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Home / Tips and Tricks / Best Navigation Apps: Google Maps Vs. Apple Maps vs. Waze vs. MapQuest «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

Best Navigation Apps: Google Maps Vs. Apple Maps vs. Waze vs. MapQuest «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

You do not have to be a frequent flyer to know how indispensable navigation apps have become. Many of us rely on these apps to travel from country to country and to travel in foreign cities, but more of us rely on these apps to outperform traffic and find the fastest way to school or work. Of course we all have our favorite mapping apps, but which one is really the best?

Although there is a wide range of navigation apps for iPhone and Android, many have fallen by the wayside with the advent of a handful of apps dominating the scene. Google Maps and Apple Maps are the most important ones, though there are smaller apps (Waze and MapQuest) that have managed to assert themselves and remain relevant. Let's see how they compare.

Table of Contents

Comparison Chart

Picture of Amboy Manalo / Gadget Hacks

Key Comparison Points

App 1: Google Maps

No Surprise, Google Maps is a handy leader in our comparison. The app is clearly the most comprehensive of all the maps on this list, with 266 countries and regions and full directions for 253. In addition, Google Maps offers a wealth of features that make it the best app for navigation at home and abroad.

Google Maps is an impressive app when it comes to navigation. The app uses data derived from Google Earth and combines it with information collected by users worldwide to provide some of the most accurate traffic data. And thanks to regular software updates, there is no doubt that the service will continue to improve.

With Uber and Lyft you can swiftly summon your car, and you can even get a bike riding. Google Maps not only offers routes for cars and carpools, but also instructions for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport as well as the display of wheelchair accessible areas.

(1) You can use Google Maps to summon either Uber or Lyft. (2) Search for a wheelchair accessible route using Google Maps.

While all the apps on this list show gas station prices, Google Maps is by far the easiest to see. It shows the price in the detailed map below, when you select a gas station on the map. These gas prices also appear when a gas station is added as a pit stop during longer journeys. Unlike many other apps in this list, you can use Google Maps to add more than one stop for your trip.

Google Maps offers indoor maps for airports, shopping malls, and museums, which you can access by zooming in on the destination location. Buildings and other structures are displayed in 3D in the standard layout. This is even more obvious if you use two fingers to change the viewing angle. However, applying the satellite overlay will display everything in 2D. Fortunately, the app offers Street View, if you need a first-person perspective to better orient yourself.

(1) 3D renderings of buildings in Google Maps. (2) Picture in Picture mode for Google Maps.

With all these features, the app's interface can sometimes get a little overwhelming, leading us to the main drawbacks of the app. The numerous overlays of Google Maps can overwhelm your senses and, ironically, can cause you to lose yourself within the app itself, as numerous reports, landmarks, and small and large businesses appear on your screen.

Fortunately, the app allows you to minimize information overload by optionally setting overlays such as transit, satellite, and bicycle overlays. In addition, Google Maps has built-in weather data and the ability to manually report traffic-related issues. All in all, however, the benefits of Google Maps far outweigh the limitations it has, making it a solid companion for travelers worldwide.

App 2: Apple Maps

Apple Maps is Google's answer to Google Maps, and despite a rocky start, the app has become the preferred navigation app for many iPhone users due to its simple user interface and overall reliability. User developed. According to Apple's MO, it's only available on Apple devices like iPhones and Macs, but on the other side of the coin, the app improves with every major iOS update to make sure it stays competitive.

  • Install Apple Maps: iOS (free))

Apple Maps offers countless features that set it apart from the crowd, such as the full integration of Siri for a true hands-free experience and accurate real-time coverage of roadworks and accident delays. In addition, the app provides support for indoor maps for airports and shopping centers, which is useful for frequent flyers and occasional tourists alike.

Apple Maps also includes ride sharing integration that lets you call Uber or Uber drive Lyft directly from the app itself. When you drive around, the app displays important data such as speed limits to maximize safety. The tracking feature is also easiest to understand from all the apps on the list and is clearly displayed in front of an exit or intersection to ensure they are not overlooked.

The Apple Maps 3D view wins with a mile as it provides vivid 3D renderings of major cities around the world like London, Paris, Sydney and Tokyo. It's worth noting that this feature currently covers 353 cities around the world, as highlighted by the tiny "3D" design of available cities, but Apple is likely to cover more as it continues to update its app.

(1) The tracking feature on Apple Maps is hard to miss. (2) 3D view of Jersey City.

In addition to the limited coverage of 3D View, there are other elements that Apple Maps needs to improve to create a truly great navigation app. For one thing, the app does not currently support street view, though it is likely to be introduced in the future as it has been actively exploring areas in the US and selected countries with LiDAR vans since 2015

Apple Maps is also heavily focused on urban Centers rather than countries as a whole, which makes it limited in terms of total coverage compared to Google Maps and even MapQuest. This can clearly be seen by looking at the coverage of smaller cities and rural areas in Google Map, which offers more details like parks than Apple Maps.

(1) Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Apple Maps. (2) Same city in Google Maps. Note the parks and rivers, which are not shown on the previous one.

Unlike Google Maps and Waze, Apple Maps does not provide police reports such as speed traps and cameras. Therefore, it is not ideal if you depend on this feature to avoid potential tickets. Cyclists may also want to avoid using Apple Maps because it does not offer bicycle navigation. The biggest drawback of Apple Maps, however, is the availability. The app is only available for iOS and MacOS devices and is therefore inaccessible to users on the Android platform.

App 3: Waze

Waze is the navigation app for drivers around the world and it's easy to see why. The app provides new alerts, such as speed traps, to help you stay one step ahead of law enforcement and avoid expensive tickets. The app uses data collected by colleagues Wazers to create an incredibly accurate real-time view of your environment.

Google bought Waze in 2013 and since then has been using Google Maps data to improve user-selected services, and vice versa. In addition to these speed traps, Waze will also show you other important traffic data such as police stations, traffic cameras, road works and accidental slowdowns, including even average speeds.

In addition to detailed real-time traffic reports, Waze has built-in options such as toll and highway bypass, and toll roads such as EZ Pass and HOV can be added for additional routes. The app also offers hands-free navigation and pit stop supplements to ensure safer and smoother road driving.

Waze removes almost all the bells and whistles that can be found on the more well-known counterparts, and is comparatively bleak – there are no buildings in 3D and no satellite or terrain overlays, just elements that you need to travel safely to be. Of course, this reduced functionality has some disadvantages, such as limited options for other modes of transport.

(1) Thanks to Wazers colleagues, you can see the slowdown in traffic in real time. (2) Adding toll passes and HOV lanes could not be easier with Waze.

As a driver-oriented navigation app, Waze offers several options for different modes of transport and can find the optimal routes for motorcycles and electric cars and taxis. Unfortunately, the app does not provide instructions for cycling and walking, so it is not an ideal companion when not in a car, especially in urban areas.

The disadvantages of Waze do not end here. It has the least coverage in this list. Currently only 72 countries are supported by the app. While this has been the case in the past, the app has removed the option to download routes for offline navigation. This can be a problem if you encounter a bad wireless service area while driving. And because of the lack of building contours and indoor maps, it's harder to focus on a specific building or landmark on foot.

App 4: MapQuest

Although by no means as popular as Google and Apple, MapQuest is still a solid and reliable navigation app that's well worth a look. The app has 252 countries and regions designed and comes standard with many features that make it a great companion when sightseeing in another state or country.

Although MapQuest has long been overshadowed by its more popular competitors, the app has been around for a long time. It was the map of choice long before Google Maps became a household name. The glory of the app is based on the layering feature, which allows you to apply and remove map items such as hospitals, to display only relevant information and to keep your card trouble-free.

(1) With MapQuest, you can add or remove overlays in no time. (2) If you crave pizza, Mapquest has you covered.

Like Google Maps, MapQuest provides real-time reports such as heavy traffic due to accidents, road works and traffic cameras to help you avoid delays and annoyance. Speed ​​limits are also displayed and are easy to navigate, along with your current speed when You drive faster than 15 km / h.

In addition, the app offers you a choice between a standard layout with footprints and a footprint satellite overlay to give you a better perspective on the go. Relevant weather details such as the current temperature and weather forecast are displayed in the lower right corner and disappear as soon as navigation is started.

(1) The Nightmare in New York City. (2) MapQuest Speed ​​Limitation

As good as MapQuest is, it lacks some notable features and subtleties that we've become accustomed to, and it has a user interface that is slightly more inaccessible compared to its famed rivals. These limitations include the lack of transit navigation and support for indoor maps of airports, shopping malls and other places of interest in Google and Apple Maps.

MapQuest also does not give you the ability to navigate or download offline maps that can be a significant handicap when visiting a location with poor mobile service. Nor does the app come with its own version of Street View, which may limit your perspective.

MapQuest does not have the Picture In Picture mode, which can limit multitasking even though navigation prompts are still displayed in your phone. Despite these drawbacks, MapQuest is still a viable option for overland travel and overseas travel – it has a clean and easy-to-understand interface that lets you easily interact. This is all you need to get from place to place.


As you can see in the graphic above, Google Maps has pushed competition, mainly due to the variety of features and the balance between usability and usability. That does not mean that the other three apps are not free. On the contrary, all of these apps have remarkable features that have undoubtedly contributed to their popularity.

Apple Maps is probably easier to reach with the iPhone because only the right features are available. Waze hingegen ist eher auf die Fahrer ausgerichtet und eignet sich ideal für längere Autotouren. MapQuest und seine zahlreichen Überlagerungsoptionen machen es zur idealen Wahl für alle, die Ablenkungen auf ein Minimum reduzieren möchten. Welches ist deine bevorzugte App, um herumzukommen? Teilen Sie Ihre Gedanken in den folgenden Kommentaren mit.

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Titelbild, Screenshots und GIFs von Amboy Manalo / Gadget Hacks

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