Ironically, Apple’s previous decision to outsource their mapping data back in 2012 led to data inaccuracy, such as bridges detaching from roads and recreational parks mislabeled as airports. This move led Apple to have difficulty in controlling the mapping data accuracy. It also increased the vulnerability of their brand reputation. Hence, the obvious choice for Apple was to regain control, to rebuild and renew the database themselves. Besides, the first-hand data source will give Apple a long term competitive advantage. Bringing Apply businesses insight into how audiences use their product and improve the experience the way they want.
While this is taking place, Google Maps is improving upon its software as well. As TechCrunch reported, the process of rebuilding Apple Maps means using first-hand data collected by iPhones with a data-privacy methodology. So do any other sensors and cameras belonging to Apple devices. The next generation product is expected to be launched in San Francisco and the Bay area with the next IOS 12 beta. Plus, it will cover Northern California by fall. As Apple’s senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue has said to TechCrunch:
So far, the current interface of Apple Maps is attempting to be improved. Apple is striving to develop the Maps to be more functional. As an example, to give people a user-friendly but more accurate 3D renderings places. By identifying common-walk but unmapped public areas and displaying pinpointed instruction to a location’s front door.
These changes would be significant if they will help make Apple Maps become a better product and make it become a replacement for Google Maps.
As Apple Maps has improved its platform, Google has been constantly developing new features at the same time. Over the past few years, Google has been continuously optimizing its product – Google Maps. There are improvements including strengthening the business landmarks to become a better database for user reviews. These changes have resulted in Google Maps being an impressive tool to guide people to find where they want to go and learn about where they will be visiting.
At the 2018 I/O developer conference, Google announced multiple innovative improvements to Google Maps. The incorporated AR (Augmented Reality) technology allows Google Maps to take wayfinding to the next level of user experience.
Other features revealed at the conference are:
To keep on the same page, Apple has been investing in building up a database to give users accurate and efficient data from one point to another. But this is what Google had begun early in 2004 during their acquisition with Where 2 Technologies, an Australian software company. Furthermore, Google had already collected its first-hand data by 2006, which helped their launch of Street View one year later.
It seems that Apple may catch up with Google with the mapping technology. Apple will need to improve their Points of Internet (POI) dataset well. In the current situation, Apple is dependent on a bunch of sources to populate their POI dataset. Although the outcome is often unsatisfied and inaccurate, at least this time their step is moving in the right direction. It is time for Apple to determine to invest more in building up more relevant tools and mapping services to access more business to manage their data at scale. With Google Maps, we can see the search services are steadily growing.
There is no doubt that more and more businesses today will consider their identities on Google or Apple Maps as a high priority since that kind of investment will bring in wider brand awareness and business opportunities. Also, Google Maps have become the premium standard for mapping. Keep your brands on the listings by using tools such as your Google My Business dashboard and keep your brand’s data and contents given to Google up-to-date including your customer reviews.
On the other hand, Apple Maps is playing as another critical publisher in the market; if you are a small business, you can first disclose your brand on Apple Maps listing. If you are a multi-located business, choose Google Maps as a trusted partner will benefit.
As Google Maps goes into becoming more than a simple mapping tool, and instead more to the direction of being a social app, the new changes reflect that more than ever. Google knows the benefits of having first-hand data but also realizes that using third party information is also profitable such as asking the Google users to put in their opinions.
One of the main changes was the visualization of the contribution sections. Google Maps have turned a simple trip from Point A to B into an enjoyable experience for users. It allows them to see reviews, traffic time, and even recommendations made by your friends and other people in the community. These were all hidden behind multiple clicks and pages before the new update. Making Google Maps a more social tool encourages people to leave their opinions, reviews and recommendations which in return will help local businesses gain recognition and traction from new customers. People trust the word of other people in the community, so the likelihood of people trusting the reviews are pretty high.
Another major change is how Google will be taking the needs of people to the next level. They will use Google Maps to become as service-oriented as ever with things that no other company has even thought of doing. Google Maps provides features such as telling you the temperature on the subway, letting women know there are women-specific sections or even if there is adequate security on board. All these additions are small components that make the journey from point A to B all the more effortless, giving Google an extremely competitive advantage in the market.
As for Apple Maps, since we last heard from them they were undergoing a complete reboot of their system. Due to the redo of their map, they decided to take things slowly by getting the basics done with effort and thoroughness. Instead of focusing on the extra add ons, they’ve kept things simple and chose to focus on building solid foundations. Some new updates that were added this January 2020 were main components mirroring what Google Maps already have such as:
One interesting new feature about Apple Maps would be their new flight features including a flyover system that allows the user to see and explore over 350 cities in an aerial 3D view. Also, a flight status option that scans your emails, and flight bookings to let you know of any updates or changes.
Something that Apple mentioned which may be the deciding factor for many users is their desire for user privacy. While Google Maps makes the user connected to everything through one Google account, Apple has stated that they want to respect privacy as much as possible. So, machine learning will be limited, no sign-in will be required to use the mapping system ( and does not keep track of your location for more than 24 hours. Personalization features are only created on the device only and do not follow you. This may seem like a small change but in our world today, privacy is key and an important factor to many users.