Study: Apple Maps three times more likely to get you lost than Google’s map offering

apple maps fallout header googleAnyone who uses their iPhone for maps and directions will be well aware of the recent hullabaloo surrounding Apple Maps, with its misplaced locations, poor directions and lack of detail.

When Google released its all-new map app for iOS last week, iPhone users frustrated with Apple’s offering pounced on it like starving lions on a buffalo, with 10 million downloads reported within 48 hours of it hitting Apple’s app store.

Despite the Apple Maps stories of stranded motorists and the like, it seemed that up to now no one had attempted to make an in-the-field comparison between Apple and Google’s respective offerings. Then we heard about CrowdFlower.


The crowdsourcing company decided to test out the reliability of the two services, and threw in Bing Maps as well to see how Microsoft’s offering fared against the competition.

The company framed its research around the following question: “When you ask for a restaurant, hotel or other business, how often do you get the right location?”

Its conclusion? “Apple Maps in the US is bad enough to be noticeable: you probably won’t throw away your iPhone, although you may miss a dinner reservation. Those of you using Apple Maps in the UK, however, might want to keep emergency food and water in the car.”

In fact, CrowdFlower’s stats show that with Apple Maps in its current state (remember, we’ve been told the more we use it the better it will get), users are three times more likely to get lost than if they use Google Maps.

 The company arrived at its finding by working with a list of 1000 US businesses and 100 UK businesses. Addresses pulled from the companies’ websites were used as the reference data for the study.

CrowdFlower first wanted to see if the various mapping services gave a result when searching for each business.

“We had the crowd pull the same information from Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Bing,” CrowdFlower explained on its website. “In order to replicate the search experience of a typical user, we had people search for ‘business name, city’ first before trying different variations.”

Google Maps won out here, with listings for 89 percent (Apple 74 percent / Bing 79 percent) of the US businesses found, and 91 percent (Apple 47 percent / Bing 57 percent) for the UK ones. No, it’s not a typo. It really was just 47 percent.

study apple maps three times more likely to get you lost than googles map offering crowdflower 1
Percentage of businesses found

Next the study attempted to gauge the accuracy of the location placement, considering a “major” error to be the misplacement of a business by more than a block.

In the US, Apple Maps scored a 3.4 percent major error rate. Bing Maps did well with 1.3 percent, while Google Maps scored 1.1 percent. In the UK, however, Apple Maps’ error rate hits a shocking 30 percent, whereas the other two services manage to score under 5 percent.

study apple maps three times more likely to get you lost than googles map offering crowdflower 2
Percentage of listings with ‘major’ errors

Overall, CrowdFlower calculated that US-based users of Apple Maps have a 71 percent chance of finding the business listed together with an accurate location. This compares with 88 percent for Google Maps and 78 percent for Bing Maps.

In the UK, Apple Maps clearly has some way to go – “You’ll get a good listing 33 percent for Apple Maps, compared to 88 percent for Google Maps and 55 percent for Bing,” CrowdFlower notes.

Of course, it’s still very early days for Apple Maps, and it’s sure to come on leaps and bounds over time, but it’s nevertheless interesting to see some figures on how it currently compares with its competitors.

If you’ve had a chance to get your teeth into any of these map services, does your experience mirror CrowdFlower’s findings?

[via Mashable]


To be blunt, the Vuzix Blade smartglasses just don’t cut it

We tried out the Vuzix Blade to find out if it’s worth shelling out $1,000 for smartglasses. Are these augmented reality, Android-powered glasses really ready for primetime or just an expensive gimmick that no one really needs?
Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.

Hey Jumpmaster! Here’s where you can find the best loot in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' sprawling sci-fi map Kings Canyon is filled with tons of interesting areas with piles of loot, but where can you find the best loot? Our loot locations guide details the best spots and offers tips for acquiring sweet gear.

Google Maps AR mode previewed, now in testing with small group of users

Google Maps AR mode is expected to launch to the public soon, as it has been rolled out to a small group of users for testing. The Wall Street Journal previewed the augmented reality feature.

Love music? For audiophiles, the LG G8 ThinQ may be the best phone ever made

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Smartwatch sales soared in 2018, with Apple leading the charge

The NPD Group, a market research organization, has reported smartwatch sales soared in 2018. Apple is leading the charge, but it's clear there's still room in the market for competitors, as Samsung and Fitbit also did well.
Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?

Love Playmoji pack adds animated Valentine’s stickers to your Pixel photos

Valentine's Day is here, and to celebrate, Google has added the "Love Playmoji" pack to the Playground feature on its Google Pixel camera. The new feature will add cute AR-driven extras to your Pixel photos.

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.