Despite getting kicked out of iOS, Google Maps is still wildly popular on the mobile platform. After one week in the App Store, Google Maps has already hit 10 million downloads, making it the most popular free program available in that marketplace.
This news comes as Google and Apple intensify their battle for mobile market supremacy—a battle that Google appears to be winning quite handily.
Google Maps’ popularity isn’t all that surprising among those who have used Apple Maps. Apple’s application was overrun with problems that the company has promised to fix in subsequent updates. But so far, the application is still as useless as it was months ago when it launched, leaving iOS users to scramble for programs to replace it. After all, mapping applications are extremely important on mobile devices. Too bad Apple didn’t deliver a quality product.
But Google has. Now the company is reaping the rewards of that effort. Here are the reasons why Google Maps was a sure hit once it arrived in the App Store.
1. Apple Maps won’t cut it
After using Apple’s Maps for a few minutes, iOS users will quickly find that the application just doesn’t hold up. Apple Maps lacks many of the details found in Google Maps and includes a wide array of inaccuracies that can’t be overlooked. People have been using Google Maps on many platforms for years, and it always seems to work. Apple Maps looks pathetic in comparison.
2. The hype was huge
Prior to Google Maps’ launch, news stories continued to appear on whether Apple would even allow the program into the App Store. Once the Google app launched, nearly all reviewers said it was a must-have for iOS users. That hype contributed significantly to Google’s success.
3. StreetView is important
StreetView is arguably the best reason to download Google Maps. The feature allows users to see a view of a particular neighborhood or street nearly anywhere in the world as if they were standing there. It’s a feature that’s not available from Apple, and something that many folks missed in iOS.
4. The syncing is nice
Google’s Maps application allows users to look for locations and get directions from their computers. Later on they can access them automatically within the mobile application. The synchronization feature is a huge advantage over other mapping applications and something a lot of folks have found appealing.
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5. Popular apps tend to stay popular
If there is any general rule in the App Store, it’s that it’s extremely difficult for small developers to get noticed, but quite easy for hugely popular apps to stay popular. So, once Google Maps became popular on launch day, it only makes sense that its success will continue.
6. Big companies get major attention
Another important thing to consider about the App Store is that programs developed by major companies tend to get more attention than those that are made by garage developers. So, whenever Google launches a program, it gets a lot of attention. And in turn, that attention turns into downloads.
7. The desktop experience plays a role
It’s important to remember that Google’s success in mobile has been largely driven by its ability to attract—and keep—consumers on the Web. After all, Google Maps was first made popular on the Internet and then made its way to mobile devices, where it thrived. The proven success of Maps on the Internet made it the natural choice on iOS and other mobile platforms.
8. Accuracy matters
There’s simply no way to compare the accuracy of the driving directions offered on Google Maps and those delivered by Apple’s Maps. The two applications are worlds apart, and will likely remain so until Apple gets its act together. Considering how important accuracy is, it’s extremely important for Apple to improve its program before Google’s dominance of mapping on iOS becomes permanent.
9. Users are accustomed to it
Although Google Maps is a slight refresh over the previous version bundled into iOS, the fact that the application came built in to all previous versions of Apple’s software means something. For years now, iOS users have been getting directions and finding places with Google’s app before it was torn from anyone who bought an iPhone 5 or upgraded to iOS 6. Is it really all that surprising that so many people downloaded the app that allowed them to get it back?
10. Blame it on Apple
Not only did Apple release a very poor quality Maps application, but let’s not forget that the iPhone maker practically pushed customers to its competition. After apologizing for Maps’ troubles earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said several third-party apps are available that might do the trick until his company’s app is ready. Consumers obviously listened.