Sometimes both apps suck big time. When you use either Maps app, or even both at the same time (requires two iPhones), there’s a chance you’ll be lead astray from time to time. Here’s what happened to me.
We’re Lost! Again!
First, let me say this. I prefer Apple’s Maps while driving in unfamiliar areas. The turn-by-turn directions are a notch or two above Google’s Maps app for the iPhone.
Are there times when Apple’s Maps maps out the wrong information? Yes. Occasionally a street address is in the wrong place, or a building is mapped to the wrong location.
Those errors are not exclusive to Apple’s Maps. Google has a similar problem. Maps just ain’t easy.
Second, we have a perfect example from just a few weeks ago when Carol and I were driving on vacation. We were looking for a specific Bed and Breakfast which was in an area we had never traveled.
From the airport we each entered in the B & B’s address; mine on my iPhone in Apple’s Maps app, and Carol on her iPhone using Google Maps.
For the most part, turn-by-turn directions worked perfectly until we were half a mile from the B & B. We turned off the main highway, took a left up the street where the B & B was located. A few minutes later, the iPhone blurted out, ‘Please make a u-turn.’
Even though we were on the right street, the iPhone’s Maps app decided we needed to take a different route. We followed the Apple Maps directions and wound up in a cup-de-sac about 200 feet below the B & B’s actual location. Google’s Maps app got it right.
The next night, we ventured out to a local restaurant and repeated the same routine. Both of us entered the restaurant’s address, me using Apple Maps, while Carol used Google Maps. The result was the same, except this time it was Google Maps which got us to the wrong location.
According to Google Maps’ turn-by-turn instructions, the restaurant was on the right street but on the wrong side of the road.
Our adventure appears to be common. An article in SF Gate says over 60-percent of travelers using GPS devices have been led astray, either with a confusing route, or simply sent in the wrong direction.
The more people use GPS-enabled devices, including iPhones with Apple Maps and Google Maps, the more likely they are to be sent to a wrong location. To be fair about it, this doesn’t happen often, but it happens with enough frequency that smartphone maps need to be trusted no more than a paper road map, because we’ve run into issues with incorrect data and locations there, too.
We both love using the maps apps on the iPhone, but we’ve had just enough issues like the one above to remain skeptical and let common sense prevail. Otherwise, you may end us where you don’t want to go, but you’ll be getting exactly where you deserve.