Everyone is familiar with Google Earth but I really love this App on the iPad. I downloaded it shortly after I got my iPad. If you have your GPS and Wifi enabled on your device, when you open the app it will show you right where you are. I think Google earth was one of the first Apps I tried on my iPad so I was really amazed that the App could find me. You can blow it up so that it will be able to show you actually moving about in your house. Well you see a dot not you but it can be a little freaky and fun at the same time. I have it on my iPhone too and it works just as well on the smaller screen.
Downloading the App
The App is free at the App Store. I do not have an android device but I assume that the App is free for those devices as well. I have downloaded the App on both my iPad and my iPhone. I have an iPhone 4s with iOS 6 software. My iPad is an iPad 2. Downloading gave me no problems on either device and I have not had any issues since.
My Experience using the App
I will use my iPhone for the purpose of this review since I just downloaded an update to my phone and the App so it should be the most updated version.
Set Up: When you first open the App, it will show you some basic tools to help using the app be a little more fun. It is a short little tutorial but helps you to get the most from the app. You can access this tutorial again at any time from the settings menu which is a little wrench at the bottom right of your screen.
Settings: There are quite a few choices in the settings menu that will allow you to show more of less features while you are using the Google Earth App. Some things on that list are Places, Businesses, Panorama Photos, Wikipedia, Borders and Labels, Roads, 3D buildings, and Ocean. You can also link this to your My Maps Account on Google but it is not required to use the App.
From the settings menu you can tap Position and it will tell you the coordinates of your position. You can also choose to Auto Tilt for a more 3D view or turn “show terrain” on or off.
GPS: My experience: When I opened the Google Earth App and pressed the compass on the bottom left in a few seconds it went right to my house. I could see my house and a blue dot where it sees my device. The freaky thing is that my whole house is on the screen and the blue dot is tiny. The blue dot is right over the room where I am sitting. Some people might really not like this and you can turn off the Google Earth App in Location services if you do not like the idea of the App knowing exactly where you are. You can still use the App without using the GPS feature.
Search: If you want to find a specific spot tap the search icon on the top left. This will give you a search box where you can enter a city town or specific location. If you put an address in and press search the App will within seconds bring you to your destination. It is fun to look at all kinds of things with this App. It can also be useful since it shows you such a good picture it can help if you are traveling even on foot looking for a destination. As you walk down the street it will show you exactly what you are looking for.
Accuracy of the maps: Some areas may not be as updated as others. Where I live is very updated and I can see my landscaping changes that I made just last year so I know its recent. Other areas might not be so good. You really have to experiment with the maps. I do feel that they keep improving as time goes by and would not be surprised if eventually we have life view. Now that would really be freaky wouldn’t it?
Final thoughts and Rating
There is really no other App that is quite like Google Earth. It is probably one App that I would say is a “must have”. It is fun, useful and educational. And besides that it is absolutely free. I have not even seen any ads on the App so I think it’s just a great deal. Google Earth gets 5 stars from me.