Google Maps vs. Apple Maps: What Features Do They Have and What Are Their Main Differences?

Find out what sets both navigation apps apart, and what are their main similarities.

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Here’s a comparison between Google Maps and Apple Maps, two of the main mapping and GPS services available. Our aim is to help you choose between the two navigation apps based on your specific needs.

We’ll strive to keep this article simple and easy to understand. We’ll begin with a brief overview of each service’s main differences, strengths, and weaknesses. Then, we'll delve into the advantages of each app. We’ll conclude by discussing the scenarios each one works best in.

Pros and Cons

Let’s start with a brief overview summarizing each service’s main advantages and disadvantages. This will serve as a point of reference of what we’ll discuss in more detail later on, so you'll have the key points readily available.




  • Many more features
  • More maps and display modes
  • Radars when designing route
  • Own rating system
  • You can upload photos of places for all to see
  • Options to search for and book hotels
  • More flexibility
  • More sources for traffic updates
  • More options to save places
  • More powerful in searches
  • Available for all devices
  • A cleaner and simpler interface
  • More accurate routing
  • Clearer indications
  • 3D maps for viewing surroundings
  • Better ridesharing integration
  • More map download options


  • It has a more cumbersome interface because it has more options
  • Less accurate on secondary routes
  • Less clear directions
  • No 3D maps to view surroundings
  • Worse ridesharing integration
  • Fewer map download options
  • Fewer features
  • Fewer maps and display modes
  • Simpler route design
  • Third-party rating system
  • You can upload photos of places, but only you can see them
  • No options to search for and book hotels
  • Less flexibility
  • Fewer sources for traffic updates
  • Fewer options to save places
  • Less powerful in searches
  • Only available for Apple ecosystem

How Is Google Maps Better?

Maps 1

Let’s start by listing how Google Maps outperforms Apple Maps and providing a brief explanation for each point.

  • Extra features: Google Maps offers public transport information, alternative routes, incident alerts, and even gas prices. Apple Maps integrates well with other Apple products and provides information about establishments, but offers fewer additional features. Both apps have street-level photos, but Google Maps also allows you to view historical images of the same location.
  • Map options: Both apps offer schematic maps and satellite views. However, Google Maps provides a greater variety of map options, including maps featuring the inside of shopping malls and museums.
  • Radars available when designing routes: Google Maps has a powerful radar detection system that shows you the radars along your route from the very beginning. This can help you anticipate where there are more radars.
  • Rating system: This is a significant difference between both apps. Google has its own system for voting and leaving reviews on establishments, while Apple relies on third-party services like Foursquare or TripAdvisor, featuring reviews from those services on its maps.
  • Hotel reservations: Google Maps allows you to easily make reservations by selecting the dates you’re interested in and then showing you the different options and prices. On the other hand, Apple Maps only shows you available hotels without showing availability or prices from different platforms.
  • More flexibility: Google Maps is also more flexible as it allows you to import other people’s maps. For example, you can import maps of radars or points of interest, making it easier to incorporate and use them.
  • Traffic updates: Google Maps provides real-time traffic information from various sources, including user data. Apple also offers real-time weather updates but relies mainly on its own data and user input.
  • Points of interest: Both apps display major points of interest and establishments, but Google integrates its own rating system, while Apple outsources this information. Google Maps generally offers more detailed information.
  • Saving content: In Google Maps, you can save content using tags for favorite places or places you want to visit, as well as create lists of places. In Apple Maps, you can only create lists, which are called guides.
  • Contribution: Google Maps allows users to upload photos and comments of places for others to see. In Apple Maps, you can only do this for private viewing. You need to use other apps that integrate their data to share with others.
  • Search: Google Maps is part of a search engine, which provides more search options. While Apple Maps also offers search, it’s slightly less powerful.
  • Availability: Apple Maps is only accessible on Apple devices, whereas Google Maps can be used on any mobile device, computer, or browser.

How Is Apple Maps Better?

Maps 2

Now, it’s time to list in what ways we think Apple Maps outperforms Google Maps. Although there are fewer points, you should remember the importance of quality over quantity also applies here.

  • User interface: Apple Maps has a clean interface, with the map taking up the entire screen. All options are presented on sliding cards that can be swiped up and down as needed. Google Maps, on the other hand, has more elements on the screen, but it’s transitioning to a more minimalist interface with sliding cards.
  • Navigation accuracy: Google Maps is slightly less accurate in displaying routes and detours, especially when it comes to avoiding highways. In this regard, Apple Maps is more accurate and provides clearer directions.
  • Simplicity of use: While Google Maps offers more options overall, Apple Maps focuses on simplicity with fewer sections and options, resulting in a cleaner and easier navigation experience.
  • Map downloads: Both apps allow users to download maps for offline use, but Apple Maps provides the option to download specific regions or cities, making it more convenient when searching for particular areas.
  • 3D navigation maps: Apple Maps offers 3D maps, which provide users with a visual representation of the destination and its surroundings.
  • Ridesharing: Apple Maps offers integration with shared transportation methods such as Cabify and FreeNow. Google Maps doesn’t provide this feature.

Google Maps and Apple Maps: What Do They Have in Common?

Maps 3

Below, you’ll find a summary of the main similarities between both navigation apps. The truth is that both apps offer similar capabilities in terms of basic functions.

  • Route creation: Both apps provide similar features for creating routes. When searching for a destination, you’ll have multiple options to choose from.
  • Multi-stop routing: Both apps allow you to add multiple stops in a single trip. You can search for new stops to add, change their order, and more.
  • Route customization: In both apps, you can set up your route to avoid tolls, specific areas, and other obstacles.
  • Traffic information: Both apps provide real-time traffic information. However, as mentioned in the differences above, they may use different sources.
  • Adding incidents: Both apps offer options to report incidents like accidents and traffic jams, allowing other users to access this information.
  • Restaurant reservations: Both apps allow you to make restaurant reservations. In Apple Maps, you can do this through apps like The Fork, and in Google Maps, you can use several other apps.
  • Weather information: Both apps provide weather forecasts and pollution index information.
  • Points of interest information: Although the quantity and sources of information may differ, both apps allow you to find the nearest pharmacy and discover interesting locations in a city you’re visiting.
  • Car integration: Both Google and Apple have their own systems to integrate their map apps into car consoles. The compatibility with each type of car depends on the manufacturer.

Google Maps vs. Apple Maps: Which One to Choose Depending on Usage

Maps 4

So, which navigation app should you choose?

The choice between Apple Maps and Google Maps may be clear-cut depending on which phone you use. For instance, Apple Maps is exclusive to iOS, so if you have an Android device, Google Maps is your only option.

Apple Maps is ideal if you prioritize simplicity and a clean interface. Its uncluttered design and emphasis on the map itself make for a straightforward user experience.

On the other hand, if you prefer an app that combines multiple functions, Google Maps is the way to go. It integrates features like restaurant reservations, hotel bookings, and real-time store traffic all in one place.

When it comes to navigation by car or motorcycle, it can be challenging to switch from what you’re used to. There won’t be much difference while driving on highways and freeways, but it seems that Apple Maps has been performing better on secondary roads and when avoiding tolls. If clear directions are important to you, then this is another point in favor of Apple Maps.

Lastly, in terms of exploring places to visit, both apps have their own systems. However, considering that it's a native app and belongs to Google, you’ll find that Google Maps has more photos and ratings of points of interest and restaurants, making it a very valuable source of information.

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