The iPhone 5 will come with an Apple maps app. Photo: AFP
As Apple introduces its own mapping app on its mobile products to replace Google Maps, travelers around the world may be left wondering which of the two is more useful for future trips. Here is a comparison.
Apple is stepping up its rivalry with Google by ditching Google Maps for its iPhone 5 and introducing its own mapping. Which one will come in more handy when traveling?
Google recently announced a series of new features for its Google Maps program that can only be used with its Android system. This enhanced version includes turn-by-turn navigation with voice-over guided directions.
Keen cyclists were happy to hear that Google has included a total of 530,000 kilometers of cycle routes in 12 countries in North America, Europe and Australia. Besides the routes, the feature also offers turn-by-turn voice-guided bike navigation.
Google continues to develop its traffic coverage in Google Maps, first launched in the US in 2007. Traffic information coverage has been rolled out in other countries around the world. Most recently, it was made available for drivers in Mexico, New Zealand, Colombia and Panama City.
After carrying out Street View photo mapping by car for some years now, Google has recently been sending the Google Bicycle to capture images of places that aren't accessible by car. The company recently announced that it was adding 150 university campuses around the word to its Street View feature. This also includes street views of some hotels and tourist sites such as the Maya pyramids in Mexico and inside-museum views.
Google's detailed information about restaurants, shops, hotels and other tourist sites has been enhanced since the company acquired tourist guide publishers Zagat and Frommer's earlier this summer.
iPhone 5 users will get Apple's new map software, which includes a Flyover feature to allow a 3D view, something similar to the satellite view on Google Maps. Maps is also offering turn-by-turn directions with a voice-guided navigation. The display is in a 3D style, which might help drivers.
Apple's detailed content on restaurants, shops, hotels and other places is produced by Yelp, which joined forces with Apple on its new maps application in June. The pop-up window that used to offer phone numbers and addresses will now contain user-generated images and reviews.
Free internet access
This week Google announced that it was sponsoring free Wi-Fi at 4,000 hotspots in the US including airports, hotels, shopping center and some of Manhattan's subway stations through the month of September. However, the free perk is only available for Android mobile users. Whether Google will take this battle outside the US to other international markets remains to be seen.