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Apple Maps vs Google Maps in Indonesia

September 17th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Map application definitely is the most important application on gadget, especially for them who love traveling. Maps is an application that i will always open before i plan to travel to another city / country i barely know. Since i always use Google Maps, i already familiar with all Google Maps features. Even i a little bit disappointed with new Google Maps (because some features has been removed), but so far it’s still the best maps application i can use for now. Since my brother bought a iPhone 4 couple weeks ago, i have a chance to compare Apple Maps vs Google Maps when i using it in my country, Indonesia. Okay, like i already estimate, Apple Maps still don’t have a chance to beat Google for this matter. Apple Maps arguably still very far inferior to Google Maps. Google Maps is better than Apple Maps in every aspects. Okay, to make this more obvious, i will discuss every aspects of both applications.

apple maps vs google maps

Map View Outlook

The first thing i want to compare is the overall map view outlook. As we can see that Apple Maps has better view, when we look at the map from far perspective. To compare, i pick the map of one of busiest area in second largest city in Indonesia, Surabaya. As we can see together, Apple Maps give us a very good perspective because it has an outline for mall (orange color) and has several dots for hotels around it. Compared to Google Maps, it doesn’t show any location at all when viewed on far perspective.

apple maps

Map View of Apple Maps

google maps

Map View of Google Map

But if we see more closely, Google Maps actually show us why their maps is better than Apple’s. Google Maps show a more detail maps (there is a small road that connect Pemuda Street to Yos Sodarso Street), meanwhile you can’t find that road in Apple Maps.

For me, detail information in far perspective doesn’t give any benefit for Maps applications. I personally use Maps application more to search unknown place, find an address, or find a direction to go to a place. And for me, Google Maps still far more superior than Apple for this matter. Because when you zoom the maps more closely, you can see a lot of detail information about various places on the street in Google Maps, but when you do that in Apple Maps, nothing happen (The view still the same like when you look at it from far).



Apple Maps view remain the same when zoomed


Google Maps show more detail information when zoomed

The view of Apple Maps even worse when we try to see the map of small town, such as my hometown, Batu. There is lack of data in Apple Maps. So you really can’t use Apple Maps when traveling to small town in Indonesia.

apple maps in batu

No information at all on Apple Maps

google maps in batu

Detail information about shop and restaurant in Google Maps

google maps in batu detail

More detail information about shop and restaurant in Google Maps when zoomed

Search Features

Talking about search features, Apple Maps search really don’t match Google Maps search. I try to search Loving Hut Vegetarian Restaurant in Surabaya, and Apple Maps only show keywords recommendations, meanwhile Google Maps offer the restaurant i really search in Surabaya. This of course help me save time when using Google Maps.

search feature in apple maps

Apple Maps only show keywords recommendation for something we search

search feature in google maps


Google Maps directly found the restaurant we search for

When we search a place in small town, Apple Maps even can’t find anything. The main problem of Apple Maps is lack of Maps data. I try to search a famous place in my hometown that i am sure everybody in Java island know, but Apple Maps give “No Result Found” result, while Google directly give the place i actually search for.

search features in apple maps

Apple Maps show no result

search features in google maps

Google Maps show Jatim Park and Jatim Park II

Route Planners Features

One of the most useful feature we can use in Maps is Route Planners features. Route Planners give us the directions to a place we want to go. I can’t try a public transport in my country, because there’s still lack of public transport we can use here. So the only option i can choose is the route by walking and by cars. Both Maps (Apple Maps and Google Maps) show a similar result. Apple Maps and Google Maps suggest 3 route alternatives when i try to go to Wonderland Resort. Both maps give good directions and step by step guide to help us know the directions even when we’re still driving.

apple maps route planners

Apple Maps give 3 alternative routes

google maps route planners

Google Maps also give 3 alternative routes

apple maps route planners

Step by Step Guide from Apple Maps

google maps route planners

Step by Step Guide in Google Maps



Beside all other additional features, i can tell that Google Maps still far more better than Apple Maps. The most important thing that Apple Maps need so bad to compete equally with Google Maps is the data of the map itself. I think it’s really need time for Apple to complete all the data in every city around the world, while  Google Maps already one step ahead. While traveling, of course i really can depend on Google Maps even when I travel to small city. So i think Apple still has a lot of homeworks to do before they can claim themselves that they don’t need third-party applications for their iOS.

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