Plenty of travel apps exist in the App Store, however, Google Earth has almost always been a top pick for casually discovering and getting a bird’s eye view of locations. The app’s advantages are satellite imagery, 3-D textures, pan and zoom with viewing angle adjustment, connection with Wikipedia, and more. In today’s update to the iOS app, Google has added Earth Gallery and tours, plus made several current feature enhancements.

The Google Earth Gallery is a collection of grouped points-of-interest, map overlays, but with much more and sometimes interactive content. To give you a better idea, you can watch animated icons of real-time air traffic, find and watch videos of shipwrecks, marvel at 3-D models of popular buildings, review recent earthquakes, and discover nearby public trails for some wonderful outdoor excitement in the future. The Earth Gallery is available under the Options menu.

In addition to the gallery, Google Earth for iOS now offers animated 3-D tours. Accessed through the Earth Gallery or by tapping on a point-of-interest icon, these movie-like tours will show you a helicopter-style view of a mountain range or peak. It really can make an area you’ve only seen from top-down view pretty epic.

It’s always nice to get new features, although, v6.2 also includes improvements to previous functionality.

  • Launch Earth with KML/KMZ file links on web pages
  • Zoom now centers on gesture rather than center of screen
  • Automatic tilt of view when zooming
  • Improved panoramic photo experience

 
Google Earth is a universal app compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 3.0 or later, and available in the App Store as a free download.