Apple Maps works better offline than Google Maps

Karen Haslam
8 October, 2012
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More reports are appearing claiming that Apple’s Maps has features that make it superior to Google’s Maps on iOS 6.

Last week out UK counterparts looked into whether it is true that Apple’s Maps are less of a data hog than Google’s Maps. They have since examined the claim that Apple Maps stores more data for use when you are offline, a handy feature if you are traveling abroad and don’t want to use up your data allowance. Here are their thoughts:

We compared maps of Saint Malo in France, loaded up in an iPhone 4S running iOS 5 and the iPhone 5.

There are definitely differences in the amount of data stored. For example, when we studied the Apple Maps version we could see restaurant, bar and hotel information, Google Maps showed hotels, but little else. (It should be noted that Google had more hotel information than Apple, but then given the lack of specific information in Apple Maps, that is no surprise right now).

Of course the important bit is road names. The Google Maps version showed key road names, but lots of empty roads, while the Apple Maps version showed all the road names if you zoomed in on the picture.

In neither case could we search for road names or routes when the Wi-Fi was off. However, with a bit of preparation, you can drop pins on the locations you plan to visit.

What really surprised us about Apple Maps was that when we switched to Satellite view, the Satellite maps loaded, even in Airplane mode. This doesn’t happen in Google Maps.

One Comment

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  1. AussieMacUser says:

    I have also found that I can drive with Apple Maps (when working properly) much more easily than the old standard Google Maps. In fact, I would say that the old Google Maps was downright dangerous to drive with: the graphics were too small and fiddly and you could end up taking your eyes off the road for too long a time.

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