Google Brings 3D Map Images to iPad and iPhone

At this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June, Apple famously let the world know that it is kicking Google to the curb when iOS 6 releases to the public this fall. In an effort to keep iPhone and iPad users happy, Google has upped the ante on what their map app can do. Maybe Apple has sailed its ship, but you may want to stick with Google after all.

As if they are trying to rub it in Apple’s face, Google’s recent blog post about adding 3D imagery to the Google Earth map app reads,

“A map must be comprehensive and accurate no matter where you are or what device you use. We also believe maps can be useful in ways you might not have imagined. With today’s release of Google Earth for iOS you can literally fly through breathtaking 3D city landscapes and images and follow virtual tours of places you’ve never been — all with a simple swipe of your fingertip. It’s a new, and I think magical way to explore the world in which we live.”

The way Google describes the new service as “magical” seems to be straight from the Steve Jobs playbook.

Version 7.0 of Google Earth offers 3D imagery of Boulder, Boston, Charlotte, Lawrence, Long beach, Los Angerles, Portland, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Tampa, Tucson, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay area, and Rome.

Google is also rolling out “Tour Guide,” which allows users to take virtual tours of selected cities with just the swipe of a finger. Users tap on a thumbnail in a city with Tour Guide and start exploring. Some cities even include 3D models of buildings.

The mapping service company played a smart move by pushing the new version of Google Earth right now. If iOS users get used to the 3D imagery, they may not even use Apple’s native map app once iOS 6 is released this Fall. 

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik