We already pointed out in December that iOS devices seem to be running more Google apps than any other apps available in the App Store. So it makes sense that five of the top six mobile apps In 2012 were made by the search engine giant. Apple's decision to replace Google Maps on iOS 6 is the only reason why Facebook managed to nab the number one spot in 2012, according to the latest comScore Mobile Metrix ranking. Other apps rounding out the chart include Pandora, iTunes, Cooliris and Yahoo! Messenger.
Facebook also dominated in app usage accounting for 23% of time spent on apps. Facebook's redesigned app, which was much faster and user friendly, probably helped with usage. Facebook's sister app Instagram nabbed 3% of the market, while Gmail was the most used Google app. Various Google apps also accounted for 10% of app usage, making Facebook and Google products the most used on mobile devices in 2012.
I've recently noticed that my iPhone is starting to look like a Google billboard, and I'm starting to wonder if other iPhone owners are feeling the same way.
YouTube beat out Instagram as the most downloaded free app of the year, and Google Maps shot to the top of the charts after being downloaded over 10 million times in less than two days. Granted, YouTube and Google Maps were already popular apps people were used to using, and iPhone owners just wanted them back after Apple removed them with iOS 6. But if you're like me, and have traded in Siri for Google Search, and Safari for Google Chrome, you might feel like you're betraying Apple a little.
Then there are Gmail users and the social networking addicts who use Google+ along with Facebook and Twitter, and now Google is taking over our iPhone cameras with YouTube Capture. At this rate iPhone users are going to find themselves with more Google apps on their devices than stock Apple apps, or any other third party apps.
Google has launched a new app for the iPhone that aims to make sharing videos on YouTube easier and faster. Once installed, users can set preferences for automatic color correction, video stabilization and location services. You can then use the app to record videos and automatically upload them to YouTube, Google+, Facebook and Twitter . The app also allows you to set privacy settings, edit your video and add free background music.
Two of my favorite features are the ability to upload videos while the app is minimized, and that the app forces users to hold their phone in a horizontal position, in an effort to eliminate the annoying Vertical Video Syndrome.
Google has finally released a new Maps app for the iPhone after the Apple Maps fiasco.
iPhone users have been clamoring for the return of Google Maps since the release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, when Apple replaced the app with its own mapping software. Apple Maps has been widely ridiculed for giving inaccurate information, and has even become the butt of many jokes after Australian police claimed it was dangerous.
The new Google Maps features turn-by-turn navigation and the popular Street View and transit direction options missing from Apple Maps. David Pogue of The New York Times writes: "The brand-new, completely rethought design is slick, simple and coherent. Google admits that it’s even better than Google Maps for Android phones, which has accommodated its evolving feature set mainly by piling on menus."
Pretty soon Google's and Apple's voice assistants will come to blows. The Google Search app for iOS has been updated with major improvements for iPhone users including improved voice search. The update proves that Siri might be getting a run for her money sooner rather than later.
Google Search is available for free on the App Store. Not only does the latest version understand natural language queries, but the app will read back results when they are found. The entire experience is of course powered by Google's unrivaled search engine.
Ever since the iPhone 5 launch, Apple's Maps application has come under fire as one of the top five iPhone 5 complaints. Google Maps fans miss street view and transit directions, and some have experienced other glitches as Apple continues to work on the software. Added functionality from Apple such as turn-by-turn navigation and Flyover mode have made it easier to accept the new Maps.
Rumors have been bouncing around that Google would attempt to release its own stand-alone iOS app to compete with the native Apple version. Whether or not Apple will approve such an app remains to be seen. The images above are purportedly of the alpha version of Google Maps currently in development. Assuming these are genuine, Google is in fact working on a Google Maps application for iOS.
In the world of smartphones customer satisfaction normally rises with each new OS update. The iPhone went from an average customer rating of 6.93 to an average of 7.7 when iOS 5 was launched. However, Apple has seen its first slip with customer satisfaction with the launch of iOS 6. According to the mobile research group On Device (via Cult of Mac), Apple's rating slightly dipped to 7.65 from 7.75. The slight decline in customer satisfaction is most likely due to disappointment over Apple's new Maps app. Good thing for Apple that Google is rumored to be working on a new app for the iPhone and iPad.
On Tuesday, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Google had made no move towards creatig a Maps app for the App Store. However, unnamed inside sources told the New York Times a different story, claiming Google is indeed in the process of developing a maps application for iOS devices. The app will hopefully be ready by the end of this year. But why the delay? Google had no problem replacing the booted stock YouTube app with a new standalone app a few days before iOS 6 was released.
Google is in no rush to create a standalone Maps app for the Apple App Store, said Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Apple replaced the Google Maps app with its own mapping service with the launch of iOS 6. iPhone 5 owners and users who upgraded their devices have complained that Apple's new map service features too many geographical errors, and is missing many of the Google Maps features that so many iOS users enjoyed.
Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told a small group of reporters in Tokyo that he can't force Apple to use Google's mapping services.
"We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" said Schmidt. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."
To enable the Google handwriting recognition option for Google Search, go to google.com/preferences, and select the "Enable" button under "Handwrite". This will allow you to use your finger to search Google instead of typing your inquiry into the search box. Just tap the 'g' button while on google.com and the feature will automatically convert your handwriting into text.
Google has been adding some interesting new mobile features today. First there was the Google Earth 3D update, and now 9to5Mac has discovered a new handwriting feature for Google Search. The handwriting recognition option allows you use your finger to write what you're searching for. This eliminates fat finger typos when using the iPhone's smaller screen.
To activate the new feature go to google.com/preferences on your iPhone or iPad, and enable the "Handwrite" feature. Then tap the ‘g’ icon while on google.com to start writing. The feature will automatically convert your handwriting into text inside of the search box.