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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 -
      It is amusing how people defend something so truly awful just because it comes from Apple.

      I have loved my Apple devices for the past few years because they worked and worked well.

      Apple Maps does not - at least in the UK. Therefore, reluctantly, I do not believe my next phone will be an iPhone.

      Vector graphics for the maps does reduce the amount of data and is a good thing, but it does not make up for the rest of the very serious shortcomings.
    1. mrancier's Avatar
      mrancier -
      I think the that Apple makes great products. That's why I own several of them : 2 MacBook Pros, 2 iPads, 1iphone 4, iPhone 5. However, I think that this us vs them thing needs to stop. Apple made a mistake : They needed to label Apple Maps "beta" and allow us all to run The old maps side by side with the new apple maps. There is no question that the App and the data will improve; just don't expect it to be better than Google Maps. Google has poured billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man hours into making their product as accurate and feature filled as possible. They've been at it for years. They, as a company, move at a break neck pace. Apple, on the other hand, is much more deliberate. At this point, we should hope for functional parity in the near term. This isn't a competition : This app is important to many folks out there, and we should hope that it improves sooner rather than later, so that we can get on with it. There was never a Google Maps app for ios. It was Maps powered by Google. Apple wrote the App and google provided the data. They've had all kinds of problems and now they've opted to go at it alone. Google is currently working on an original Google Maps app for iOS. I am sure we will all enjoy it once it is available.
    1. runey71's Avatar
      runey71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Presumably you are in America? Here in the UK you can barely zoom in on London...
      You still beating that drum. Apple maps works just fine in other countries other than the USA. Obviously there is an issue with it in the UK but come on stop using the outside of America line when there is plenty of people successfully using Apple maps outside of America. It is a perfect tool but neither is Google maps despite what all the Google fanboys are saying. I've had Google maps take me to the wrong location more than once.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      In what other countries does it work?
    1. Eiswritsat's Avatar
      Eiswritsat -
      First with the iPhone 4 there was Antenna-Gate now the IPhone 5/IOS 6 it's A-craple Maps. I swear people will always take a isolated or issue that only effects a small group and explode it to the 100th power. Then use the "I paid $$$$ for this device so it should be perfect" excuse. Apple will fix it just like they did when the original iPhone and 3G's Google maps Sucked but I guess everyone forgot that....I have no issues in Atlanta with apple maps period and the maps do render super fast for me.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      It is amusing how people defend something so truly awful just because it comes from Apple.

      I have loved my Apple devices for the past few years because they worked and worked well.

      Apple Maps does not - at least in the UK. Therefore, reluctantly, I do not believe my next phone will be an iPhone.

      Vector graphics for the maps does reduce the amount of data and is a good thing, but it does not make up for the rest of the very serious shortcomings.
      I don't think anyone is defending Apple maps just because it comes from Apple they are simply speaking their mind on how they think of it just like you are. You think it is the worst thing in all existence simply because it isn't working for yourself. It works perfectly for a lot of other people out there such as myself so to us it's really not bad, and in fact is a huge step better than the maps google provided for iOS users. I understand it sucks for UK apparently, but again this article was never defending Apple maps saying it was better than Google maps it was saying the fact that now there is vector based maps on iOS it's faster than the one Google provided for iOS. People are mistaking this with the fact that it doesn't work in some areas of the world. But as others have said Google Maps doesn't work in every area of the world also. It has also taken people to wrong locations. Apple Maps will get better just give it time. Everyone who thinks people here are defending Apple Maps cause it's made by Apple are making a stupid remark.
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by Airwaves182 View Post
      Yes EVENTUALLY maybe. We're talking about now! so stop liking everything apple does and admit something RIGHT NOW is better. If another company made a maps app and isn't up to par with The competition you'd be calling it shitttt! But if the all mighty Apple releases something that is not good you think its ok. Biased much?
      Uh when did i say apples maps right now wasn't bad? Please people like you need to understand how to settle a conflict without arguing. Its a debate please use manners. I even said google maps will not have bugs? Yes im so biased because im using constructive criticism
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      I'm alright with the new Maps.

      You can say I guard it because Apple made it, but that's not the case.

      The point of the application is to assist me in getting from point A to point B. As long as it's telling me where to go, I find that the application gets me where I need to be just fine. I've used it a few times already to pick up friends in surrounding cities with roads I'm not familiar with – look I got home safely!
    1. stevelucky's Avatar
      stevelucky -
      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
      I might have thought that, were it not for the fact that it's been reported time and time again that Google wouldn't let Apple have turn by turn directions on the iPhone. If Apple wanted to compete, they needed to create their own solution. And here we are. That's great that Google uses vector maps on Android, but they don't on iOS. Are you blaming Apple for that? Do you believe that Apple created Google maps on iOS? Obviously not. I'm not sure why you're trying to belabor the point here. You don't like Apple maps. That's fine. I can't argue with that. But this is not some conspiracy where Apple is trying to hold us all back. They came up with a solution to a problem and they'll be making it better over time. The reality is, just as the article points out, Apple maps consumes MUCH less data than Google maps on the same platform. Case closed. Can we just move on to hating the misaligned iOS calendar text?
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      "Apple’s new maps app as much as five times less data than Google Maps" yeah, maybe. but Google maps offer 10 times as much as apple's. so if there's more to Google maps then it logically takes a bit longer to fetch data. no matter how you try to spin it, Google maps is superior to iOS maps--by far !!
    1. scroogelives's Avatar
      scroogelives -
      Real issue is those who wanted to perv thought they would be able to zoom to ground level in real time!
    1. gideon1's Avatar
      gideon1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Airwaves182 View Post
      Yes EVENTUALLY maybe. We're talking about now! so stop liking everything apple does and admit something RIGHT NOW is better. If another company made a maps app and isn't up to par with The competition you'd be calling it shitttt! But if the all mighty Apple releases something that is not good you think its ok. Biased much?
      So, how was google maps when it was FIRST released?

      Talk about others being biased much... run along hater..
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      "Apple’s new maps app as much as five times less data than Google Maps" yeah, maybe. but Google maps offer 10 times as much as apple's. so if there's more to Google maps then it logically takes a bit longer to fetch data. no matter how you try to spin it, Google maps is superior to iOS maps--by far !!
      You are missing the whole data thing here. Read the comments it's about the fact that it's vector based, and therefore does not have to load a new image every time you scale the map.
    1. idkanymore's Avatar
      idkanymore -
      It's easy to be effiecent when you dont have nearly as much data like businesses and everything else google has
    1. vaughnfelix's Avatar
      vaughnfelix -
      Apple has always beat everyone in efficiency... that's what their products are known for!
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AngryPIG View Post
      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.
      5 years later Apple will get more data, but Google will have that 5 extra years also. Still will be behind Google maps.


      Apple is trying to spin this. I guess getting lost because of the app giving wrong direction, Apple will spin it to app giving scenic route.
    1. runey71's Avatar
      runey71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      In what other countries does it work?
      Like I have already told you, and you have chosen to ignore, that Apple maps has been 100% accurate and has satellite view for every location I have tried in Australia.

      So why don't you stick to the facts and just say it doesn't work for you in the UK. Stating it only works in the USA is an over generalisation and completely inaccurate.

      Apple maps has its problems. I don't pretend it is perfect. However at least I don't make claims that are blatantly false. I only state what I see and can prove.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Not knowing Australia I just did a search for Sydney - as you zoom in on Satelitte view it disappears at maximum resolution whereas Google Maps is crystal clear. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Sydney one of the most populace cities in Australia? If they don't even have decent level of detail there I am not sure what the rest of the country is like but I have certainly heard tails of woe from other Australians.
      And where is street view?

      Anyone who actually wants turn by turn navigation will already have a dedicated SatNav app - which are far better than mapping apps playing at SatNav, so the inclusion of basic turn by turn in no way compensates for lack of detail and major innacuracies.

      YMMV but I am certainly not the only one that will be looking at other devices when it comes to upgrading my phone as I want something that does what I use it for better, not worse.

      If you don't use maps on your phone or just want basic Turn by Turn then great. But for lots of people this is a major retrograde step.
    1. ATBsky's Avatar
      ATBsky -
      A true salesman knows how to turn a negative into a positive.
    1. TrueSimple's Avatar
      TrueSimple -
      looks cool.