Since Apple released their new iOS maps app, Apple Maps, which replaced Google Maps on the iPhone, there has been a fair bit of criticism about Apple Maps, this sparked an apology from Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who promised that Apple are working hard to fix their maps app.
According to a recent report by Onavo, there is one area where Apple Maps is actually better than Google Maps, that area is data usage, Onavo tested out how much data was used on Google Maps and also how much data was used on Apple Maps.
They tested out Google Maps on iOS 5 and Apple Maps on iOS 6, and it would appear that Apple Maps uses significantly less data than Google Maps, up to 80 percent less data in some cases.
Our data experts performed an identical series of activities on Google Maps and Apple Maps that included searching for several US cities, addresses and airports and zooming in and out to locate specific locations. On Google Maps, the average data loaded from the cellular network for each step was 1.3MB. Apple Maps came in at 271KB – that’s approximately 80% less data! On some actions, such as zooming in to see a particular intersection, Apple Maps’ efficiency advantage edged close to 7.
The apparent reason for the difference in data usage is because Apple uses vector graphics, which means that when you zoom in and out no more data is downloaded, where as on Google Maps, which uses raster graphics, and a new map is downloaded every time you zoom in or out.
This means that Apple Maps will use a lot less of your monthly data allowance as opposed to Google Maps, which can’t be a bad thing, obviously Apple will have to improve the application significantly to get people to use it instead of Google Maps, but we suspect this is probably one of Apple’s top priorities at the moment.