Back in 2018, Apple announced that it was going to be rebuilding its Maps service from the ground up. The focus would be on more detailed environments across not only the United States, but around the world. Providing more information for navigation, as well as the world around us, including parks, landmarks, and much more.
Throughout the course of 2019 Apple stuck to its word, rolling out large and small updated sections of the U.S. to show off the new, redesigned Maps service. Apple was able to complete that rollout at the start of 2020.
The change is immediately evident if you compare the two side-by-side, or even just have a passing memory of what Apple Maps looked like in 2018 (or even through much of 2019, depending on where you are) and what it looks like now. As you navigate areas the information at hand is much better than what it used to be. You can see it in the image down below.
But I have no idea if it's actually any better.
It's hard to argue that, as far as smartphone navigation is concerned, Google Maps is the gold standard here. Not just for having plenty of information at hand for when you get somewhere, but also helping you get there. But Street View's importance can't be lessened, either. I know that I use Google's 3D area view quite a bit.
Apple is working on its own version of this. It's called Look Around and, even with the rollout of the updated, redesigned Maps it's still not available everywhere. Even in the U.S. That's changing as Apple slowly rolls out the feature to additional areas, but right now the focal point is large metro areas like Boston, San Francisco, and other places like that.
I use Apple Maps quite a bit. It's basically become my standard navigation tool these days. But it hasn't always led me down the right path to where I want to go. I can still remember last year when Apple Maps wanted me to essentially park in someone's driveway, and then cross a medium-sized river, to get to a park. That wasn't Apple Maps best moment. (Especially when Google Maps got me to where I needed to go.)
I have been using the redesigned version for quite awhile now, and for the most part I like it. The greater detail in the areas where I'm navigating can actually be helpful. Seeing realistic buildings in areas is a nice touch, for instance. And being able to see stop signs and street lights is also great.
But I haven't used Apple Maps with all its new information and features in any meaningful capacity yet. I haven't had to find a random city park for a soccer game, for instance. And I haven't had to navigate a major metropolitan city that I'm completely brand new to. Both of these things have been sticking points for Apple Maps in the past, forcing me to rely on Google Maps.
So, I'm curious. If you are using, or have tried out, Apple's redesigned Maps experience, what do you make of it? Do you like the changes the company rolled out? Do you think it compares at all to Google Maps? And are you still using Google's option as your default these days? Let me know!