Google released their new app, Google Maps
for the iPhone, last week. Within 48 hours it was downloaded over 10 million times. Users were clearly excited about the release after Apple discontinued the use of Google Maps three months ago and replaced it with their own software. The Apple software was harder to use, had difficulty finding locations, and as I found out – would even send you to a different state. The Apple program had so many complaints that CEO Tim Cook apologized for its performance. Those used to the convenience of Google Maps awaited its return to the iPhone and raced to download the application, making it one of the most popular mobile applications in history.
The Google Maps release also prompted more iPhone users to upgrade to the new iOS 6 system. According to TechCrunch
over 30% more users upgraded after the launch of the Google Maps application. Users were refusing to do so prior to the applications release due to negativity surrounding Apple Maps.
The Google Maps application is user friendly and combines the best of an online map program with the ease of mobile technology. Once a user downloads the app, they can type in a business name or category to find businesses near their current location. For example, after typing in grocery store the map will be filled with dots showing their location. You can also see a list of options with contact information, ratings and location – similar to how you would when searching for businesses on a desktop. As a benefit, once the destination is selected, Google Maps will say how far it is to get there and provide a route for driving, walking, or taking public transit.
Businesses can benefit greatly by working with Google and Google maps. By having a business location listed with Google, companies will show up in a search both in the dot view, list and map itself. This recognition can help businesses attract new customers. For example a shoe store in Denver can be listed with Google and when someone is visiting, needing emergency foot ware, they can type in the category and get instant directions to nearby businesses. In an age where most people are focused on convenience, the Google Maps app makes it easy to find your way around any city, at any time.
The Google Maps app has multiple user and business friendly features such as click to call so users can quickly contact a business without writing down the number. Users can also go to the company website, save the business location as one of their favorites and share it with friends. For example, if someone is looking for a lunch spot to meet a friend, they can search for restaurants and after finding one they like, share it. The person on the receiving end will have the business information and directions on how to find it. This feature was a smart add on by Google, as it is likely to prompt more people to download the app after having business information shared with them.
The application also features reviews of businesses uploaded by Google and Google+ users.
Dynamic Web Solutions said, “Our clients are using Google+ to be found through a local search and the Google Maps app will expose those businesses to a wider range of consumers, driving traffic to their retail stores.” With Google Maps being the number one free application on the Apple store, mobile users are able to get instant access to the services they need and get instant directions on how to get there. iPhone users are celebrating the return of Google Maps and with so many users, businesses are wise to hop on the bandwagon.