In what might come as a major relief to the Cupertino iPhone maker, data analyst firm Onavo has said in its blog that Apple Maps uses significantly less data than its Google counterpart. This latest news could give some much needed shot in the arm to Apple, which has been severely criticized recently from all quarters for its new proprietary maps app that has been providing faulty results.
In a blog post titled, “Forget Mapplegate. Apple Maps are Maptastic!”, Onavo states,
“Onavo’s team of data experts set out to compare the data consumed by Apple Maps on iOS 6 to that of the Google-based iOS 5 Maps app. We compared a number of scenarios and investigated how both apps use data over the cellular network. The data we evaluated proved: Apple Maps is up to five times more data efficient than Google Maps.”
This is how maps consume data. Besides downloading data when you search for something, additional data is consumed every time you zoom in on a location. Every time you zoom in further, additional data is consumed. Onavo’s experts conducted the test in both the standard map view and in satellite view. Using both Apple and Google Maps, the team did a few identical searches and zoomed in and out a number of times on both map apps. When the data consumed was analyzed, they found that Google Maps consumed 1.3MB while Apple Maps used just 271 KB. That is 80 percent lesser than Google. The gap between the two improved even further when zooming in even further, with Apple Maps using 7 times less data than Google Maps.
Even in satellite view, Apple Maps used only half as much data as Google Maps. 428 KB and 930 KB respectively.
Onavo explains the reason behind Apple Maps’ efficiency. Apple Maps uses vector graphics, which has the advantage over traditional imaging. Vector images resize drastically, thus using less data every time you zoom in. Vector graphics also means Apple Maps is faster and smoother than Google Maps.
Makes one wonder though. Why did Apple not boost about this during Apple 5 launch?