Google buffs Maps to include gasoline prices, will Apple follow suit?
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
Google’s Maps app for iOS has long been ahead of Apple’s own Maps app, and now it looks like Google is jumping ahead yet again. In its latest update to Google Maps (Version 4.13.0), the company has included gasoline prices as well as various bug fixes.
Will Apple soon follow suit and add gasoline prices to its own Maps app? I’ll share my thoughts below but here are some details from Cam Bunton at 9to5Mac:
First up, and undoubtedly the most useful for drivers is the up-to-date gas prices in the U.S. and Canada. The feature was included in the Android version of Google’s app a couple of months ago and lets users check nearby gas stations to see which has the most affordable prices. You can find prices simply be searching for ‘gas’ or ‘gas stations’ in the search field and Google Maps will automatically bring up the nearest options and list pricing for those locations.
Business hours have been included in the app for some time, but today’s update also lets you check when is best to avoid/visit particular businesses. Like its online search and maps tools, the updated iPhone app brings the ability check popular visiting hours for local stores and outlets. Now you can see what you always knew about any business or retail location: It starts getting busy after lunch.
The release of Google Maps 4.13.0 caught the attention of iPhone redditors and they shared their thoughts:
Madvtak: ”Just updated, pretty neat. Wish Apple Maps did this.”
Brandongoeszoom: ”Same. I’m always conflicted about which to use. Google Maps does a fantastic job with helping me avoid tolls, rerouting me if there’s heavy traffic, etc. But then I want to use Apple Maps so they can collect more data and improve. ”
Drslide: ”All I want is for Apple Maps to avoid tolls.”
TurboTacos: ”When are they going to add the ability to navigate to more than one destination on a route?!”
Poopyfacetomatonose: ”I just want lane guidance in Apple Maps, then I’ll switch back.”
Brandongoeszoom: ”Yes! This has definitely been a lifesaver when driving on large highways. Especially where you have exits within exits that fork off in multiple directions. In all fairness, Apple Maps is much younger than Google Maps, but I’d love for it to happen soon.”
Udoneditit: ”Stop thinking of apple and starting thinking about what’s best for you.”
Brandongoeszoom: ”I try. But I’m a fan of innovation, too, and fast progress. The sooner Apple gets up to speed, the sooner Google Maps will improve, as well.”
Gorampardos: ”I see what you’re trying to say. People aren’t using Apple Maps because it needs improvement, but it can’t improve unless people use it more. But Google Maps is already there and rolls out great updates regularly.”
Gas prices still aren’t enough to get me to use Google Maps in iOS
I think adding gas prices to Google’s Maps app is a terrific idea, and I hope Apple does the same thing in its Maps app. But gas prices just aren’t enough to get me to switch to Google’s Maps app. I’ve become very used to using Apple’s Maps app and it has actually displaced my old Navigon app for navigation while driving.
Oh sure, when it first came out Apple’s Maps app stank. It clearly should have been labeled “beta” but it has gotten much better over the years. And it’s gotten so much better that I can’t be bothered using anything else, including Navigon (which was my first GPS app and one that I kept on my phone for years).
Frankly, if I’m low on gas I am not worried about gas prices. At that point I’m worried about getting to the nearest gas station and getting a refill, regardless of what they might be charging at that particular moment for gasoline. Worrying about which station has slightly cheaper gas is not going to be running through my mind when I need some while cruising down the highway.
So kudos to Google for including gas prices in Maps, but it’s just not enough to get me to abandon Apple’s Maps app on my iPhone.
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