Got a Motorola Xoom and feeling jealous of your friends with Google Earth on their iPads? A quick trip to the Market and you’ll be the one gloating, as Google has released an update for Google Earth for Android that runs on Honeycomb natively.
Google Earth comes alive on a tablet, and lets you visit anywhere in the world with a tap and a flick. While Google Earth on phones can be awesome, it takes a whole new life seeing it on a bigger touch-controlled screen. According to Google’s blog post, Earth for Android “looks better than ever on your tablet.”
Among the improvements made to the latest version of Google Earth for Android are fully textured 3D buildings, an action bar that makes searching and switching between tools easier, and a cool new feature called “fly to your location.” When you use fly, instead of jumping quickly to the new location when you search, Google Earth animates you literally flying there, showing you the scenery passing by underneath as you’re flying to the location. Who needs to travel when you have Google Earth to fly you there for free?
There are a variety of other tablet-optimized features in the new update as well, including pop-up layer information windows allowing you see things like photos, Wikipedia entries, and Google Places information all from within a window of the app. You can see the information without leaving the main Google Earth view and switching back and forth. According to Google, going from a mobile phone to a tablet with Google earth is like “going from a regular movie theatre to IMAX.”
For example, look at the image above. On a phone, if you want to view pictures of the┬áColiseum, you’d lose sight of the building model and have to switch to a separate screen to see the pictures. With Google Earth on Honeycomb, now you can see photos and the building model with the convenient pop-up window. Google Earth is the ultimate tablet show-off app, and it’s great that it’s finally made its way to Android tablets.
To download or update Google Earth, head on over to the Android Market.