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Apple Maps vs Google Maps for truckers

Navigating the vast road network is a crucial aspect of commercial truck driving jobs, and choosing the trucker trip planning app can significantly influence drivers’ on-road experience. 

This article offers a detailed Apple Maps vs Google Maps comparison from a truck driver’s perspective. We’ll assess their commercial vehicle navigation capabilities, availability, traffic and incident handling, and user interfaces to determine which platform better caters to the unique needs of the trucking community. 

And when you finish, read more in our ‘Best navigation app for truckers’ article series:

What is Apple Maps?

Apple Maps is a web mapping service developed by Apple Inc. It is the default map system of iOS, macOS, and watchOS. The tool provides directions and estimated times of arrival for automobile, pedestrian, and public transportation navigation.

Since its launch in 2012, Apple Maps has made significant strides in accuracy and reliability. Users enjoy innovative features like Flyover mode, which enables them to explore certain densely populated urban centers and other places of interest in a 3D landscape composed of models of buildings and structures.

In 2019 Apple Maps publicly introduced its ‘Look Around,’ capabilities, which some users liken to a smoother version of Google’s Street View. The street-level, 360-degree panoramic imagery offers detailed views of roads, buildings, parks, and more. Apple Maps users also benefit from indoor maps for places like airports and shopping centers.

What is Google Maps?

Google Maps is a web-based service that provides maps, satellite images, street views and real-time traffic conditions. It also offers directions for various modes of transportation, such as driving, walking, biking or public transit.

Developed and operated by Google, the platform is accessible via browsers and mobile devices. Google Maps has become an important tool for navigation, exploration and local searches, both for individuals and businesses.

Google Maps has incredible features which some truckers feel make it the best truck GPS, like real-time traffic updates to determine traffic density and adjust routes accordingly. When a user searches for a location, Google Maps accesses its vast database of street maps and satellite images to locate the area. This info then helps to provide users with accurate geographic information.

Google Maps vs Apple Maps: What’s the best GPS for truckers?

When choosing the best trucking GPS, it’s crucial to consider the particular needs and demands of commercial vehicle driving. Both Apple Maps and Google Maps offer a range of features for commercial drivers seeking GPS navigation for trucks.

Here’s how the two compare as trucking GPS systems: 

Commercial vehicle navigation capabilities

Both the Apple Maps and the Google Maps route planner provide turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic updates, estimated times of arrival (ETA), and alternative route suggestions. Neither, however, offer dedicated routing capabilities for owner-operators or trucking companies. This means they don’t account for factors like truck dimensions, weight restrictions, regulatory requirements, or commercial routing restrictions, which are critical in the best navigation app for truckers.

You can count on the accuracy of the Apple Maps and the Google Maps trip planner, but for diesel truckers, specialized GPS devices may be more suitable. CoPilot Truck, Motive and Trucker Path offer popular options.

Winner: Tie


Although they may not be the best trucker GPS tools overall, the broad availability of the free Apple and Google Maps apps make them convenient options for many drivers. 

Apple Maps comes pre-installed on all iOS devices, and is available in more than 200 countries. On the other hand, Apple Maps is restricted to iOS, MacOS, and WatchOS devices, limiting its user base to Apple product users. Google Maps is available on various platforms, including iOS, Android, and web browsers, giving it an edge in terms of availability. 

Both are available as standalone apps on select car infotainment systems, such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 

Winner: Google Maps

Traffic, accidents, and weather updates

Both Google Maps and Apple Maps provide real-time traffic updates and accident notifications, which can be extremely valuable for drivers navigating busy routes who need the best trucking GPS. 

Google Maps’ live traffic updates are known for their accuracy and timeliness. It can also reroute you based on these updates, helping you avoid heavy traffic or road accidents. On the other hand, Apple Maps also provides traffic information and accident reports but is often seen as less detailed compared to Google Maps. Neither service offers real-time weather updates as a standard feature, but you can overlay weather data from other sources on Google Maps.

Winner: Google Maps

User interfaces

Google Maps is known for its detailed and information-rich user interface. It offers features like live view, location sharing, and the ability to add your business to the map. Other features such as elevation data and a compass are also available. There’s also a Google Maps timeline that records your location history, which can be helpful for tracking routes and stops.

Apple Maps, on the other hand, offers a sleek and straightforward interface that is easy to use. It also allows businesses to add or update their information using Apple Maps Connect. Apple Maps also features street view functionality and Apple offline maps capabilities.

Winner: Tie

Weighing the best truck GPS apps 

So which one is the best truck driving GPS? Between the two, the top commercial GPS navigator distinction goes to Google Maps. However, for general directions and traffic information, both services offer robust tools that can help semitruck drivers plan and navigate their routes.

But in terms of the best GPS navigation for commercial truckers specifically, neither Apple Maps nor Google Maps offers the most comprehensive features available. Specialized trucking GPS apps or devices are often preferred for their ability to provide truck-specific routing and alerts. 


Does Google Maps provide truck routes?

Google Maps does not have a specific feature to provide trucker route planning. While it’s excellent for general navigation and directions, it does not take into account the unique needs of truckers, such as vehicle size, weight restrictions, bridge heights, and road suitability for large vehicles. As a result, it isn’t ideal for providing driving directions for truckers.

What is the best navigation app for truckers?

Several navigation apps are specifically designed for truckers. Some of the top-rated ones include CoPilot Truck, Motive and Trucker Path.

Does Google Maps show cops?

Google Maps does not show the location of law enforcement officers in real-time. However, it does show the location of police stations. It is always important to follow traffic rules and regulations and drive safely regardless of police presence.

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