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iPhone 5 Maps vs. Droid Google Maps

The iPhone 5 has a new operating system (iOS 6) and will be implementing a new “Maps” application which will rival the current gold standard in mobile navigation, Google Maps, which is offered on Android Devices. Before iOS 6, previous generations of iPhones that used iOS5 used a version of Google Maps that didn’t support turn-by-turn navigation. To say the least, the Iphone 4/4’s iOS5’s navigation was underwhelming in the mobile navigation department when compared to the GPS-like functionality of the Droid’s beautiful turn-by-turn navigation.

I’ve had a Droid for over 3 years now. While it’s had it’s ups and downs, the one thing that I’ve always loved is the navigation. Enough so that I refused (given several opportunities mind you) to “upgrade” to an iPhone. My loyalty is now being tested as Apple officially announced the iPhone 5 with the new iOS 6 platform. I’m sure many of you are like I was – thinking, “What is the difference between iPhone 5 and Droid navigation?” Here’s what I found:


  • Detailed maps with 3D buildings via Google Maps
  • GPS turn-by-turn navigation guided by voice.
  • Driving, public transit, biking, and walking directions.
  • Live traffic information to avoid accidents/build up.
  • Local search and business reviews Using Google Places/Reviews.
  • Google Maps Street View.
  • Indoor maps for some airports, hotels, retail stores, and more.

iPhone Maps offers:

  • Detailed maps via TomTom maps.
  • Interactive 3D views.
  • Flyover feature (interactive 3D views of select large cities).
  • Turn-by-Turn Spoken Directions.
  • Local search and business reviews using Yelp
  • Live traffic information to avoid accidents/build up.

Here’s what’s different:

  • iPhone does not offer the Public Transit, Biking or walking directions like the Droid does.
  • Droid uses Google Places/Reviews to display business and points of interest on the maps. iPhone uses Yelp. While debatable, most would probably argue that Google is a little more full fledged than Yelps experience in terms of quantity of reviews.
  • Droid does not have the Flyover feature that the iOS6 has. This is a pretty neat feature that shows a pretty impressive photo-realistic rendition of a city in full 3D.

Having owned a Droid for awhile I know the Google Maps function very well and it’s spectacular. But it seems like the playing field has mostly been leveled off between the two rivals. iPhone users have gained one of the biggest tipping points for people to gravitate toward Droid. It really seems that both companies will offer a quality navigation experience.

One thing that should be noted is that the new iPhone uses a 9-pin connector called “Lightning” that will replace the old 30 pin connector used on virtually all other apple products. This means that any kind of connectors you are using in your car (or anywhere else) will need to be either replaced or you need to buy an adapter to connect the 30 pin connector into the new 9 pin slot. The new adapter cost $29.99… ouch.

Preorder your new Iphone 5 yet? No? Well you’re too late, apparently, as the PreOrders from the apple store sold out within an hour of launch. I know, bummer. But if you call any of the local wireless providers(Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T) that are going to be getting the iPhone 5, give them a call and they can probably get you one close to launch date.

Check out the following videos for the official iPhone 5 trailer and some examples of both iPhone and Droid Navigation.




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