Best Free Apps
Explore Google Earth on IOS
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.