Google Earth for the iPhone is a good complement to its desktop counterpart, but with a few neat additions. Like on the desktop version, you can search for an address and view it from far away or as close as almost street level, seeing an overhead shot of the location as if you were a few feet above the building. Once you’ve zoomed in as far as you can zoom in, you can tilt your phone to change the perspective from front to back to side.
Because of iPhone’s built-in GPS, the app can find your current location. Just click on the icon in the bottom left of the screen. Once you’ve found yourself you can search for local businesses and get their locations marked by icons. Just click on the magnifying glass in the top left corner and type in what you’re looking for. Though you can’t get a map or directions, the app will display the address and phone number and a link to the company’s website.
If nothing else, this is just a cool way to look at your surroundings, and it does have some practical use as well. However, it seems the functionality is a bit too overwhelming for the iPhone. It takes several seconds to load most pages, and the app crashed several times while I was using it. Hopefully this will be fixed in a later update. Currently, this sluggishness would prevent me from using it too often.
But for the price – free – Google Earth is a great app. It’s fun to get a view of your house or numerous destinations around the globe in a view few other programs can offer.