The original release of iOS 6 in September removed Google Maps as a stock app and replaced it with the now notorious Apple maps service. If you held off from updating iOS 5, then you will have kept Google Maps but your handset would be on an ‘old’ operating system, lacking enhancements such as the newer version of Siri.
The re-release of Google Maps for iOS in last week enabled the iOS 6 refuseniks to upgrade at last.
The mobile ad exchange provider MoPub has reported that it saw a 29 per cent increase in the number of unique iOS 6 users in the five days after the new Google Maps was released. The company serves 12,000 apps, across a dozen ad networks, serving a total of 1 billion ad impressions a day, so it has a large set of data to sample from.
There had been an initial rise of 13 per cent in iOS 6 iPhone users in the first three days of Google Maps’ release, with the figure had more than doubling by the end of the week, presumably as word spread about the Maps app availability, and its overwhelmingly positive feedback (especially compared to Apple’s Maps, which continues to cause controversy).
As reported this week, Google Maps for iOS 6 was downloaded more than 10 million times in its first 48 hours.
It’s not yet known if the Apple Maps issue was enough to put people off buying an iPhone 5 in recent weeks, as it comes with iOS 6 pre-installed, and so only now would iPhone 5 users be able to access Google Maps too. However, the sudden rapid uptake of iOS 6 in the last few days is a reasonably clear indication of the power and impact that a key app like Google Maps can wield.