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.

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
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: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache, MySQL, Moodle)

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior .NET Web Developer - Winform / MVC

    £21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Award-winning pharma softw...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Java Developer

    £30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Java Developer is requ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there