Editors' Note: The "Download Now" link directs you to the Android Market where you must continue the download process. This download may not be available in some countries.
Whether you want to view a lifelike rendering of your city or town, preview your next holiday destination, or explore a famous location, Google Maps brings you outstanding world maps with several layers of information that you can customize according to your needs. This is one of those great apps that you should definitely have on your device.
Many optional layers of information: Google Maps lets you customize which layers of information you want to see: Places, Businesses, Panoramic Photos, Wikipedia, Borders and Labels, Roads, 3D Buildings, and Ocean. The ability to customize them makes the app versatile and appealing to people of all ages and backgrounds -- this is a universal app.
Fantastic 3D renderings: An increasing number of cities feature 3D Buildings, offering you spectacular maps. What thoroughly impressed us was that even when exploring 3D cityscapes, the overall performance of the app remained good and the intuitive gestures like two-finger pinch to rotate your viewpoint and change the zoom or the two-finger swipe for tilting the view proved responsive.
Engaging extra features: Many interesting historical or specific maps are available in the Earth Gallery featured in the main menu, like 1971 Arctic Ocean Floor or 2005 Africa, the Human Footprint Map. Even more fascinating is the Earth Tour, accessible through the menu at the bottom of the screen, which enables you to quickly explore wonderful landmarks from all over the world.
Image quality set to low: By default, the image quality is set to low, which means that if you don't go into settings and change it to medium or high -- provided that your device can handle it -- you may not be getting the best experience possible.
Search bar functionality: The search bar enables you to find locations in no time, but once you've entered your keywords, it doesn't bring up the keyboard unless you first press the X button to clear the search field, which makes it clumsy at times.
Considerable impact on performance and battery: If you don't have a good CPU or plenty of RAM, you will experience lag and slow performance. Also, constantly using this app drains the battery as much as five percent in half an hour.
While not as practically useful as Google Maps, Google Earth remains a highly engaging app, one of the most ambitious and amazing available for Android. It's just as good as the Web app on which it's based, but since you can even use it offline, it proves more convenient. If you don't have this app already, and you like to explore the world around you, you should grab it now.
Fly around the planet with a swipe of your finger with Google Earth for Android. Explore distant lands or reacquaint yourself with your childhood home. Search by voice for cities, places, and businesses. Browse layers including roads, borders, places, photos and more. Visit the Earth Gallery to find exciting maps such as real-time earthquakes, planes in flight, hiking trails, city tours, and more.
Use the new "tour guide" to easily discover exciting new places to explore. With a quick swipe on the tab at the bottom of the screen, you can bring up a selection of virtual tours from around the globe.
With new 3D imagery, you can now fly through complete 3D recreations of select cities, including San Francisco, Boston, Rome, and others. With every building modeled in 3D, you truly get a sense of flying above the city. 3D imagery is available on select devices, including most tablets.
What's new in this version:
New in 7.0:
Tour guide: Explore places you never thought to search for with new tours of your favorite cities, historic landmarks and natural wonders.
3D imagery: Take flight above entire cities in 3D. Get started with Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Geneva or Rome and look for new additions in the coming weeks. Available for devices with dual-core processors.