The war between Apple Maps and Google Maps has been raging for some time now. (There’s only enough home screen space for one navigation/discovery app, right?) Google Maps is winning the overall war — more total users — as it’s available on both Android and iOS devices. But Apple Maps has been winning the battle among iOS users; The Boston Globe reported back in March 2015 that Apple Maps “is now used more than three times as often as its next leading competitor on iPhones and iPads.” However, Google has made a move to change that.
Yesterday, Google announced an update to Google Maps. The update provides several changes that iOS, Android and desktop users alike will appreciate. First: “a cleaner look,” according to Google. They’ve removed road outlines so that it’s easier to see stuff like street names and traffic. Secondly, the update puts a stronger focus on areas of interest, which now will appear as lightly orange-shaded regions. An algorithm determines that these areas have more hotels, restaurants, shops and other “hot spots,” which Google wants to encourage users to explore. And finally, the update implements a new color scheme “to help you easily differentiate between man-made or natural features, and quickly identify places like hospitals, schools or highways.”
Admittedly, the new Google Maps update isn’t adding anything major. And if you don’t like Google Maps now, frankly you may never. But if there was ever a reason to give the discovery/navigation app a try, this update is it.