The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

October 7, 2012

Review: Apple's maps app lets you follow the voice

(Continued)

— Besides public transit directions, Google offered options for avoiding tolls or highways while driving. It allowed me to choose continuous satellite images instead of animated maps, while Apple's app offered them only for route overviews, not for live navigation.

— While Siri's voice sounds much more human than the one Google used in its early mapping apps, Google now has a voice that makes Siri sound robotic by comparison. Google also was more sparing with words, which was good as long as I didn't get lost for lack of detail.

That said, Apple's map offers 3-D views. That may sound like a gimmick, but it presents the map in a way that mirrors what you're seeing through the windshield. On Apple's map, the direction you're going is on top in the regular view or toward the back in 3-D. Outside of big cities, Google often has north on top, which can be confusing when driving east or south.

Apple's maps are also more pleasant to view. Instructions such as "turn right onto Pearl St." are in white against a green background, similar to the signs you see on highways. Street names at intersections are in a green rectangle, similar to actual street signs at corners. Unlike Google's, Apple's app showed me the distance and time remaining and an estimated time of arrival all at once, though I would have appreciated larger text.

Apple's app was mostly dead-on in getting me to my destination. The one big miss was when it had a winery I was looking for about a half-mile east of its actual location. I went to another instead.

But Google has made mistakes, too. It told me to turn left to get to a lighthouse along the Straits of Mackinac connecting two Great Lakes, even as the road sign in front of me pointed to the right. Then again, Apple's app didn't even find that lighthouse in a search.

Text Only
Lifestyle
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee