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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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: via

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Bethany Cleg

Photographer, Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.


In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!



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