Despite my tech credentials, I was given the impression that Apple Maps and Google Maps had merged after the original Apple Maps release became a disaster in 2012. I don’t know why I had this idea. I do know that the application became somewhat usable in 2014, and I have been using it ever since, while ignorantly thinking I was using Google Maps.
The truth is that Maps has helped me arrive at the place I need to go at least 95 percent of the time without any trouble. But in the past month, I noticed Maps would take me on some weird shortcuts that didn’t make any sense. One time, the application brought me to a place in West LA instead of near Downtown LA, where I needed to go. At 4 p.m., that’s an hour out of the way! Then, I drove to the Travelodge in Santa Ana, CA, and Maps not had me take a route that was 30 minutes out of the way. To make things worse, I ended up on the wrong side of Santa Ana. The actual location was 20 minutes away.
There have been other situations too. But I did research on the Maps app, and the consensus is that it’s terrible. And despite what you have heard, it is not powered by Google Maps. Actually, you can download a separate Google Maps app for the iPhone, and you should do that right now — you’ll be thanking me very soon.
I typed in the locations that caused me trouble on Apple Maps, and it turns out that I could have saved a lot of time and stress using Google Maps. I haven’t been taken on any crazy shortcuts, and the arrival time predictions are very accurate.
As Digital Trends notes, there are more options to change your map — Explore, Driving, Transit, Satellite, Terrain, Traffic, and Biking. Some of these options take a little bit of getting used to, but they end up working very well. I will admit that Apple Maps is cleaner, and the app gives the impression of being more simple. Google Maps is filled with icons, 3D buildings, etc., and I could see how a GPS beginner could get a little overwhelmed.
Still, I wish I could take back the four years of my life that I thought Apple Maps and Google Maps were the same. Perhaps Apple Maps will someday become a good app. However, that day still seems very far away.