When configuring the route to a user-defined destination in the app, Apple Maps now displays a “simple” option, which isn’t necessarily the fastest, but which relies more on highways and less on back roads. The travel time could even be similar to the fastest route, as shown in this screenshot posted on reddit, but for many users, a difference of just a few minutes isn’t necessarily a huge problem anyway.
The simplest route in Apple Maps isn’t exactly a new feature, as it’s been there since iOS 13, but by the looks of things, it has become more prevalent after the update to iOS 14. Most likely, Apple has updated the Apple Maps routing engine in more locations to be able to provide a simpler option to the destination, and this is why more people see it these days after updating their iPhones.
Without a doubt, this is a feature that Google Maps really needs too, especially because users have been complaining about the fastest route option for many months now.
Despite configuring Google Maps to use a specific route, the application automatically kicks in and recommends the faster option in the middle of the navigation. If no input is provided when the suggestion shows up, the fastest route is automatically enabled, thus sending drivers on a different way than the one they originally configured.
Right now, Google Maps can only be configured to avoid highways, tolls, and ferries, but other than that, the app just defaults to the fastest route with no way to change this regardless of the mobile platform.