Google seeing the benefits of having their services on iOS devices.

June 10, 2013
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We heard it time and again at Google I/O: The search giant is about services above all else. Their dictum seems to have the undertone that things like Android and Chrome are simply conduits for their services. This is the real reason Nexus devices are so cost effective for consumers, so that attitude is clearly working. Things like Google Maps are far and away the best around, bolstering their position as a service-first company.

While Android demands a huge part of the world’s market share, iOS is not a platform that can (or should) be ignored. According to Onavo, Google is seeing a lot of success from having their services on iOS devices.

The more people that are reached, the more ad revenue can be realized for Google.

If you’re curious who Onavo is, you’re probably not alone. Onavo is an app developer, most notably for watch-dogging your power consumption. Their apps are designed to save you from using unnecessary data, or telling you which apps use the most data, much like the native function in Android 4.0 and above.

As a service that watches apps and consumption on a lot of iOS devices, they may have unique knowledge of the situation. According to their numbers, about 69% of iPhone users utilized a Google app in the month of May. That’s a huge jump from August of last year, where they note about 32% of users doing the same thing.

Curious which Google apps were used the most? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Youtube was used on 49.5% of devices
  • Google Maps? 32% (let’s hope the rest aren’t on Apple Maps)
  • Google Search was used by 16%, not surprising since Siri is the default for many
  • Chrome? A respectable 17.6%, up from about 8% in August of last year.
  • Google Drive has seen a very nice uptick, being used on about 4% of devices, compared to 0.8% in August

Neither Apple nor Google would comment on these numbers, as they’re not official or thorough. Onavo can, obviously, only consider those devices which their app is on. While a good sampling, the figures should not be considered wholly accurate.

Apple seems to have come to the realization that Google just does some stuff better.

The more people that are reached, the more ad revenue can be realized for Google. The better services are on offer, the happier iOS customers are. Then again, the casual iOS user could end up falling for Google services so much, they switch to Android. For those who don’t have an allegiance one way or another, those powerhouse services Google offers may just tip the scale in their favor.

Some of these services aren’t new for iOS users, but the “official” Google iteration is. Last year, Apple stopped preloading YouTube and Maps on their devices. Those apps were developed by Apple, utilizing Google’s information. Essentially, they were bastard versions of what they could be. The decision to stop loading the apps was the result of a long dispute between the companies regarding monetization and app homogeneity. Apple wants apps that fall in line with their design principles, and Google wants to be able to monetize their services. Now that they’ve ironed those differences out, iOS users are getting more official (and better) Google services.

Apple seems to have come to the realization that Google just does some stuff better. It’s not a slight, it’s just reality. It’s also worth noting that Google and Apple only really came together on this after Steve jobs passed away, which could be a sign at a more cohesive relationship. Things like Maps are a huge undertaking, and one Apple screwed up thoroughly. YouTube is a monster, and Chrome is simply preferred by many. Even if Apple fanatics won’t move away from their hardware, it’s reasonable to believe that they use Google services on their desktops. Having them on an iPhone or iPad only makes sense. For everyone.

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