Traffic Review: Apple Maps vs Google Maps vs Waze vs Navigon

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by hagar, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. hagar macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Hi, this morning I heard on the radio that traffic was hell around my place. Due to an accident traffic was at a complete standstill on the highway near my door all the way to my work. I wanted to try out 4 apps in bed to see which route to take.

    Do they indicate there's a problem?
    Do the ETA's take the traffic into account?
    Do they suggest an alternative (local roads instead of the highway) ?

    Apple Maps: after entering the full destination, Apple Maps showed me a nice uncluttered map. All the traffic jams were indicated in clear red dashed lines. Even the accident popped up with a little car sign.

    However, all suggested routes took the highway and went straight through the red dots. The time indicator took the traffic jam into account and doubled the time (29 instead of 15 minutes). Which is still far too optimistic.

    Google Maps: I only have to enter the first two letters of my destination (it's a hospital) and Google already shows the correct suggestion. Nice. The 2 suggested routes also take the highways. The red lines are not that clear. It seems to indicate there are 3 minor traffic jams instead of 1 huge one. The accident itself is not indicated. All in all, the map is quite uncluttered but less clear than Apple Maps. Time to destination: 21 minutes.

    Waze: after entering the full destination, Waze suggested 3 routes. All ignoring any traffic info and taking the highway. When viewing the 3 available routes more than 20 icons pop up indicating traffic jams. I couldn't see the map anymore! Trying to zoom in and out to get a better picture of the situation is nearly impossible. Too many clutter, balloons, text icons of other users, etc. Time to destination: 15 minutes.

    Navigon: I had high hopes. Navigon always takes traffic into account and suggests alternatives. Unfortunately, after entering the destination (tap, tap, tap, because you have to select POI Nearby, hospitals, ...) it says it does not have a GPS signal and wants to "Simulate" turn by turn starting from a random starting point. Useless. This is always a problem when you're inside: Navigon ignores Wifi and wants a clear GPS, so I had to go into the garden (as such failing the test to stay in bed ;-).

    There, it suggested to take the highway (only 11 minutes) with no traffic info. In fact, it did not mention the traffic jam or accident at all. In the list of traffic messages, all traffic was listed "traffic message 1", "traffic message 2", ... while normally it shows more details. Something was wrong here. So, Navigon gave me zero traffic info. Nice detail: Navigon is the only paid app (99 euro) + Traffic Live (19,99 euro)


    Traffic info: Of all 4 apps, Apple Maps was the only one that clearly showed the traffic jam from my door all the way to my destination. And the accident with a little icon! The other 3 did not show the complete traffic jam (Google), drowned me with info (Waze) or failed completely (Navigon).

    Rerouting: none of the apps rerouted me beforehand or showed me an alternative. Actually, Google maps and Apple maps never rerouted me before. Waze is more of a DYI app (with users informing each other) and Navigon clearly had a bad day today.

    ETA: the app that was the closest to the actual ETA was Apple Maps, but it was still too optimistic. It suggested 29 minutes while in reality it's...90 minutes.
    So, all 4 apps still have a long way to go.

    Did anybody have Apple or Google Maps reroute you properly?
  2. robdam1001 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2008
    Nice review, thank you for posting. I prefer Navigon, Apple, Google, Waze in that order. Yes, the Navigon, "Simulate" thing is annoying but doesn't take more than a minute to lock on. Navigon's GPS positives outweighs the "Simulate" nuisance IMO.

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