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How Apple Maps hopes to catch Google Maps and Waze

Oscar Raymundo | June 12, 2015
Ever since the great Maps debacle of iOS 6, Apple has been trying to gain lost ground to the competitors it suggested against its own native app. But can transit directions and indoor mapping be enough?

Waze: relying on crowdsourcing for realtime info

Google also has a secret weapon when it comes to driving directions: Waze, the app it acquired for $1 billion in 2013. 

Waze became a popular and widely trusted alternative in turn-to-turn navigation because it has a network of drivers reporting traffic information, accidents on the road, and other hurdles in real time. Relying on drivers who are actually on the road at any given moments makes Waze's data extremely accurate. Waze is often better at suggesting side roads or alternate routes because it gets its directions from the routes locals take every day.

The navigation app also leverages its community for other cool features, like discovering new places and finding out if gas prices are surging.

This social, crowdsourced element to directions is something that privacy-focused Apple is probably not going to try to imitate. But Apple could use its fleet of camera-equipped vehicles to map out every back alley and side road to make Maps the best at suggesting alternative, traffic-free routes. Might as well. Those vehicles are already late to the game: what's another year mapping out areas that are off the beaten path. 


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