Over the last few months of 2012, Google was on a mission to improve its iPhone app offerings, launching new versions of YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail and adding features to its other apps, including voice to it’s Search app and spreadsheet editing tools to Drive. All of the new features reflected Google’s considerable efforts to enhance its iOS apps. While much has been written about how these updates have affected the App Store download charts, in this Onavo Insights report we’ve taken a look at how Google’s efforts have impacted actual consumer usage.
YouTube: YouTube joins the ranks of most used apps
When YouTube became available as a free download in the App Store, there was no doubt that it would be popular, but the YouTube app has become more than popular. YouTube is an app giant. The month of its September, 2012 release, YouTube reached a 20% market share. As of December, its market share was 44.5%! The full-YouTube-experience app has quickly gained momentum, making it one of the most used apps by US iPhone users.
Google Maps: Google navigates a win with Maps
The reappearance of Google’s Maps in the App Store on December 13, 2012 was a great day for both iPhone users and Google. Not only did iPhone users run to the App Store, at least metaphorically, to update their devices with superb maps, satellite and navigation tools, but Google also got to see remarkable adoption of its new app. Within 2 days of its release in the App Store, Maps saw a 5.7% market share in the US. Over the course of the holiday season, iPhone users gifted themselves Google’s Maps, and, in return, Google drove itself to another win with market share growth of over 400% for Maps from 12/16/12-12/31/12.
Google Search: Voice adds to Search’s appeal
Since its major update back in May 2012, Google’s search app for iOS has consistently held on to a double-digit market share – search of course being the service Google is most ubiquitously known for. This was given an added bump on October 30th when Google added advanced voice search to the app further enhancing its appeal and bumping its market share by 24% to 16% of all US iPhone users.
Gmail: Google’s Gmail wins big with US iPhone users with the launch of Gmail 2.0
Gmail’s market share in the US increased by over 40% within a single month. The swell in Gmail’s US market share coincided with the December 4, 2012 launch of Gmail 2.0, as the app’s market share grew from 6.9% (November, 2012) to 9.8% (December, 2012). The app’s incredible market share gains proves that better user experiences, attained with time-saving features and a sleek new designs, leads to exceptional popularity.
Chrome: Google’s web browser stays strong
Google Chrome has continued to consolidate its position as the number one 3rd party web browser for iPhone. After a slight drop in October, Chrome came back strong in November with an update, adding Passbook support and the ability to open PDFs in other apps. By December 9.5% of US iPhone users were active on Chrome.
Google Translate: Minor updates bring gains to Translate
The Google Translate app chugged along through the second-half of 2012 at a steady 4.8% market share, a minor update in early November helped spark a jump to a 5.7% and 5.8% share in November and December respectively.
Google Earth: Cross-promotion helps Google Earth grow
Google Earth has maintained a healthy, steady market share of about 2.7% (US) over the last six months. The app saw the first real bump in its market share in December, when it grew from 2.6% (November, 2012) to 4.5% in the US. This healthy increase in app usage can be attributed to Google’s December launch of Google Maps, which also promotes Google Earth.
Google Drive: Google continues to successfully steer US iPhone users to Drive
Google Drive’s market share growth on iOS has been consistently growing. Back in July, 2012, Drive had a market share in the US of 0.8%; as of December, 2012, its US market share had grown to 3.6%. The increase in Drive usage may be due to updates to the Google Drive app, including spreadsheet editing tools that were added on November 28, 2012.