Car.com took a look at the differences between maps on iOS 5 and 6, but only on an iPhone 4. The more interesting comparisons would be on a 4S, which would be fully functional with the new features such as spoken turn-by-turn directions and 3D graphics. On the other hand, many of our readers updating to iOS 6 on an iPhone 4 will find the face-off interesting.
The tests were done by David Thomas and Dave Lee. They liked the real time search results from Yelp when they selected a destination. They also found the routing similar to what Google was providing in iOS 5. They also appreciated the larger type and helpful pop-up windows that did not cause you to squint while driving. The pair found the iOS 6 maps far less cluttered than the Google variety. The maps showed less detail if you were zoomed out, but gave similar detail when you zoomed in.
Traffic worked sometimes and was helpful when it did. Without voice prompts that only work on an iPhone 4S, the team found the maps easier to read and liked the integration of Yelp. They don’t consider what they tested a full-fledged substitute for a GPS system, either from a 3rd party on the iPhone or a dedicated GPS unit.
They added: “At this stage, it’s more of an iterative improvement that will make current users happier.” They concluded that right now Maps “looks like a prettier version of the Google app.”