Here’s a bit of a surprise that slipped under the radar during the Google I/O keynote: Google Earth for Android has been updated to 7.0 to take advantage of the new 3D map technology it unveiled at another special event just a few weeks ago. As a refresher, the visuals are automatically created from 45-degree aerial imagery and can pick up 3D elements as subtle as trees. Before you go racing to your hometown to see how it looks in 3D, be aware that just a handful of cities and regions exploit that dimension. Besides San Francisco Bay, the full coverage extends to Boulder, Boston, Charlotte, Lawrence, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Cruz and Tampa in the US, with Rome being the lone international hotspot. If that’s too few places to visit, there’s always the addition of guided tours. Android users can head over Google Play to get the update today; iOS users shouldn’t fret, as they’ll get the new maps soon.
Google Earth gets optimized for Honeycomb tablets, interior photos hit Google Maps next week (Video)
There may have been a slight shortage of Honeycomb-optimized apps to go along with the first round of tablets, but things are now starting to pick up a bit, and Google has now filled in one more gap itself. It’s just released a Honeycomb-optimized version of Google Earth, which brings with it support for fully textured 3D buildings that you can view from street level, as well as a new action bar on top that lets you jump between layers and other options. What’s more, Google has also now announced that its new Business Photos feature for Google Maps (Places, specifically) will begin to roll out next week, offering what’s effectively Street View for the inside of retailers and other buildings — with the owner’s permission, of course. Head on past the break for a demonstration of how it will work.