How is Apple Maps these days?

xxray

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 27, 2013
933
958
I’ve always used Google Maps or Waze as my primary navigation apps, but I really would like to start using Apple Maps as my primary navigation app due to its integration with iOS and Siri. However, I just can’t see it matching Waze. Can anyone give me a fair comparison as to how Apple Maps holds up to the other two these days?
 

AllergyDoc

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2013
1,550
3,401
Utah, USA
Much improved over a few years ago. I would rather use it than Google Maps because Maps is integrated into the Lock Screen, which really helps when driving. However, I'm still leery about using it when driving to new areas because of bad past experiences. I try to always review my route before leaving and will usually compare routes on both apps. I quite using Waze a while ago. Not for any good reason, just forgot about it, I suppose. I think I don't care much for the map it displays while driving.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,231
3,368
I never have any issues with directions from apple maps. I am running beta 2, and have noticed that it is much more responsive when it comes to suggesting faster routes while you are driving. On my way home it suggested about 3 or 4 alternate routes.
 
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Stefan johansson

macrumors 65816
Apr 13, 2017
1,294
606
Sweden
I use different maps. For normal browsing Apple or google,for driving and walking on roads or in populated areas I use Apple maps,as those works with my watch,for boating,I prefer garmin blue charts,as those also give me depth,bottom type and position of lighthouses,shallow areas,and depth holes.
 

VolceOntra

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2007
291
46
Has to visit universities for my job, walking directions is not usable with Apple maps since it couldn’t even find the different parts of the campus.
 

ryxn

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2017
116
27
I've had a few occasions when Apple Maps gave me a route that seemed fine, but changed along the way and became horribly inefficient. That happens on a few occasions, but usually only leaves me with being a few minutes later than expected. Walking directions need a lot of work imo.
 

christogold1

macrumors newbie
Jul 2, 2016
19
10
Apple maps still doesn't do biking directions, though it's transit directions have gotten better.
 

niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
1,471
1,180
tokyo
from japan: in comparison with google maps and yahoo map (yahoo is huge in japan), there are still so so far fewer places of business listed on apple maps that generally makes it unusable.
from SE Asia: apple maps is a joke.
 
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tjleonard

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2013
579
378
I can’t figure out why it will not tell me where I parked my car and not really sure why.
 

Feenician

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,180
4,788
I can’t figure out why it will not tell me where I parked my car and not really sure why.
To do that I think it still needs to have a) connected to your car Bluetooth during transit and b) know that Bluetooth is in fact a vehicle one. You will also need the appropriate Privacy -> Location Services -> System options switched on (I’m not sure what ones though). Assuming all of these requirements are satisfied I don’t know why it’s not working for you.
 
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Tom G.

macrumors 68020
Jun 16, 2009
2,139
871
Champaign/Urbana Illinois
I have used Apple Maps pretty much exclusively since it became available and have never had any problems. I use google occasionally and sometimes even TomTom Navigator. I even experimented with Waze, but never liked it. However, I always seem to navigate back to Apple Maps (Pun intended).
 

tjleonard

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2013
579
378
To do that I think it still needs to have a) connected to your car Bluetooth during transit and b) know that Bluetooth is in fact a vehicle one. You will also need the appropriate Privacy -> Location Services -> System options switched on (I’m not sure what ones though). Assuming all of these requirements are satisfied I don’t know why it’s not working for you.
I’m not sure how it would know which is a car? I drive an Audi and it is built in. I just changed somethings so maybe it will work tomorrow ;) thanks for the tips!
 

KittyKatta

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2011
538
209
SoCal
I use Apple Maps because it integrates into my CarPlay. 80% of the time it gets me where I want to go without any issues. But that 20% where it screws up is really frustrating. Sometimes it will take a bad path. Sometimes it will not have a location. Sometimes I’ll miss an exit and then it will take so long to re-route me that I end up missing two more exits.

But I take it as yet another flawed part of living in the Apple Ecosystem. Better options exist but I wont switch because I have to believe that Apple will one day catch up.

(Also, once you start using other options it really shows how bad some Apple services are. Google Assistant. Ultraviolet 4K Movies. Google Photos. Amazon Echo. Gmail. Kindle Books. And many 3rd party apps. You really have to wonder what Apple has been doing with their resources...)
 

iFanaddic

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2008
791
198
Montréal, Canada
Apple map get me there, but everytime I punch my destination into Waze I get a faster ETA. After some testing both Apple maps’ and Waze respect their Proposed ETAs Waze is just significantly more efficient at fiding the right path, saving you precious minutes.

I have once saved 23min with Waze on a 90min trip Apple was offering me. So you’ll get there, just much later!

(For references I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
 

Feenician

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,180
4,788
I’m not sure how it would know which is a car?
There’s been a lot of debate about that and I’ve never seen a definitive answer. There are some identifier codes in Bluetooth which may be used and then there’s the obvious like something called ‘Sync’ might well be a Ford car. There’s some speculation (from people who called random bluetooth devices common car bluetooth names) that there’s an additional criteria that the location services has to detect movement too (though it seems to me that’s not a perfect measure either, for obvious reasons). My personal feeling is that they probably use all of these and a bunch of heuristics but, hell, who knows o_O

Hope the changes you made work out for you. The “Dude, where’s my car” feature, along with the “X minutes to Home/Work/Wherever you normally go at this time on this day” features are genuinely useful imo.
 

tjleonard

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2013
579
378
There’s been a lot of debate about that and I’ve never seen a definitive answer. There are some identifier codes in Bluetooth which may be used and then there’s the obvious like something called ‘Sync’ might well be a Ford car. There’s some speculation (from people who called random bluetooth devices common car bluetooth names) that there’s an additional criteria that the location services has to detect movement too (though it seems to me that’s not a perfect measure either, for obvious reasons). My personal feeling is that they probably use all of these and a bunch of heuristics but, hell, who knows o_O

Hope the changes you made work out for you. The “Dude, where’s my car” feature, along with the “X minutes to Home/Work/Wherever you normally go at this time on this day” features are genuinely useful imo.
Holy ****, it worked!!
 
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ipedro

macrumors 601
Nov 30, 2004
4,670
4,966
Toronto, ON
Completely depends on which city you're in.

I'm in Toronto and when Apple Maps was released, I would use Google Maps for time sensitive trips like if I were going to a job in an unknown place where I was relying on Maps. This one time, Google Maps sent me all around the city and when I suspected it might be wrong and tried Apple Maps, it gave me a much more direct and sensible route.

This was when Apple Maps was famous for being wrong. It totally depends on your city. Sometimes Google Maps is worse. After that incident, I gained newfound trust in Apple Maps and kept using it as my primary maps app. It kept improving.

These days, I haven't had a single instance of inaccurate directions. What I do still get is asking Apple maps for a nearby location and it listing places with that name in other cities. That should be common sense: Unless another city's name is specified, give directions to places nearby, not thousands of miles away.
 

Feenician

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,180
4,788
Holy ****, it worked!!
Awesome. It’s a handy feature.

Completely depends on which city you're in.

I'm in Toronto and when Apple Maps was released, I would use Google Maps for time sensitive trips like if I were going to a job in an unknown place where I was relying on Maps. This one time, Google Maps sent me all around the city and when I suspected it might be wrong and tried Apple Maps, it gave me a much more direct and sensible route.

This was when Apple Maps was famous for being wrong. It totally depends on your city. Sometimes Google Maps is worse. After that incident, I gained newfound trust in Apple Maps and kept using it as my primary maps app. It kept improving.

These days, I haven't had a single instance of inaccurate directions. What I do still get is asking Apple maps for a nearby location and it listing places with that name in other cities. That should be common sense: Unless another city's name is specified, give directions to places nearby, not thousands of miles away.
It’s a bizarre and severely offputting flaw that it does this. A really weird oversight in a mapping app that, especially in late iOS 10 and even more so in iOS 11, can stand with the best of them.
 
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ipedro

macrumors 601
Nov 30, 2004
4,670
4,966
Toronto, ON
Apple map get me there, but everytime I punch my destination into Waze I get a faster ETA. After some testing both Apple maps’ and Waze respect their Proposed ETAs Waze is just significantly more efficient at fiding the right path, saving you precious minutes.

I have once saved 23min with Waze on a 90min trip Apple was offering me. So you’ll get there, just much later!

(For references I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
It depends. In cities with a large amount of iPhones, traffic conditions seem to be far more accurate. In Toronto, where a large proportion of the population has iPhones, traffic conditions are exceptionally accurate. Down to mere metres of where traffic is backed up to. I often get an "I've found a faster route" notice and then looked ahead to see traffic at a standstill with enough time to get off at the proposed exit and take the new route.

In Lisbon which I visit often, very few people buy iPhones and traffic accuracy in Apple Maps are hit or miss. I also don't recall ever getting that faster route notice mid trip in Lisbon.

I don't know if Apple has officially acknowledged that they use anonymous GPS data from iPhones in this way but this is how Waze works and I believe Apple uses a similar method which would account for the wildly varying extremes of users' reported experiences.
 

electronicsguy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2015
531
207
Pune, India
I’ve always used Google Maps or Waze as my primary navigation apps, but I really would like to start using Apple Maps as my primary navigation app due to its integration with iOS and Siri. However, I just can’t see it matching Waze. Can anyone give me a fair comparison as to how Apple Maps holds up to the other two these days?
why don't you try it out for yourself? is that a big deal?
 

Feenician

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,180
4,788
It depends. In cities with a large amount of iPhones, traffic conditions seem to be far more accurate. In Toronto, where a large proportion of the population has iPhones, traffic conditions are exceptionally accurate. Down to mere metres of where traffic is backed up to. I often get an "I've found a faster route" notice and then looked ahead to see traffic at a standstill with enough time to get off at the proposed exit and take the new route.

In Lisbon which I visit often, very few people buy iPhones and traffic accuracy in Apple Maps are hit or miss. I also don't recall ever getting that faster route notice mid trip in Lisbon.

I don't know if Apple has officially acknowledged that they use anonymous GPS data from iPhones in this way but this is how Waze works and I believe Apple uses a similar method which would account for the wildly varying extremes of users' reported experiences.
Right under Location Services there’s an “About Location Services and Privacy” Link. If you tap it you see something like this.

IMG_0268.PNG

It’s as up front and clear as can be.
 
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Kcetech1

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2016
176
80
Alberta Canada
Well today it tried to send me off to the middle of nowhere when I was trying to get to my hotel. I trust it in some places but in some smaller centers and rural areas I travel its still slightly better than useless.