Why I Chose Google Maps Instead of Apple Maps For a Recent Trip

I recently made a weekend trip to Los Angeles, California for a friend's wedding. The day after the wedding, my fiancee and I planned to visit Anaheim (renowned for its theme parks). Once we picked up the rental car in LA, I had to choose how we would get directions to the theme parks. I chose Google Maps.

At this point, you might be wondering why I made this particular selection. After all, Apple's Maps app came pre-installed on my iPhone and can be launched via Siri. I'm an iOS developer, so it's not as if I'm particularly tied to Google's ecosystem. I also was not unnerved by the reports of Australians being stranded after following directions from Apple's Maps app, nor by Tim Cook's famous apology to Apple's customers. I use Apple's Maps app all the time in my hometown, so why didn't I use it in this circumstance? The answer is simple: trust. Or rather, the lack of it.

I have encountered slight discrepancies in using the navigation directions with Apple's maps, but nothing too bad. To be fair, I've also had infrequent issues with Google Maps. However, this case was different. It's one thing for directions to be incorrect in my hometown where I can quickly adjust to errors, but it's a different story when I'm in an unfamiliar location and trying to make the best use of available time on a trip.

An irrational decision? Possibly. But maybe not. I decided, in a split moment, to go with Google Maps instead of Apple Maps because I weighed my level of confidence in their accuracy. In this instance, I felt more confident that Google Maps was less likely to have an error in its directions.

Folks, this is an example of what Apple is up against in terms of getting customers to trust its service offerings. It's not so much a technical issue as it is an issue of perception. Apple's Maps app didn't start too well out of the gate, but given enough time (and data corrections) it may prove to be as trustworthy as Google Maps.