Apple v Google - which map is streets ahead?

Yesterday Google Maps returned to replace Apple’s maligned Maps. We challenged Oliver Smith and Will Coldwell to see which is better

Google Maps 

Oliver Smith

Time to destination: 51 minutes

Apple’s own Maps app has repeatedly let me down since it unapologetically appeared in June. So I was grateful to see Google Maps return. But would it have the brains to find a prized spot on the home screen of my iPhone?

With Apple Maps relegated to a folder on the third home screen of my iPhone, I open Google’s app and search for the mystery destination both Will and I have been assigned. All I have is the name “English Georgian”. Google Maps tells me that English Georgian is a design shop in Chelsea Harbour, south-west London. A good start.

Using Google’s transit directions, I walk to High Street Kensington bus stop E and wait for the 328 towards Chelsea.

Having missed the first bus (not Google’s fault), the second to arrive takes me into gridlocked traffic surrounding Earls Court, where I nervously wait for 20 minutes.

After 30 minutes I’m a third of the way there, Google’s estimate of a 28-minute journey seems unlikely.

But finally some movement. The driver pulls past a series of roadworks outside Earl’s Court station and I jump off as Google sternly told me to “Get off and walk”.

Navigation becomes trickier as I enter Chelsea Harbour, while Google’s app does have street view (unlike Apple’s) they haven’t photographed this area. Spotting the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, I know I’m close, and as the 51 minute mark approaches, I arrive at English Georgian. When, over an hour later, Will turns up, we agree to use Google Maps for the return journey to the office.

Apple Maps 

Will Coldwell

Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Despite the obvious unlikelihood of Apple Maps assisting me in any way with this escapade, I reluctantly enter “English Georgian” into my iPhone with my chilly fingers crossed. A map of New Jersey appears on my screen, leaving me standing in the cold outside High Street Kensington Station wondering if I should have really brought a passport with me.

I leap onto a west-bound train with the intention of heading to Marylebone, where I assume I’ll find some fancy sounding shops, or at least a tourist information office. While cruising the Circle Line I ask a dapper-looking American sitting opposite me if he has heard of it. “Sounds like a Notting Hill Gate shop to me,” he drawls. Two policeman, a Fed Ex courier and a postman later and I’m standing in an antique arcade on Portobello Road. A woman selling vintage photographs racks her brains, while her colleague fumbles around the office for a copy of directory inquiries.

Suddenly the woman smiles: “Y’know, I think it’s off Fulham Road…” I run down to Ladbroke Grove Station and head towards Chelsea. After further finger pointing from another antiques dealer, I end up at Chelsea Harbour, where, after two hours of inefficient orienteering I find English Georgian (and Ollie), on the second floor of a shopping centre. Myself and Apple Maps, which is still convinced I should be on the East Coast of America, agree to disagree.

 

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Lancashire - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...

    Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Developer

    £26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...

    Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Developer - London - £45k

    £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: PeopleSoft Application Support & Development ...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Hosting Support Agent

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading web hosting pr...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn