Difference Between Google Maps and Apple Maps

Navigating in an unfamiliar place has become an easy task after the invention of the Geographical Positioning System or GPS. Today, various applications allow you to locate your destination. The two most common navigating apps are Google Maps and Apple Maps.

Google Maps vs Apple Maps

The main difference between Google Maps and Apple Maps is that Google Maps are developed and owned by Google LLC whereas Apple Maps are developed and owned by Apple Incorporated. Moreover, Google Maps are available for all devices whereas Apple Maps are only available for Apple devices and they are not compatible with others.

Googl Maps vs Apple Maps

Google Maps is a mapping service provided by Google. It has all the benefits of a traditional map along with additive information like real-time traffic conditions. It is also possible to find the best route depending on which mode of transport you are using, i.e. foot, car, bike or air.

Apple Maps are used by people for navigation and information-gathering purposes. Essentially, Apple Maps are a service provided by Apple which has all the benefits of a traditional map with extra advantages. Also, Siri, Apple’s assistant software, is integrated with Apple Maps to provide a classy experience to the users.

Comparison Table Between Google Maps and Apple Maps

Parameters of ComparisonGoogle MapsApple Maps
Developed & owned byGoogle LLCApple Inc.
Launched on8 February 200511 June 2012
Available forAll devicesOnly Apple products (iOS, macOS, watchOS)
Data usageUses more dataUses less data
InterfaceBig and flashy icons and textSmall and aesthetic text and icons

What is Google Maps?

As the name says is, Google Maps is a mapping service that provides users with every advantage a map has and more. Google Maps are used by more than one billion people every month. Also, more than 5 million websites and apps use Google Maps API to embed it in their services.

The technology Google Maps uses today was initially developed by Lars and Jens Rasmussen, Noel Gordon, and Stephen Ma of Where 2 Technologies. In October 2004, Google acquired Where 2 Technologies, and then what we know as Google Maps today was born. Google also bought Keyhole, a geospatial data visualization company, in the same month. This company later became Google Earth and most of its technology was integrated into Google Maps.

Google Maps were publically announced on 8 February 2005 on the Google Blog. Since then, there have been further developments and more features have been added to Google Maps. You can find the best route, select your stops, search about a place and navigate through a city using Google Maps. The voice assistant built inside Google Maps alerts you about turns and gives other updates. You can also get a 360-degree panoramic view of the streets and check the real-time status of the traffic.

What is Apple Maps?

Developed by Apple Inc. solely for its products, Apple Maps is a navigation and exploring service. Essentially, it works just like a map but with added features that make the traditional map look a bit dumb. Apple Maps are only compatible with iPadOS, iOS 6 or later, watchOS and macOS.

Before Apple Maps were launched, Apple devices used Google Maps. But on 11 June 2012, when Apple officially declared the launch of Apple Maps, it also announced that Apple Maps will be replacing Google Maps on their devices. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook later apologized for this decision because Apple Maps didn’t stand up to Google Maps which resulted in heavy criticism for Apple.

Apple learned from its mistakes and extensively developed and added more features to Apple Maps. Now, Apple Maps offer Augmented Reality (AR) enhanced directions. Also, it optimizes routes according to the weather and warns users of the same. It also offers a 3D view with a high-detailed map and many other features. Moreover, Apple Maps are highly focused on privacy and therefore very little data is stored on the servers. Most of the data remains in your device and gets reset regularly to prevent any exploitation.

Main Differences Between Google Maps and Apple Maps

  1. Google Maps are created and owned by Google LLC whereas Apple Maps are trademarked property of Apple Incorporated.
  2. Google Maps were launched on the Google Blog in 2005. On the other hand, Apple announced Apple Maps at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in 2012.
  3. Google Maps use more data than Apple Maps because Apple Maps uses vector graphics.
  4. Google Maps are compatible and available for all devices and there is a web version too which can be accessed by any web browser. On the other hand, Apple Maps are specifically built for Apple products like iPhone, Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch.
  5. Google Maps use big and colorful icons for an eye-catchy interface whereas Apple Maps use small icons for an aesthetic and elegant look.


Both Google Maps and Apple Maps offer versatile and elegant methods of navigation and information-gathering about your surrounding or otherwise. However, Google Maps surely win the race when it comes to competition because it is the best free app. One of the reasons why Google Maps is the most downloaded navigation app is because it supports multiple devices, and that is a key ingredient in today’s technology.

There are no official statistics that show how many people use Apple Maps. But, according to an estimate, about 200-950 million people use Apple Maps for their needs. In the case of Google, we have official statistics that say more than one billion people use Google Maps every month making it the most used mapping service.

Both Google Maps and Apple Maps are being extensively developed because of their competition and future needs. Both of them aim at giving the user a nice and hassle-free experience while driving or just trying to discover places to visit. In any case, we should hope for great updates in the future which will make both the apps more powerful and robust.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-npgHHQ5010C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=what+is+google+maps&ots=tjEECBICis&sig=0e5azXoRoybB9UYOOsr-riOQA4c
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4302-4705-0_9
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