an account, both of which are performed by way of either connecting your Facebook account or using your mobile telephone number. Once you make it to the main reveal, the map contains a notification to permit you recognise how many “Wazers” are in your proximity. Right off the bat, there’s an inherently social aspect to Waze throughout lots of the user adventure.Unlike other navigation apps, Waze shows logging in to make the maximum of its social points.While Google Maps is sparse and almost utilitarian, Waze feels a little more dressed-up, with more bells and whistles. You can attach Waze to your Spotify accoun to control your tune at once from the Waze app via adding a bar along the easiest of the reveal to choose from your playlists and favourite stations.You can file traffic, car accidents, speed traps, avenue closures, and other such matters to your fellow Wazers. This characteristic plays a giant role in Waze’s ability to keep users abreast of their local traffic conditions.Waze almost is going overboard on extra elements, ranging from Spotify integration, to petrol station prices, and a big range of novelty turn-by manner of-turn navigation voices.You can do matters like regulate your account details (set a profile picture, view your pals list, read your messages), as neatly as handle your favourite places and check your planned drives in the main menu.The planned force feature is in reality interesting.

In essence, you set a destination for a destiny date, so whilst the time comes you can start navigating there with simply one or two clicks. It’s in fact handy, too; even as you search for a destination, you can either click “Go” or “Later” to choose the date and time for your shuttle.Alternately, it can glean information from your Facebook calendar, scheduling trips to real destinations based on the hobbies you’re attending. If that’s no longer magnificent sufficient, Waze adjusts how long the go back and forth will take primarily based on traffic at option times of day, so a 15 minute trip in the morning may also take 30 minutes all over rush hour. Waze is even courteous sufficient to remind you when it’s time to leave so that you’ll arrive on time.In addition to being ready to either agenda or begin a shuttle to that destination, Waze can assist you to the closest parking lot to your destination. I your destination happens to be a mall or retail outlet, it’ll deliver you the choice to set your destination as the closest parking lot or allow you to decide on from other parking options internal reach.

I didn’t definitely get to take abilities of this feature, notwithstanding I can visit it really being a godsend in an unfamiliar location.If you like customization options, Waze deals a bunch of various voices for turn-by-turn instructions. Many of the most populated countries get at least two alternatives, but English-speakers have a plethora of alternatives.

Each voice is given its own name, like Jane, Nathan, or Boy Band for Americans, and Kate, Thomas, or Simon for those in the U.K. In the beyond, Waze even introduced big name voices, including Morgan Freeman and more these days Liam Neeson.Waze is predicated on files amassed and published by way of its real-time users and has a plenty more inherently social consider than your normal map app.As you get deeper and deeper into Waze, you find all those nifty little surprises. In the settings menu, you can go into “Gas stations & prices” to decide on your preferred gasoline station chain (if you happen to have one).

You can also set the speedometer to maximum effective show up if you happen to cross over the speed limit.With a toggle, you can control whether or no longer you see internal sight Wazers on your friends list. There’s a whole host of map exhibit options you can toggle, including speed cameras, other Wazers, avenue hazards, and more.A few months ago, Waze were given a huge update adding hands-free navigation, employing simply your voice. The feature, called quite simply Talk to Waze, can be turned on by the use of heading into Settings > Sound & voice > Talk to Waze > Toggle Listen for “OK Waze.” Then simply say “Ok Waze” to start off a force, get a preview of the direction ahead, send reports, or add a pit cease without touching your telephone.Other recently added facets come with adding routes optimized for motorcycles. There’s also a new HOV lane feature for carpooling drivers, or the ones with a targeted pass or in an electric, hybrid, or clean-fuel vehicle.

If you are driving such a automobile, and there are HOV lanes handy on your course, Waze will demonstrate you additional navigation alternatives and arrival times. Another fresh update improved the ETA feature, permitting users to get an predicted traffic forecast for your course.Waze can also sound bloated with needless features, but maximum of them are tucked out of the manner and accessible handiest from the menus. None of Waze’s extra points consider implementing or like they’re coming between you and the purpose of the app, which is to get instructions from one location to an alternate.There are so so much of bells and whistles on hand if you want to use them. As mentioned previously, there’s something inherently social about using Waze, an appealing having pointed out that not totally awesome concept in 2018.

Overall, my experience using Waze grew to grow to be into highly pleasant. Despite having so a good deal going on, the app is very snappy and responsive, even if I can even not have used it long sufficient to come upon the hiccups that undoubtedly come up from time to time.Waze vs Google Maps vs Apple Maps — Apple MapsPrior to iOS 6, Apple smartphones had Google Maps preinstalled as the default navigation app. In hindsight, Apple developing its own option to Google’s universal trip-mapping app changed into inevitable, if for no other reason than to boot the competition’s instrument off the iPhone.As customarily happens with newborn software, Apple Maps became into plagued with bugs and map inaccuracies for the first couple years. It’s gotten a lot larger due to the fact that then. I’m a lover of both Apple and Android, so I’m practically as general with Apple Maps as Google Maps (although having get entry to to the latter with any laptop browser in reality ensures a few disparity between the two).

In sure methods, I also can even like Apple Maps best of all.Compared to both Google Maps and Waze, Apple Maps has arguably the most appealing look and has exemplary integrations with other iOS apps.After that rough first year, Apple invested lots of time and calories (and cash) into convalescing Maps, and it displays.

Compared to both Google Maps and Waze, Apple Maps has arguably the maximum desirable appearance.

Of course, appearance is subjective, nevertheless there’s anything very polished and recent about Apple Maps, specifically when you consider that its mild redecorate in advance this year. It manages to gain a contemporary consider without looking sparse like Google Maps or borderline-cartoonish like Waze. It’s elegant, and very Apple.Perhaps taking a cue from Google Maps, Apple Maps has tons larger integrations with other iOS apps. Sprinkled throughout Apple Maps, you’ll discover guidance for scheduling and upcoming activities for which you may need to flow back and forth.

It’s reminiscent of how clicking addresses will take you into Google Maps from Gmail or Inbox or Google’s numerous other services. However, Apple Maps integrations expand even outside the Apple apps family, adding matters like OpenTable for making eating place reservations, ride-sharing apps, and, of course, Apple Pay to pay for it all.Similar to Google’s app, Apple Maps has a very blank and straightforward interface. Opening Apple Maps brings up the map with an overlap closer to the bottom, giving you a vicinity to input an address or search for a destination. It also offers counsel and the ability to click a single button to commence navigating home. If you were already home, it can also offer you navigation to your office or a destination pertaining to an upcoming experience in your calendar. It sounds like a lot, and whilst the entirety is giant and readable, it’s also no longer totally in the manner.One of the updates to Apple Maps brought anything known as “Flyover Mode,” a Google Earth-esque feature into the mix. In essence, it creates a 3D render of the map, allowing you to nearly fly over it like you’re in a helicopter. The feature itself isn’t specifically groundbreaking, having said that it’s fun and positively a welcome feature.Anything now not already visible in the app is customarily accessible with an upward or downward swipe, appearing neatly and organized on overlaying cards. You can swipe upward on an upcoming trip to view exchange course alternatives.

It’s a high-quality feature to have if, for instance, you happen to move to that there’s traffic on your could-be path.

And yes, the app can deliver you that traffic counsel, too.Apple has attempted to make Maps as informative as feasible and, in doing so, comprises a few actually considerate details.

If you click on a landmark, it typically brings up a card showing a picture, offering you directions, comments (by means of Yelp, of course), and a link to Wikipedia to be told more approximately it. As well, if you zoom into a element of the map sufficiently far away from your properly vicinity, it’ll demonstrate you that region’s local weather in the bottom-righthand corner.Apple Maps is targeted on providing navigation. By comparison, Google is plenty more targeted on destinations, which capability that it’s ready to deliver both navigation as well as permitting you to without problems use Google Maps like tourists may use paper maps as they explored their surroundings.When it comes to the actual map, however, there’s either sensible and bad news. The bad news is that Apple Maps simply isn’t as robust as Google Maps (or Waze, for that matter, due to the fact it incorporates Google archives).

If you zoom into the comparable section of a huge city on both Google and Apple Maps, Google’s map comprises more precise documents, particularly whilst it comes to the names and destinations of businesses.In fact, a person decided to track adjustments to either maps over a year and found that for any given part of the map, Apple Maps averaged fewer agencies than Google. However, as long as you seek for and bring up the deal with of the business, Apple Maps can get you there — even if the industrial isn’t on the map. That brings us to another key difference among Google and Apple Maps.Clearly, Apple Maps is focused on providing navigation, and that’s a sensible factor due to the fact that navigation is the element of those apps. By comparison, Google is tons more targeted on areas — it’s in a position to supply navigation at the same time as permitting you to with no trouble use Google Maps like a tourist might a paper map as they explore their surroundings. Again, Google readily has more archives with which to build a map containing. It’s practically an unfair comparison, having referred to that it’s a difference that’s worth mentioning.It seems that Apple Maps is often reliant on map information approved from TomTom and from acquiring a handful of smaller companies over the years. Some of those agencies are WifiSlam for internal maps, HopStop and Embark for public transportation, Locationary for recovering mapping abilities, and BroadMap for handling and examining map records.

TechCrunch This is all expected to modification soon. Apple’s SVP Eddy Cue currently told TechCrunch the agency is working a foremost revamp of the Maps app and service, and will use first-party information amassed from iPhone owners. It will start slowly with the upcoming iOS 12, delivery with Apple’s Northern California area this fall. The plan is to section out the use of third parties for map records entirely, then again its now not clean exactly how long that transition will take.TechCrunch also reports that, like Google Maps, Apple has been collecting street point map photographs and date by the use of its own fleet of Apple Maps trucks.

Among other matters, there is hardware and software internal the vans that enables them to map the international around that car in comprehensive 3D.

That date, mixed with high-resolution images taken by the use of orbiting satellites, need to supply future Apple Maps users comprehensive 3D navigation of streets, comprehensive with high-res textures.Apple Maps has come a truly long way due to the fact the early days, when Tim Cook actually apologized for how “challenging” the Google Maps replacement changed into.

In fact, it’s grow to be somewhat serviceable in its own right.

Some of its greatest strengths come with its very appealing layout language, and very intuitive UI. But is that adequate?Waze vs Google Maps vs Apple Maps — And the winner is…So who wins in the Waze vs Google Maps vs Apple Maps war?That honor goes to Google Maps.Now enable me give an explanation for why.Obviously, I don’t communicate for everyone. A lot of americans will be on Team Waze or Apple Maps. I chose Google Maps as the winner of the navigation wars because I think like Google Maps is the navigation app that can meet the maximum users’ needs.Google’s put a lot of paintings into convalescing and fine-tuning Google Maps. I believe we can effectively say that no other navigation app has more than 20 petabytes of map information, got via having a fleet of cars physically force more than 99 % of all public American roads. Plus, Google Maps has the energy of the Google seek engine at the back of it. As I mentioned beforehand, that’s challenging for anyone to compete with.No other navigation app has more than 20 petabytes of map documents that became acquired by capability of having a fleet of cars physically force more than 99 % of all public American roads.Google Maps is a excellent example of how the evolution and boom of era can amendment our lives — it’s for a long way more than just navigation. In large part, Google Maps is a location-oriented navigation map, and it’s turn into a catalyst for exploration of new locations.

Rather than completely giving us riding instructions, we can use Google Maps for learning and discovery, and that’s fairly damn cool.Waze and Apple Maps are now not bad navigation apps. Waze completely has more facets to be offering, some of which can also actually be somewhat advantageous, however I doubt many would discover them essential or essential to their use of Waze. Just because an app has the maximum bells and whistles doesn’t mean it’s correct for maximum americans.If I were giving a “Most Improved” award, or in all probability a “Best Dressed” award, it may doubtless move to Apple Maps. Due to the innovations it’s made, many iOS users don’t think the want to instantly download Google Maps or Waze from the App Store, and that positively says something.

At the similar time, even due to the fact that how you can get right of entry to Apple Maps by means of the computer app for MacOS, it’s challenging to recommend it over Google Maps (or even Waze) for all in spite of this a very limited number of uses. However, as we pointed out earlier, Apple is operating on even more improvements that deserve to allow it to compete greater with Google Maps and Waze.All notwithstanding Apple Maps are on hand for either Android and iOS devices. At least for the time being, Apple Maps is only on hand for Apple devices.Now I’d like to hear from you. Which map app do you use?

Why do you use it?

Sound off in the comments below!