Google had 5 of 6 top mobile apps in 2012


Although Apple did not make it into the top six mobile apps in 2012, Apple Maps prevented Android-maker Google from capturing all six positions, according to Internet research firm comScore. As it is, the Mountain View, California search firm captured five of the six slots, it’s Google Maps mobile app falling to No. 2 after briefly being dropped by Apple.

Social media giant Facebook claimed the number one spot in a list of top apps for 2012, pushing Google Maps into second place, Internet researchers announced Thursday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg might consider sending Apple a thank-you note, as the iOS Maps debacle is now seen as the reason for Facebook overcoming its rival…

Despite the upset in the No. 1 spot, Google apps were five of the top mobile apps ranked by number of visitors, according to comScore.

Google Play ended 2012 as No. 3, Google Search in No. 4, Gmail in No. 5 and Google’s video-sharing site YouTube rounded out the top six spots.

While Facebook’s app accounts for 23 percent of time spent on mobile apps, Apple’s decision to drop Google Maps for Apple Maps “is largely responsible for the position swap,” report author Andrew Lipsman wrote at the research firm’s blog.

Google Maps has been clawing its way back the past few months after getting reinstated on iOS 6, so look for the competition for the #1 spot to heat up as we head into 2013.

Here’s your chart.


Although Apple only relented and let Google Maps back in the fold after waves of customer complaints, the move has also helped the iPhone maker.

Along with boosting iOS 6 adoption, both commentators and Google itself said Google Maps is better on iOS than Android. Google’s mapping app for iOS even fueled traffic to Apple’s App Store.

Both Facebook and Google accounted for one-third of all time spent in mobile apps, the research said. While Facebook comprised 23 percent of mobile usage, Google’s apps combined account for 10 percent of mobile app time.

The free Gmail app by itself attracted 3 percent of mobile app time, according to comScore.

Apple’s iTunes was the No. 8 most-visited mobile app. By comparison, comScore listed Google Play for Android smartphones in fourth position.

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Despite the rise of tablets over PCs, smartphones still drive mobile app usage. Mobile apps account for four out of every five minutes spent on smartphones, according to the researcher.

Besides the increasing friction between Google and Facebook, we should see a number of mobile app questions answered in 2013.

This year may be the break-out year for Twitter, Amazon or eBay to make it into the top 10 mobile apps. Also, as people increasingly turn to mobile streaming video services, such as Netflix and Hulu, we could see some competition for YouTube’s place.

“If there is one thing we can all bet on, it’s that the market will look very different a year from now,” Lipsman writes.