Google Feb. 22 made its Google Earth application available for Android, a move that could boost adoption for the application that let users see satellite and 3D imagery of terrain, roads and other layers all over the planet.
Google officials first showcased Google Earth running on the Google Nexus One at the smartphone’s launch event Jan. 5.
The search engine-cum-smartphone-seller polished the code and released it to run on the Nexus One as well as any device running Android 2.1 or later versions. Google Earth for Android will let users click on an icon to see photos and videos, or read about prominent places. Users can also customize the app to display the layers that matter most to them.
Borrowing from the desktop version of Google Earth, Google Earth for Android also includes a “roads layer,” which offers road labels drawn on top of the satellite imagery.
Google expects users will leverage the voice recognition capabilities in conjunction with Earth for Android to execute searches by speaking into their Nexus One or other Android 2.1-plus devices.
“This is our fastest mobile version of Google Earth yet, with a smooth frame rate and a beautiful 800-by-480 screen,” Peter Birch, product manager for Google, noted.
That should make for quite a nice combination on the Nexus One, as well as the Motorola Droid, which is slated to get upgraded to Android 2.1 soon.
Users can download Google Earth in the Android Market now.
Users can continue to expect that the Google apps, Web services, and various and sundry features they enjoy on their desktop PCs and Mac computers will be adapted for the Android platform.
This is part of Google’s big bet in a prolonged march on the mobile frontier versus Apple and its iPhone, Palm, Nokia and, now, Microsoft Windows Phone 7.