Google May 5 launched a version of its Google Earth for Android application for Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" tablets, bringing the search engine's celestial imagery to larger computing screens.
The free Google Earth for Android software lets users click on an icon to see photos and videos, or read about prominent places around the world. Users can also choose to display important layers such as the "Explore the Ocean" layer.
The fresh application, Earth for Android 2.O, offers more of the same, but optimized for the larger touch-screen real estate. The program is available from Google's Android Market for Android 2.1 devices and later, and all Honeycomb tablets.
Earth for Android displays 3D buildings and includes an action bar to help users search and zoom to their location. There are also Earth "layers" for Google Places, Panoramio photos and the Wikipedia Website.
In Google's example, a user can "fly around" the 3D Coliseum in Rome while browsing photos that pop up within the satellite imagery, and users can interact with them without leaving the Coliseum and its surroundings.
True to the Honeycomb design that features smooth, graphics-rich Web browsing, Google added content pop-ups appearing within Earth View to let users see more information without switching back and forth between pages.
Google Earth for Android launched in February 2010 for Google's Nexus One smartphone and later on the Motorola Droid.
Earth for Android 2.0 adds another application to the sparse lineup of Honeycomb applications. It likely won't draw new users, but it will certainly please existing Earth for Android users. See these mini-reviews of the application on GigaOm and Droid Life.