Android KitKat 4.4 vs Apple iOS 7 head-to-head review

We put core apps including email, maps & browsers to the test to see which OS is the top dog

Apple MapsvsGoogle Maps

Apple caused afurorewhen it replaced Google Maps with its own home-grown Maps app iniOS6.Apple Maps has improved since launch, but it's still inferior to Google Maps, at least when used in London and the south east.

Searching for businesses, addresses and landmarks is a fraught experience using Apple Maps. Results can be wildly inaccurate - for example, searching for city hall' when in London's West End gave us a listing for the one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Addresses weren't found unless we also entered the post code and some businesses, closed for years were listed as open. Although Google Maps sometimes suffers from inaccurate data, these problems occurless often.

Apple Maps (left) was unable to locate City Hall in London, instead identifying the one in Philadelphia. Google Maps (right) had no such problems

Both Apple Maps and Google Maps use vector graphics-based maps which consume less mobile data, load faster and have more legible labelling than the bitmap-based apps. We found labelling on Apple Maps to be a little more legible than Google Maps' with the exception of train and Underground stations in London - Google Maps' licensed use of the familiar Tube roundel and National Rail logos makes it easier to spot train station than the generic purple icons used in Apple Maps.

Once you've found your destination, you have to get there. Apple Maps doesn't have any integrated public transport directions, instead relying on third party apps for this data whereas Google Maps has this built-in. Jumping between two apps on iOS isn't ideal so Android is more convenient.

Both apps have a full-screen driving mode with turn-by-turn voice prompts. Where each app successfully found our London-based destination, both provided fast, accurate directions, clear voice prompts and legible map graphics.

A Google Maps appis available foriOS through the app store, but it's a sometimes ill-fitting replacement due to Apple's restrictions. Tapping on addresses in theiOSaddress book or emails still opens Apple Maps and there's no way to change this.

WINNER: Android. Apple Maps remains inferior to Google Maps.

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