Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook might have issued a heartfelt apology for the subpar new Maps app, but look on the bright side: Apple’s vector graphics-based app is actually up to five times more data efficient than Google’s (GOOG) raster graphics-based iOS Maps app, according to a new analysis from Onavo. By using vector graphics, Apple’s Maps app doesn’t need to re-download map images every time a user adjusts the view leading to less data consumption.
Onavo’s findings are an eye-opener: “On Google Maps, the average data loaded from the cellular network for each step was 1.3MB. 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.” Google uses vector graphics for the Android version of its Maps app but never ported those graphics over to the iOS version.