Google already has customized some of its Web sites for display on the iPhone, but now the company also dived headlong onto Apple's highly regarded mobile phone with a full-fledge application, a handheld version of its Google Earth geographical software.
"The idea of having Earth on a mobile device is something people dreamed of back to the Keyhole days and before," said Peter Birch, Google Earth's product manager, referring to the satellite imagery company Google acquired in 2004. "This is the first opportunity we've had to be able to deliver a great experience."
Keyhole began its first version of what later became Google Earth in 2001, when computer horsepower and network capacity had not risen to their current levels. "A lot of that core engine can run on a device like this," Birch said.
The free software started becoming available through Apple's App store on Sunday. (Update 7:50 p.m. PDT: Apparently Australian App Store users get the first crack at this software, but it should be spreading to other regions "soon," Google said.) It's a free download in 20 countries, running in all 18 languages the iPhone supports.
Surprising performance, good interface I tried the application late last week and was impressed how well the iPhone version kept up with the performance, features, and usability of Google Earth for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux--at least, while using a Wi-Fi network connection. For example, your view of the world starts looking straight down, but you can tilt the view so terrain contours are visible, and generating that variable perspective takes some significant processing.
Another nice feature: When the iPhone is tilted a certain angle out of horizontal, Google Earth reads data from the phone's accelerometer and adjusts your view accordingly, so you can look up into the sky. And it's integrated with the iPhone's ability to locate itself through GPS, Wi-Fi networks, and mobile phone towers.
Source : Cnet