Apple Maps up to five times more data efficient than Google Maps

Apple Maps has been getting its share of negative attention since being released, but some new research shines a bright spot on the comparison between Apple’s and Google’s mapping apps.

According to Onavo, a company that specializes in helping customers get the most out of their smartphone data plans, there are some big differences between the apps. The company ran tests on the two apps to see which was the most efficient in its data usage. After running a number of scenarios, the tests showed that Apple Maps was up to five times more data efficient than Google Maps.

For instance, when you search for a new location the mapping app has to download the street data you see on the screen — panning and zooming means even more data downloaded.

“On Google Maps, the average data loaded from the cellular network for each step was 1.3MB, the company wrote on its Web site. “Apple Maps came in at 271KB – that’s approximately 80% less data! On some actions, such as zooming in to see a particular intersection, Apple Maps’ efficiency advantage edged close to 7X.”

Results for the satellite view in Maps showed Apple’s app used about half of Google’s mapping application.