Showdown: Apple maps vs. Nokia Maps

| September 28, 2012 | 44 Replies

Last week we saw an interesting inphographic detailing how Nokia Maps matches up to it’s competitors (Google and Apple Maps); unsurprisingly it held it’s own and beat them in most stats (funny how that’s happening more and more now with the “new” Nokia, specs and graphs were always their downfall- where as a Nokia fan I would have to constantly say that it’s not the paper that counts, you have to USE the device).

Now with Tim Cook himself suggesting the use of Nokia maps as an alternative (Apple provided a link to the Web app in their press release); people are starting to realize how great of an alternative Nokia maps is (in fact it should be your main client not a backup). Back on topic, Nirave from UKMobileReview made a huge in depth comparison between the two clients looking it at from all aspects including Navigation, satellite imaging, Standard view and several other aspects; I’ll give you the short and sweet version but be sure to run over and check out the full review when you have a couple spare minutes:


Apple maps location integration SUCKS, apparently it wasn’t even able to properly find Heathrow Airport… I was in London for 6 hours and even I think I could do a better job than that..

However whilst Apple Maps definitely does well in a crowded popular place such as Oxford Street, one of its key issues is the inability to find locations that many people are likely to search for. One such example of this is a search for Heathrow Airport

Satellite imaging on iOS maps is also one part that severely lacks; we’ve all seen the horribly rendered roads, and the surprise mountains on the highways.

That doesn’t look like any airport I’ve ever seen..

Over all score:

Nokia Maps – 43 out of 50

Apple Maps – 24 out of 50



Category: Android, aPPLE, Applications, Lumia, Nokia, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • Anders81

    I use Nokia maps when I am driving or walking but in all fairness google maps is easier to use when planning a motorbike trip with several stops etc. A couple of years ago Michelin route planner was the best to use but goog copied and improved the interface and made it better.

    • Land of the Rich

      Agreed. Google Maps seems to be better when it comes to plotting multiple points. Its also better when it comes to search functionality and keeping their locations up to date (closed businesses, etc).

      That said, Nokia’s navigation and offline maps absolutely destroy Google Maps.I find myself using Google to search the location and Nokia for the actual navigating.

      • Nysi

        For sure Nokia has better maps than Google, but the user interface in internet site is not perfect (,
        and requires some practise.
        The UI’s in of the Nokia location apps such as drive/navigation are much better in the phones than in the internet site and can’t be compared.

  • a

    Is it Myappleblog OR Mynokiablog?????????

    • Do you seriously not see how this is related to Nokia? or are you just trolling? I’d really like to know.

      • viipottaja

        Hopefully just being sarcastic with all the past whiners.

  • symfan

    Its asIwishblog.

  • Cani Lamentoqua

    I am for Nokia, but when I see how Apple care for their system OS, and they are not slaves to 3rd party OEM terms… And they use OS based on Unix… Then I think to myself: WTF? Why Nokia does not care for own customers as Apple does? Apple will repair maps, but what about Nokia?

    • viktor von d.

      well apple will repair maps and nokia will continue to use windowsphone just to piss you off. they are evil bastards, all they do is to designed to drive you in particular mad. they have meetings every night to try and come up with new ways to piss cani lamentoqua off. i swear to god, for people who love open source and freedom of choice, you are so damn aggressive to anything that isn’t linux based. it’s almost ironic. i’m curious, did yoy made this much fuss when nokia was delivering shitty symbian 3 phones and kept delaying meego, or is this a new passion for you and you just started with the trolling?

      • poiman


      • andy

        what shitty symbian3 phones?it has more function than today 808 shitty?bare in mind that they have lower specs.

        • DesR85

          Well, some of the people I know who bought the N8 when it was first launched were complaining of sluggish performance until one of them traded it in for another non-Nokia phone after a few months of use.

          Even my S60th edition 6700 Slide tend to slow down after a while, and not to mention some instances where it hanged and I was forced to reboot as a result. The last part only happens like once in a while and it is something I can live with, but it is annoying when that happens.

  • applebeatlumia

    aplle maps ui is much better and easier to use

    • Ali Abdulla

      well, its easier for Nokia to fix their Map UI, than it is for apple to collect map data from all over the globe .

      i know i shouldnt group the words “easier” “fix” “UI” and “Nokia” in one sentence.. but they seem to get some stuff almost perfect(meego UI, camera UI in 808..etc dunno abouts apps in wp7, never seen it)..

  • Abadonna
  • HK N9 User

    Nokia maps FAIL BIG style in Hong Kong. Nokia doesn’t offer LOCAL language on its POI for Hong Kong maps. All romanisation of the Chinese words are done with Mandarin Pinyin. This is perhaps some political thing with Hong Kong listing under China.

    However fact is the local dialect is Cantonese and all the road signs and building names use the Cantonese romanisation/pronunciation of the words. So reading off the names of places on Nokia Maps you wouldn’t have a clue where you are vs the Road/Building signs in real life.

    I contacted Nokia support who said sorry there’s nothing they can do! Bl**dy useless maps.

    It’s akin to having Nokia Maps with all POI in East London, UK written in Bangladeshi or other Indian Subcontinent language. Yes there are people who CAN use that language, but the local official language is English. Come on Nokia sort it out!

    • HK N9 User

      Furthermore… the MTR (MRT/Underground/Metro) station POI are not complete. Google Maps is very helpful… and shows you the name of the station and then specific annotated icons for Exit (A, B, C1, C2) etc.

      Nokia just shows a Green Icon identical for all MTR exits, so it’s practically useless when transiting from MTR to walking / buses / overground.

      • JGrove303

        Isn’t the majority of Hong Kong literate in English, mich like Singapore?

        At this very moment Nokia Maps may be weaker in the country with the prettiest flag, but I do i,imagine with Lumia expansion, and with more companies going with NAVTEQ, your iddurs will resolve soon.

        • Weirdfisher

          Hk literate in mostly both Cantonese and English
          While I am using Cantonese setting, there is no problem because the map shows traditional chinese
          While I’m using English setting, many places uses mandarin pinyin. It is different from local names in English. I wonder how foreign travelers can distinguish. And for political reasons, lots of people do not accept those Pinyin syllable.

          I have told this problem to noia hk but This hasn’t been changed for 5 years

          • zymesh

            i had no issues with the names in english when i went to HK. the only issue was that the MTR exits doesnt indicate the name or letter of the exit. more than once i went out to the street getting lost for a few minutes waiting for GPS signal since i went out to a different exit that where i was supposed to.

            i used offline navigation and went to the toy shops in Mongkok

      • Cani Lamentoqua

        It is sad to hear that HK N9 User. I am afraid this is not any political thinking but plain stupidity, or someone wanted to show who rules. I don’t think this is entirely Nokia’s fault, perhaps more Chinese Nokia employees. For most, 99% of Europeans this significant difference is unrecognisable at all, there is no way for common non-Chinese person to notice, even if one understand why this is important. Hence, I suppose that what Chinese employees have delivered to coding department – was just put into maps. Put into in good faith – I am sure of this. And as you probably can imagine somebody else then Nokia could involve a kind of politics. Outside of China it is widely promoted that “Mandarin is official Chinese language and every Chinese speak Mandarin, hence if you want to learn Chinese language then you should learn Mandarin”. So perhaps somebody, again in good faith, wanted to use “official” Chinese? I think something near/about mentioned above factors have caused this situation. Most if not all common people are not aware what are main dialects in China, and treat them as the one language – Chinese. I think Nokia should notice this and make appropriate corrections. I am afraid that will not be easy… First of all because, from Nokia point of view, if they were told (by Chinese I suppose) that transcription is proper, then they just believe it is proper.
        I think to change it users from HK (and all interested in) can send (flood) Nokia HQ in Finland with claims for serious mistakes in software and demand for proper transcription requests. I think RenRen would be perhaps helpful to find those who would be willing to send mails to Nokia HQ. I am afraid if they would be send to local Nokia in HK they would never reach the appropriate decision making persons which can change it. Perhaps this could help.

    • HK N9 User

      Where the hell does Nokia get its data from? Hopeless – the true location is quite a distance from Nokia’s location.

      I then searched for directions from Nokia searched location “Fook Sing Court” to the real location I pinpointed with mouse… and look at the directions it provides!–344wecnv-bebfacef663843c4973a17d0bf9d4be1#/directions/drive/Lower_Lascar_Row,_Hong_Kong,_Central_&_Western_District,_China%5B22.28609322087789,114.14850857833483%5D/Fook_Sing_Court%5B156wecnv-4430be2e83ca4e57a06530587c9ad50a%5D/@a79afc8d3ff753307872c30fb9b449ea/map=22.2860088,114.1567322,15,0,0,


      • HK N9 User

        Google Maps found it perfectly – first time search

        • Cani Lamentoqua

          Google maps use Linux and Qt as I know…

      • HK N9 User

        Oops that link didn’t work.. but this does:

        • I’ve passed it on to one of the Nokia Maps guys on twitter, hopefully this’ll get sorted out. Jordan maps used to have a 2KM glitch (road was actually 2 Km away from position on map, so it appeared you were driving off road at all times) but when they switched to the free navigation and Joined Navteq they sorted it out.

      • nabkawe

        When you talk about Chinese maps being out of order, it’s understandable seeing how hard the language difference is.( Though not excusable if doesn’t get solved.)
        But … when Apple Maps fails in it’s home country with the same language …
        Well It’s totally different don’t you agree.
        Plus Google Maps are the most user based maps ever , Meaning users input information on their own free will to help Google maps get better. It’s like the whole world is building Google Maps for them. (Nokia isn’t using that kind of advanced Input and it’s still doing greatly.)
        You’ve got to give them that :).

    • r0gu

      I recently spent seven weeks in Hong Kong and noticed similar kind of thing. I do not understand Cantonese (nor Mandarin) and in this sense, it felt a bit strange that in the walking directions, my N9 did not want to offer any other language choices for the instructions.

      Other than that, the Nokia Maps helped me to choose the right bus several times. It was also a tool to find the closest MTR.

    • DesC

      Totally agree. It’s especially annoying on Flickr (which uses Nokia maps) and you’re trying to post the location of a photo.

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    • Andrew_b


  • Deep Space Bar

    I ccan’t stop laughing at this comic

  • jcar302

    What i can’t figure out is why apple, who has a massive cash stock pile, doesn’t just go out and buy a whole mapping company.

    • Marc Aurel

      They probably will, now, or at least they will throw a lot more resources to the development. But it seems that Nokia is not the only large company which likes to save money in the wrong place.

      What I find even more interesting is that Apple has actually apologized for the situation. During Jobs’ reign they never apologized for anything, which in an odd way seemed increase rather than decrease the enthusiasm of the fanbois.

    • Dave

      Who? There are only Navteq (Nokia), Tomtom (used to be Teleatlas), and Google.

      • Marc Aurel

        They could buy TomTom if they wanted to. Heck, they could buy Nokia for that matter, but since Navteq is not for sale separate from the rest of the company, it is unlikely that they will do that. Then again, they could just offload the smartphone and feature phone divisions immediately (probably to Microsoft and Samsung, respectively) and just keep Navteq.

        • Dave

          They already use tomtom data, and could easily license navteq data. What would be the big advantage for them? Have to manage a completely unrelated branch of business?

          Most problems seem like datum conversion errors, inaccurate POI data (they use OSM as well), etc.

  • xNokian

    Yep, installed iOS 6 on my iPhone this past weekend and tried to find “Emerson” in town, where I was meeting with a friend. iPhone maps displayed Emerson, NJ on screen. I though I did something wrong, so searched again and again Emerson, NJ was displayed. Had to call my friend and ask for directions – how emberassing. Btw, I am 2000 miles away from that location…

    • zymesh

      Apple: remember USA = the only place on earth!

  • There is something wrong about this Apple soft over Nokia story. I don’t want to believe or trust Apple. They must have done something that they want Nokia to be on their side. Well we all know they did use over-sampling but there must be something either Apple want from Nokia.

    • Damen

      LOL You forget they didn’t just mention Nokia Maps but also Bing, MapQuest, Waze and Google Maps.

      • No I haven’t, but I also remember they bring Nokia Lumia up during the court hearing against Samsung.

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