Google Earth

Google Earth 7.1.1

Explore the planet from your iPhone or iPad

Google Earth for iOS, allows you to navigate the globe from the comfort of your Apple device. View full description

PROS

  • Rich, well presented maps
  • Cool map-tilting action
  • Simple location searching
  • 3D view for certain cities
  • Google Street View integration
  • Handy layers reveal points of interest

CONS

  • Touch controls can be choppy or unresponsive
  • Directions feature not well integrated

Very good
8

Google Earth for iOS, allows you to navigate the globe from the comfort of your Apple device.

Explore the World from your sitting room

The application uses the same satellite and aerial photography found in the desktop version of Google Earth, only this time you navigate the globe simply by swishing your fingers across the screen.

Google Earth for iPhone is great for finding your way around the planet. It can detect your current location and automatically centers the map on this point when you hit the Location icon. You can search for addresses anywhere in the World, as you would with the desktop version.

Getting directions in Google Earth for iOS from point A to point B is much less easy than apps like Google Maps and Apple's own Maps app. It's not immediately obvious where to find directions. They can actually be accessed by searching "From start point to destination" in the search box. You can then get step-by-step instructions in the pop-up window. You can visualize the route in the map depending on if you're traveling by car, on foot, public transport, or bicycle. However, there's no way to drop a pin in a certain point and get directions from/to there.

Google Earth for iOS has a facility for perusing Places, BusinessesWikipedia articles and geo-tagged Panoramic photos. These can be added as layers, so lots of information can be overlayed on a map at once. Google Street View support is included too, allowing you to get a close-up view of individual streets. There's also support for 3D views of certain cities.

Google Earth includes the ability to view maps created on your desktop computer on your iOS device, which is a nice idea. 

Getting around with Google Earth

It's advisable to have a look at the controls system in the program's Tutorial section before you start using Google Earth on your iPhone or iPad, because some of the commands aren't immediately obvious. .

You can swipe the map in any direction to move around, pinch your fingers to zoom out, tap on a spot to zoom in, or make a circular motion with your fingers to rotate the viewpoint. You can even view the lie of the terrain just by tilting your iOS device.

Although the controls seem simple, in practice they are quite unresponsive at times. Depending on what you're looking at, navigation can be quite choppy, making honing in on a precise spot pretty infuriating. This is especially true of older model iPhones and iPads.

Budget travel on iOS

Google Earth is a powerful tool for helping you explore our planet whether for research or just curiosity. The user experience of this iOS version could be smoother, though.

Google Earth

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Google Earth 7.1.1

User reviews about Google Earth

  • kangang

    by kangang

    "Tuneup360"

    I think an easy way to keep your computer from running Slow is to install a PC protector or cleaning, according to my pe... More.

    reviewed on December 25, 2010

  • Matt Perkins

    by Matt Perkins

    "Find Places Near You From A Satellite Point Of View"

    Google Earth allows you to have a satellite view of your location, it can even zoom in enough to show you a 3D street vi... More.

    reviewed on August 8, 2010