released an iPhone version (iTunes link) of its popular Google Earth desktop mapping application. We have seen a wide range of interesting iPhone applications lately, but few have been as impressive as Google Earth on the iPhone. Google has taken the basics of the Google Earth interface and brought them to the iPhone. The app feels highly responsive and effectively mimics the desktop application on the iPhone.Google just
There is no denying it, Google Earth on the iPhone is a gorgeous application and thanks to the multi-touch interface, it's extremely easy to use. Besides bringing the basic Google Earth features to the phone, the iPhone app also displays links to Wikipedia articles and photos from Panoramio. Because Google integrated a browser into the app, you can seamlessly jump back and forth between the app and the web content.
Of course, the app also makes use of the iPhone's GPS, though the lack of street names on the satellite images still gives the standard Google Maps application an edge over Google Earth for navigation.
Somehow, Google thought that it would be a good idea for the app to zoom in from space to your last location every time you start the app. This gets old pretty quickly and takes up unnecessary time whenever you start the program.
Also, while Google Earth on the desktop allows you to add various layers with information, the iPhone app doesn't even have the ability to show a layer with street names. To be fair, this is probably due to the limits of the phone's processing power and memory, but it does reduce the usefulness of the app considerably.
Google Earth uses the iPhone's accelerometer to tilt the screen. As long as you are sitting at your desk, this works great, but once you hand your phone to somebody else, the screen will inevitably tilt and move the focus, which can be quite annoying. You can, however, turn this auto-tilt feature off in the settings
, but then you lose the ability to tilt the screen altogether.
Google Earth on the iPhone is a clear winner. Graphically, it's already a stunning application, and Google will surely add more functionality - like street names - to it in the next few iterations. Of course, just like the desktop application, it is also a great application to just play with when you have a few extra minutes to spare.