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Google vs. Apple: Which Maps App Should You be Using?

Google vs. Apple: Which Maps App Should You be Using?

If you’re an everyday maps user, you’ll know that this technology is crucial to your daily commute. In the past few years, technology has becoming an increasingly popular addition to the driving experience. From the ever-popular online driving courses to digital maps, technology has changed the face of driving forever.

That’s why Apple’s release of its own map app has caused such an upset. Beginning with the iOS 6, Apple phones will no longer have Google Maps but will feature Apple’s own map application. Shortly after this development, Google announced an update to its own maps to keep things competitive. This raises one important question: which map is the best?

Public Transportation

While Apple is marketing a different product, it seems that they have taken a couple of pages from Google. Apple’s map features a turn-by-turn navigation style that is identical to Google’s. The application also uses a traffic viewer to help users see faster routes and uses traffic reports to change routes that have slowed due to traffic. While all of these features are nice, they are also the standard that Google Maps has set.

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One thing that Apple lacks, however, is an option for travel by public transportation. This is a large weakness that alienates a large section of Apple’s urban audience, so why did they choose not to include it? Well, most cities offer their public transportation routes through GTFS, or General Transit Data Feed. While this service is completely free to use, it was also engineered by Google, which is likely why Apple will not be using it in their own application.

Siri

Apple should get a leg up on Google thanks to Siri, right? Siri is able to provide users with information like where to find nearby restaurants or gas stations as well as an estimated time of arrival.

While Siri has become a popular feature of Apple products, it functions very much like a normal GPS in this regard. While Siri is a solid addition to Apple’s map application, it does not do much more than any other GPS app on the market.

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Nearby Search

Both Google and Apple have a feature that allows users to look up local restaurants and businesses near them. Apple does have a particular edge in this area, though.

Apple’s search not only shows the basic results, it also includes Yelp reviews. This means that Apple users can read reviews of various restaurants before deciding to go anywhere, which is a major plus in terms of convenience.

Bird’s Eye View

The newest innovation has been for map applications to offer a bird’s eye view of a location. Google recently added what it calls “Tour Guide,” while Apple refers to its program as “3D Flyover.”

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In short, these features do virtually the same thing. They offer a view of a location from above to help in navigating the area. There is a slight performance difference in Apple’s favor, however.

Apple’s 3D Flyover offers much more intense details than Google’s Tour Guide, and the images are created in real-time without sacrificing stunning visual details.

Given Apple’s history, it is no surprise that the company has an edge here. In the past three years, Apple took over several mapping companies, two of which specialized in 3D modeling. With these new acquisitions, it is logical that they would offer a better 3D service than Google.

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Final Verdict

It is impossible to deny that Apple took a lot of the amazing features from Google Maps without really altering them at all. From turn-by-turn navigation to classic search features, Apple functions in much the same way as any traditional GPS application.

There are some differences, however, and they are worth taking note of. By not including public transportation, Apple’s map feature will likely be far less useful than Google Maps to users who live in large cities. On the flip side, there are other areas in which Apple excels.

Apple’s 3D rendering of a landscape is ideal for anybody planning any kind of road trip and offers far superior navigation compared with Google’s. For this reason, Apple wins among consumers who find themselves traveling a lot.

Each application has strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately the victor is decided by personal preference and unique user needs.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Bethany Cleg

Photographer, Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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