Apple Maps vs Google Maps: Which Should You Use?

What to Know

  • Apple Maps has a more simple design, is more private, can be voice-controlled using Siri, and is only available on Apple devices.
  • Google Maps tends to have better traffic information, a more advanced Street View, and better public transportation directions.

Google Maps and Apple Maps are two of the most popular map apps for iPhone users, but which is better? For a long time, Google Maps has been the better choice, but Apple Maps has transformed into a worthy competitor. Both apps have many similar features, but there are small differences that might make you pick one over the other.

Google Maps vs. Apple Maps: Which Is the Best Navigation App for iPhone?

For many years, Google Maps has been the most popular map app for Android and iPhone users. However, Apple Maps has gotten many much-needed updates over the past few years, so if you haven't used it in a while, you'll notice many new features. At this point, both apps will smoothly get you from A to B, but there are some distinctions that may sway you.

Why Apple Maps is Better for iPhone Users

Why Apple Maps is Better for iPhone Users

I am a recent Apple Maps convert because I have an Apple Watch, and I enjoy having the directions automatically show on my watch - it makes navigating so much easier. This is actually possible with Google Maps, but I find that it works more seamlessly with Apple Maps. Apple Maps also lets you refill your Apple Wallet transit cards directly in the Maps app, which is super convenient. Unfortunately, this is only available in certain cities and countries for now.

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Another perk of using Apple Maps is privacy since Apple has focused so much on keeping user data private. Since Google makes its revenue using ads, it uses the locations you navigate to and from to improve and personalize the ads it serves you. That being said, a big drawback of Apple Maps is that the app is only available to Apple users, so unless you own an Apple device, you can't access it.

Apple Maps also has a much more simple interface and map design. All the buttons are in one place, everything is easy to find, and you only see the most important information without overwhelming you. That being said, if you are used to Google Maps, you won’t have too much trouble navigating the app, but many users find Apple Maps a little easier to navigate. That being said, I live in a condo complex that was built five years ago and it only recently showed up on Google Maps and still shows me living in the middle of dirt on Apple Maps. For more iPhone app recommendations, check out our free Tip of the Day.

Interesting Fact

China has one of the world's biggest populations, and all Google products, including Google Maps, are banned there. While it is possible to use Google Maps if you have a VPN, Apple Maps works there just fine.

Why Google Maps is Better for iPhone Users

Why Google Maps is Better for iPhone Users

Since Google Maps was the leading maps app for years, it is still the go-to for many iPhone users today. While Apple Maps has added features such as Street View and multi-stop route planning, Google has offered these for years. They are even working on Immersive View which will let you see inside businesses, but there is no information on when it will be released.

While Apple Maps is trying to get better at this, Google Maps is still better at giving you detailed information about businesses, including live updates on how busy a business is. Although this is more subjective, from my experience, traffic information is also better on Google Maps. Similarly, Google Maps is also mostly accurate when it comes to announcing public transportation delays, and it can help you figure out a less busy commute time.

Finally, since Google Maps is available to all users, unlike Apple Maps, you can safely share links to locations from Google Maps, knowing that most people will be able to access them. Because navigation apps get so much better from crowdsourcing, the fact that more people have access to Google Maps is definitely a huge perk.

So, is Apple Maps better than Google Maps? Not necessarily, but it might be based on your needs and preferences. If privacy is important to you, then Apple Maps is definitely better. However, Google Maps has more features and has been the best maps app for years. That being said, both Google Maps and Apple Maps do their job and help you navigate and explore locations all around the world. Do you prefer Google Maps or Apple Maps? Leave your comment below!


  • Is there an Apple Maps Street View? If you tap the Binoculars icon, you can experience something similar to Google Street View. Apple Maps also offers a 3D street-level experience for certain cities that clearly show any inclines and the height of various buildings.
  • Can you map out a run or a road trip with Apple Maps? Yes! You can use Apple Maps to map out a route in advance so that you have all the necessary information to stay safe and to reach your destination on time.
  • How do I troubleshoot Apple Maps not working? The quickest way to fix Apple Maps not working is to make sure your device is up-to-date, check your network connection, and make sure cellular data is enabled for Maps. A quick iPhone restart might help as well.
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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life. In the last 10 years, she has been published in dozens of publications internationally and won an excellence award. Since joining iPhone Life in 2020, she has written how-to articles as well as complex guides about Apple products, software, and apps. Olena grew up using Macs and exploring all the latest tech. Her Maui home is the epitome of an Apple ecosystem, full of compatible smart gear to boot. Olena’s favorite device is the Apple Watch Ultra because it can survive all her adventures and travels, and even her furbabies.