Google Earth receives Update to v8.0

October 22, 2014 - Written By Kasim Kaey

Google Earth is one of the best apps out there to view the world from the screen of your smart device and now it’s going to get even better. Google is rolling out quite a big update to its Android app for Google Earth and, as per the norm, it’s a staged rollout. In a blog post, Googe stated that the update will bring better 3D images, cleaner maps, and KML import.

The 3D of the app has always been pretty good and with this update, it’s even better. Animations are smooth when you zoom in and out, buildings and mountains are rendered better than before, thanks to the new rendering engine that Google states is the first major overhaul to the 3D since Google Earth launched ten years ago. Roads will now get nicer labels as well as the benefit of being updated at the same time as Google Maps.

As well as all that, there’s now an easier way to view your own maps. If you’re a traveller who likes to create their own maps for Google Earth, or maybe you’re a teacher giving a history lesson (that’s Google’s own example), viewing your own maps is as simple as heading over to Google Drive and opening the KML file. The map will load into Google Earth and that’s it, you’re ready to go.

The app has also gained a visual overhaul, at least on the Android Lollipop Developer Preview that I have installed on my Nexus 5. The slide-in drawer now has the same style as other Google apps that have been updated with Material Design, such as the Google Play Newsstand. The options now look cleaner and have a very Material Design look to them.

Given that Google will be rolling this out in a staged roll-out across the world, most of us won’t get the app until a few days have passed. Well, for those of you that want the APK, it’s been uploaded to the internet. Don’t worry, it’s been signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. Rather than wait those few days for Google to push the app update to your phone, head over here and download the APK now.