Google Earth goes 3D on the new iPad, iPad 2 and iPhone 4S
Google has released its 3D maps for the new iPad, iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S via the Google Earth application for iOS. This feature was first demonstrated in June barely a week before Apple announced it was ditching Google Maps for its own solution for iOS.
The release of the 3D view allows users to fly through 3D city landscapes and images and also take virtual tours of places the user has never been to. The interface is optimized for touch, so everything works via swipes.
Currently, Google Earth supports on a limited number of cities in 3D that include, Boulder, Boston, Charlotte, Lawrence, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Tampa, Tucson, and the San Francisco Bay Area (including the Peninsula and East Bay) as well as Rome, Italy. Google says that it will keep building 3D views of new cities and it hopes to provide coverage for metropolitan cities covering around 300 million people.
Tour Guide is another new feature added to Google Earth. This allows the user to take short tours of thousands of famous places and historical sites across the globe. One can just tap the bottom of the screen on the Tour Guide button and each image highlights a tour or place of interest in the area you are looking. As one flies around in 3D, Google even provides snippets from Wikipedia about the location in question.
Tour Guide will work on all iOS devices running iOS 4.2 or higher, however 3D maps view will only work on the new iPad, the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S, hinting that a dual-core SoC with a dedicated graphics processor is prerequisite for this feature.
Google Earth can be downloaded for free for iOS here, however the application is not available for Indian iOS users, yet.