Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new maps app has attracted censure from users and reviewers and prompted an apology from the company for its shortcomings, but it may have a hidden advantage over the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) application.
According to a study from analytics firm Onavo, the Apple program consumes one-fifth as much data as Google Maps. The firm ran the two apps through a series of functions and found that the average amount of data downloaded by Apple Maps was in the 270 kilobytes range, while Google Maps consumed around 1.3 megabytes of data on average.
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For actions such as zooming in, the Google application was seven times less data efficient than its Apple counterpart. Onavo said the Apple program’s use of vector graphics helps it resize images dynamically rather than having to download map tile images every time a user zooms in or out of a map view, resulting in “drastically reduced data usage,” smoother resizing, and faster responsiveness.
Google Maps, which was part of Apple’s mobile devices since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, was replaced by the latter this month by its own home-grown app. Talks between the two companies reportedly broke down after Google declined to add voice-enabled turn-by-turn, a regular feature of Android devices, to iOS.
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