iPhone just might be the best thing that has ever happened to Google Maps -– it has made them popular like never before and has driven the usage substantially. This information comes courtesy of Marissa Mayer, Google’s (GOOG) vice president of search products & user experience.
She was a fellow judge at the TechCrunch 40 conference in San Francisco and came on The GigaOM Show as a guest for one of our future episodes.
She said that Google Maps usage shot up sharply after the release of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone back in July. “Maps usage hasn’t stopped rising,” she said during our conversation. Steve Jobs had bragged about Google Maps for iPhone as the best map application, and the usage patterns bear that out.
How about YouTube, which is getting heavy promotion on television as part of Apple’s ad campaign? Meyer said YouTube on iPhone has not caused any major upsurge in video viewing. No surprise there. I’ve watched YouTube on my iPhone maybe once or twice. Most of the time when you want to watch videos you are stuck with a pokey EDGE connection –- and who needs that?
The lesson for other video aspirants: Make sure your applications run on 3G networks, otherwise people won’t care two bits.