Google has announced that it is releasing an update to Google Earth for Android that will optimize the service for Android 3.0 devices and add several unique features to the tablet version of the app.
The list of new features all take advantage of tablets’ increased screen real-estate and processing power compared to their smartphone counterparts. Peter Birch, Google Product Manager, described the increased opportunities presented by tablets on the official Google Blog announcement: “Moving from a mobile phone to a tablet was like going from a regular movie theatre to IMAX.”
In the tablet version of Google Earth for Android, users can expect fully textured 3D buildings, and a new toolbar that is the launch point for a number of other unique features. Aside making the search for new locations faster and more efficient, this search bar will also provide users with the option to “fly to a location,” and includes layers from Wikipedia, the Google Places app, and Panoramio photos.
And with the increased screen size of tablets, these layers can be open within Google Earth’s viewing mode. So, for example, a user could continue looking at the Google Earth image of a place, while also viewing Panoramio pictures, all within the same screen.
The new interface can be seen in action in the screen shot at the top of this page.
Google Earth in both its tablet and smartphone versions is currently available for free in the Android Market.
Source: Google Blog