Google+ for iPhone tops charts despite buggy start

by Kristen Nicole

Google+ has been available on Android phones since late June, but iPhone users had to wait until earlier this week to tap into the latest thing in social networking. And it seems they couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. Google+’s iPhone app shot to the top of iTunes’ App Store charts within 24 hours of its release.

Despite a few issues with the first version of Google+ for iPhone, users were anxious to try the mobile companion to the search engine’s new spin on private, social sharing. Good thing Google (GOOG) was quick to fix the problem, pushing through an updated version of the Google+ app for the iPhone.

"When we launched, the App Store started serving a previous test version of the App which didn't have the stability and fixes that the latest version had," Soni Punit, lead product manager for Google+ Mobile, explains. "It started serving the correct version a little later. If you downloaded within the first 1 hour 40 mins, you may have downloaded the older test version."

Google vs. Apple: innovation at stake

The immediate success of Google+’s iPhone app is a slap in the face to Apple (AAPL), which Google president Eric Schmidt called out yesterday for lacking innovation. At a mobile event in Tokyo, Schmidt dismisses the growing patent issues from Apple, Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle as “legal fun,” saying Google’s competitors are jealous, regressing to lawsuits instead of new products. The comments came after a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled that HTC (2498.TW) in fact infringed on two of Apple’s patents, which appear to be part of the core Android OS. Google is coming to the defense of HTC and other manufacturers currently facing the deluge of patent cases from Android’s primary rivals.