Apple is constantly working on maps but, when you look at this incredibly detailed analysis by Justin O’Beirne, Google is racing.
Over the course of a year, Google quietly turned its map inside-out – transforming it from a road map into a place map.
A year ago, the roads were the most prominent part of the map – the thing you noticed first. Now, the places are.
In our Comparison last year, we found that Apple generally showed a greater variety of places than Google:
But look what happens when we resurvey Google a year later: It’s quite a difference – and Google’s mix is now much closer to Apple’s.
Speaking of Apple… while Google has been making all those changes, what has Apple been up to? After all, Apple announced an “all-new design” for Apple Maps just weeks before Google’s Summer redesign.
Let’s take a look at how Apple looked a year ago, before it released its new design:
And now let’s see how it looks today:
See the difference?
I don’t either.
Last year, in addition to the major redesign, we also got Maps apps, so everything from ride-sharing to reservation making could live in and enhance maps. We also got steady progress for Apple Maps on the web.
I expect we’ll see some of the next-generation of Maps updates at WWDC 2017 but here’s hoping Apple can shed its dependence on TomTom data, accelerate the updates, and start closing that gap.
It’s not about beating Google at maps either. It’s about providing quality maps all Apple’s own. Many people simply use whatever’s built into the phone or tablet they buy, and for iPhone and iPad, that’s Apple Maps. And they deserve as rapid and continuous improvements as possible.
Apple’s got a great geo team, we just need to see more from them in real time.
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