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  • Apple Maps Beats Google Maps in Data-Efficiency



    Apple Maps may be leading iOS 6 users into empty parking lots, but there’s one thing it does extremely well: managing data.

    That’s right, Apple's new maps app is incredibly efficient, in fact it makes Google Maps look bloated in comparison. Apple’s new maps app as much as five times less data than Google Maps. While this could be the result of each phone’s map “prowess” Onavo claims the difference is more than the punchline of a joke.

    Our data experts performed an identical series of activities on Google Maps and Apple Maps that included searching for several US cities, addresses and airports and zooming in and out to locate specific locations. On Google Maps, the average data loaded from the cellular network for each step was 1.3MB. Apple Maps came in at 271KB – that's approximately 80% less data! On some actions, such as zooming in to see a particular intersection, Apple Maps' efficiency advantage edged close to 7X. — Onavo
    Apple’s advantage in efficiency is a result of Apple’s use of vector graphics in their Maps app. Apple’s maps can dynamically resize as users zoom in and out without needing to download new data. Google Maps for iOS utilizes raster graphics, which forces the app to download new maps every time the user zooms in or out.

    Apple’s new Maps app isn’t great, it’s barely good. But, Apple appears to have built an incredibly data-plan friendly base with a great deal of potential.

    Source: Onavo [via Gizmodo]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's Maps App Beats Google Maps in Data-Efficiency started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 88 Comments
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Vector graphics is a good idea. If the rest of the app worked it would be great.
    1. Silverado1987's Avatar
      Silverado1987 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      Guys the fact of the matter is apple can actually update this maps app and fix it. Google maps did its job but was holding apple behind, even if apples maps didn't get a good start its still better than google maps because they can actually give it features that google maps never had because they weren't allowing apple to add features. People can't argue apple is finally getting turn by turn and also say that their maps application is worse than googles. Apples maps will be updated and foxed and still have these features. Google maps will have their limited features but no bugs. Eventually apples will surpass googles.
      I kind of agree. They can do so much more with it being theirs maps
    1. stevelucky's Avatar
      stevelucky -
      Quote Originally Posted by GmAz View Post
      Ummmm...what? It is 5 times smaller because it has 5 times less info. Look at the two shots. You see cross streets, directions of traffic (which is huge for someone as myself who has an issue with one way streets). Google Maps shows destinations such as gas stations, restaurants, bars etc on the maps with small icons. You can polish a turd all you want, but in the end, its still just a turd.
      I don't know why, but I'm consistantly amazed by the idiotic comments I'm reading here. It absolutely doesn't have 5 times less info. They made a choice to show less info while zoomed out as it clutters the screen. Personally, I prefer it that way. If I want more info, I'll zoom in (which works MUCH better with Apple maps because it doesn't need to download new map tiles). The fact that there's less text shown would make a minute data difference. Do you realize how little data it takes to show text? The data difference is (here we go again) due to the fact that Apple uses vector graphics as opposed to Googles raster graphics. The debate here isn't whether Apples maps are better. That's obviously personal preference, and I'd agree Apple has a long way to go until they achieve parity. The article is about which one uses less data. There can be no debate about this. Apple is using a vastly superior technology. Vector will always, always be smaller than raster graphics. I'm sure there's plenty of other threads here dedicated to trashing Apple maps. Can we keep this one on topic?
    1. Robert A Petersen's Avatar
      Robert A Petersen -
      Wow, way to fail ModMyi! The picture of "Apple Maps" in the headline image is from Beta 1 of iOS6.

      This is how that spot looks in iOS6 final:


      Gizmodo has been doing the same thing (comparing iOS6 beta 1 maps to Google Maps instead of iOS6 final). There are plenty of real problems with Apple Maps, stop trying to artificially make it look worse than it is!
    1. VerizonIphone4_help's Avatar
      VerizonIphone4_help -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jarolin Vargas View Post
      Wow. That makes up for all the other flaws.
      I disagree, if it doesn't get me to where i'm going 99.9% of the time then it's no go. I don't need turn by turn directions, i've been doing without it for years. what I need is an accurate map. so once they fix that I'm all for a new map with more efficiency and turn by turn, etc, etc.
    1. Evaded's Avatar
      Evaded -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sniper488 View Post
      I actually like Apple maps better than googles...
      Me too...

      I've used it numerous times and haven't ran into any flaws yet. I live in a rural mountain community where google doesn't zoom on my house and apple does with great detail.
    1. cpotoso's Avatar
      cpotoso -
      Quote Originally Posted by subywrex View Post
      +1000



      Really? Idk I just navigated around SF no issues. Directions give you a street name. Lmao yes apple maps Are not as detailed. But it's more than detailed enough for your visual aid!

      Confused on how the attached image from a "big city" would not be more than enough detail

      Why the heck is everything so distorted in this image? If the buildings really looked like this, they would all collapse...
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Presumably you are in America? Here in the UK you can barely zoom in on London...
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      Quote Originally Posted by stevelucky View Post
      I don't know why, but I'm consistantly amazed by the idiotic comments I'm reading here. It absolutely doesn't have 5 times less info. They made a choice to show less info while zoomed out as it clutters the screen. Personally, I prefer it that way. If I want more info, I'll zoom in (which works MUCH better with Apple maps because it doesn't need to download new map tiles). The fact that there's less text shown would make a minute data difference. Do you realize how little data it takes to show text? The data difference is (here we go again) due to the fact that Apple uses vector graphics as opposed to Googles raster graphics. The debate here isn't whether Apples maps are better. That's obviously personal preference, and I'd agree Apple has a long way to go until they achieve parity. The article is about which one uses less data. There can be no debate about this. Apple is using a vastly superior technology. Vector will always, always be smaller than raster graphics. I'm sure there's plenty of other threads here dedicated to trashing Apple maps. Can we keep this one on topic?
      You ever think that Apple was keeping google maps limited on iOS so they could release their turd and call it better? Apple is notorious with keeping their crap limited so they can call it new features on new phones in the future. Also, Google has been using vector graphics since the end of 2010 Google Maps 5.0 for Android goes vector for faster loading, zooming and 3D
    1. RokeSmoreMeefer's Avatar
      RokeSmoreMeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by cpotoso View Post
      Why the heck is everything so distorted in this image? If the buildings really looked like this, they would all collapse...
      It's the 3D feature that attempts to make buildings and features pop out of the map. I particularly like how it distorts the semis on the left side of the street... you didn't realize those were semis, did you
    1. MMX007's Avatar
      MMX007 -
      We all deserve a Mapology from Apple for the cock-up!
      😜
    1. blwallace5's Avatar
      blwallace5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GmAz View Post
      You ever think that Apple was keeping google maps limited on iOS so they could release their turd and call it better? Apple is notorious with keeping their crap limited so they can call it new features on new phones in the future. Also, Google has been using vector graphics since the end of 2010 Google Maps 5.0 for Android goes vector for faster loading, zooming and 3D
      No where in this article is google maps being discussed. The back end map data provided to apple by google was raster not vector. And it has been discussed multiple times all over the Internet that google limited data given to apple. Google wanted more control over the app and in app branding.
    1. AngryPIG's Avatar
      AngryPIG -
      If I'm not mistaking. Google maps was on IOS 1 in 2007. So comparing a map app that has been out for 5+ years to one that's not long launched is just stupid. Just when apples map app has been out for 5 years see how it looks then.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      In the mean time many people will buy phones that have decent mapping apps.

      Maybe someone should release an OS that is like Windows 1.0 then you could buy that because it might be OK in 20 years.

      To release something this poor is just not good enough.
    1. AngryPIG's Avatar
      AngryPIG -
      I see what your saying but my point was comparing an app to has had 5 years to get everything right to a few months old app is stupid. Just like to say google maps on IOS 1 was **** just saying. And who bitched and moaned about that, no one. Anyways apples maps can be updated without a software update.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Bit what they have released is so much worse than hat we had before (if you live outside of the USA) that it is unacceptable. They are not giving something new that is not as good as the competition they are giving something that does not work to replace something that did.

      Maybe, in a few years time when Apple Maps have improved, I will buy another Apple phone, but I doubt very much if my next phone will be an iPhone.
    1. AngryPIG's Avatar
      AngryPIG -
      I live in Scotland. There is no fancy 3D buildings. But then again I did not buy the iPhone 5 for the maps app.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by GmAz View Post
      You ever think that Apple was keeping google maps limited on iOS so they could release their turd and call it better? Apple is notorious with keeping their crap limited so they can call it new features on new phones in the future. Also, Google has been using vector graphics since the end of 2010 Google Maps 5.0 for Android goes vector for faster loading, zooming and 3D
      It's been told over and over again that google was limiting apple from using their up to date maps. This has pissed me off for a long time. Also, yes, Google has been using vector graphics for years on android but not iOS we aren't comparing Google to Apple we are comparing the way Google allowed maps to be on iOS to Apple's new maps on iOS. It is much faster due to once again the vectors not the fact that for some it has taken them to the wrong place. People on here are making me laugh that they fail to see the point of this article. The article isn't even praising Apple's maps as the best maps app, it is just simply saying it is faster than the old maps app because it uses vectors. There are so many Apple bashers on here that they will see what they want to see just to say something idiotic that has nothing to do with the point of an article. Also you are going to a strictly Apple product site and hating on the fact that the site will report news on something that is good about Apple. Grow up people.

      On a side note, there are advantages to both old Google maps on iOS and the new maps. For where I live I prefer Apple's because it has all the information I need and I have looked up so many different places and directions to them and have never been taken to the wrong place. If Google had their Android version of maps on iOS then I would much prefer that even though it's 3D is way worse. Though I can see why people outside the US are complaining so hard.

      Edit: I also laugh at the fact everyone is not comparing photos with the new map system that DOES have one way directions and DOES have small icons on the map that show shops, restaurants, gas stations, all that jazz.
    1. Perceptum's Avatar
      Perceptum -
      Instead of complaining about Apple, why not complain about Google not putting out their own map app for iOS 6? Google had plenty of time to update their app and put in the app store, but decided not to. Apple stopped using Google's app because Google stopped adding features. Basically Google abandoned their iOS app.
    1. scroogelives's Avatar
      scroogelives -
      Maps are fine! When I use Turn by turn it works perfect! Ok view from space is a little bit unfinished but at least the scans are upto date compared to google maps which have not been updated for my home town since launched!