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Google takes another shot at the iPhone with latest Pixel 3a ad

This time around, the focus is on Google Maps.

Published onMay 21, 2019

Yesterday, Google released a new advertisement that props up the Pixel 3a and pushes the latest iPhone to the curb. Unlike the previous ad that talked about low-light photography, the latest ad talks about AR navigation in Google Maps.

The ad puts Apple Maps and Google Maps next to each other in a side-by-side comparison. While Apple Maps only shows a blue dot that shows your location, the simulated AR view in Google Maps places large floating arrows in the real world. When the camera pans away from the arrow, the AR view presents a dot that shows where to pan to see your next step.

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As we get near the end of the ad, we see the Pixel 3a’s $399 starting price point compared to the $999 price of “Phone X.” We assume that Phone X is the iPhone XS, since the 64GB unlocked model starts at $999.

What’s odd is that AR navigation in Google Maps is coming to iOS. The feature was announced during Google I/O 2019 and is only available for Pixel phones for the time being. As such, the ad is as much about getting features like AR navigation on a phone that costs a fraction of the price of an iPhone as it is about Apple Maps versus Google Maps.

This is Google’s latest shot at the iPhone, with the company critiquing the iPhone’s camera in an ad released almost two weeks ago. In that ad, Google touted the Pixel 3a’s Night Sight feature and brought up the phone’s relatively lower starting price.

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