Dvorak Says That "Apple Maps Leads The Way In Navigation"

8 March 2013

PC Magazine:

Leo was using Waze, which he thinks is great. He was misdirected in one instance and took forever to get there. He got lost for unknown reasons at another target location. Overall, he—and Waze—came in third (and last).

Glenn, who actually inspired my idea for the test, was using Apple Maps, which he switched to after iOS 6 dumped Google Maps. “I don’t have any trouble with it,” he said. “It works fine.” In fact, it worked better than Google. On one leg from the Apple facility to a shopping mall, Glenn beat me, though just barely. Leo was the laggard. But then from that location to a lunch spot, Glenn and I followed each other. Suddenly, Glenn jumped on to the freeway as Google Maps directed me through the city streets for a cut across town.

At the time, this seemed like a better route, not to mention a more scenic one. But the long stoplights in Sunnyvale are dreadful. Glenn arrived at least five minutes ahead of me. I gave the nod to Apple and now wonder what the fuss was about.

What Dvorak should say is that Apple Maps Leads The Way In Navigation For The Area They Travelled On That Single Day.1 In Dvorak’s test, Apple Maps did ‘win’, but in another city, another state, another country the results would be different.

You can’t make claims of Apple Maps’s superiority on the basis of a single journey.

1 This included routing to Apple’s headquarters, which will have given Apple Maps a small advantage from the outset, as Apple employees will test this journey daily for their own commutes.