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Ex­plore Google Earth on IOS

bit.ly/earth430

Google Earth just keeps get­ting bet­ter. The in­cred­i­ble vir­tual globe used to be a hefty PC pro­gram that cost £300 for its Pro ver­sion, but now it’s free, with no in-app pur­chases and no sub­scrip­tion fee. You don’t even have to sign in, and it works on your phone and tablet, too.

The de­vel­op­ers have re­designed the IOS app, bringing it in line with the web tool ( earth.google. com/web) and An­droid app ( bit.ly/earth­droid430). The new Voy­ager fea­ture takes you on mul­ti­me­dia tours of notable places, so you can ‘ Ex­plore New York City’ or take a ‘Grand Tour of Italy’, or ex­plore top­ics such as ‘ Land Art from Above’ and Fu­tur­is­tic Ar­chi­tec­ture. The tours have been made in col­lab­o­ra­tion with or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the BBC and NASA. For a guided tour of Voy­ager, see our Mini Work­shop, right. The steps also work in the An­droid app.

Google Earth has an I’m Feel­ing Lucky but­ton that you’ll ac­tu­ally want to use. Tap the dice icon to trans­port your­self to a ran­dom location. Wher­ever you land, the app pro­vides Knowl­edge Cards full of in­for­ma­tion from Wikipedia and other sources. You can even snap and send a ‘ Post­card’ screen­shot. If you’d rather ex­plore on your own, tap 3D and stroke the screen with two fin­gers while gasp­ing in amaze­ment.

The up­date adds sup­port for 64-bit de­vices. That may sound like a bor­ing de­tail, but it will save Google Earth from IOS ob­so­les­cence, be­cause the new IOS 11 won’t sup­port 32-bit apps.

The only down­side to Google Earth is that it needs a web con­nec­tion to work prop­erly. You can cache cer­tain con­tent to view off­line, but sup­port for this is lim­ited, as you’ll discover if you ever try to use it when your Wi- Fi is play­ing up.

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