Apple Maps Copying Google Maps Isn’t a Bad Thing

The rivalry between Apple and Google has made many diehard fans accuse the two companies of copying each other’s ideas on way too many occasions.
Apple Maps on CarPlay 8 photos
Photo: Apple
Google Maps on Android AutoGoogle Maps on Android AutoGoogle Maps navigationGoogle Maps navigationGoogle Maps navigationGoogle Maps navigationGoogle Maps navigation
In fact, almost every new major update that Android and iOS receive typically comes with such claims, as fanboys see even the smallest resemblance as an intention of stealing the ideas pioneered by rivals.

Case in point, Apple’s debut of multi-stop routing in Apple Maps.

Announced at WWDC earlier this week, this new feature essentially makes it possible for Apple Maps users to configure a route that includes more than a single stop.

This option can be useful in a wide variety of ways, but in order to understand its impact, just think of someone who delivers stuff for a living. With this new feature, they can configure Apple Maps in one go before even leaving on a journey, obviously optimizing their routes and saving precious time.

Google Maps on Android Auto
Photo: Google
While for Apple users this is an all-new capability, the multi-route support has been around for a very long time in Google Maps. The only difference is that Apple allows up to 15 stops in Apple Maps, while Google Maps supports a maximum of 9.

It was obviously just a matter of time until Google fans expressed their frustration online, once again accusing Apple of copying features available in Google Maps.

But no matter if Apple indeed looked at Google Maps or not before rolling out multi-stop routing in Apple Maps, the iPhone maker copying its rival’s ideas isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

First and foremost, let’s be honest about it. Multi-stop routing in a navigation app is a no-brainer. Sure, Apple needed way too much time to understand this is a key feature of a navigation solution, but at the end of the day, this option should be part of the essential feature arsenal of pretty much any piece of software in this software category.

Then, it’s not a secret that Apple Maps is lagging behind Google Maps in terms of features. So while Apple Maps doesn’t yet come with as many navigation features as Google Maps, it’s getting better, especially as far as the essential package I told you about is concerned. As a result, it doesn’t make much sense to accuse Apple of stealing Google’s ideas when, in fact, what the company does is only bring essential functionality to its app.

Google Maps on Android Auto
Photo: Google
And last but not least, even if Apple is indeed copying Google’s features, this could end up becoming a good thing for users out there.

Google Maps is by far the best navigation app on the market, and Apple is pretty much the only company that can build a worthy competitor on mobile devices. Sure, the likes of Sygic, TomTom, and HERE also developed advanced solutions on this front, but let’s not forget that Apple Maps comes pre-loaded with every iPhone out there, so it’s often the first choice for most users anyway.

But before turning Apple Maps into a fully-featured alternative to Google Maps, Apple must first make sure everything is there. Obviously, investing in innovations that could help set its software apart from the rest of the crowd should at one point become a priority, but right now, Apple Maps isn’t necessarily in a place where such a thing should be the main focus.

So at the end of the day, Apple Maps getting better, no matter if this means getting the capabilities available elsewhere, is something that could eventually help Apple build a worthy alternative to Google Maps.

Competition is a good thing, there’s no doubt about it, but sometimes, maybe it just has to start with a close look at what your rivals have to offer before eventually doing the same thing better than them.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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