[UPDATED 1050 ET]
I had been hearing a new version Google Earth was due soon. I knew this would be an important release to a lot of Mac users, because it would enable you to use your SpaceNavigator with Google Earth on the Mac! I’ve just gone to the Google Earth download page and installed Google Earth 4.1.7076.4458 (beta) for Windows, and the same version number for the Mac. The windows version file name is: Google_Earth_BZXD.exe. Again, here is the download page for the latest version.
Here is what is new in GE 4.1:
SpaceNavigator for the Mac – I installed the application, plugged in my SpaceNavigator, and it now works on GE 4.1! Yay! See my original review of the SpaceNavigator and a YouTube demo using it. The SpaceNavigator is a 3D Mouse device which lets you control GE like never before. Note: if you are just getting a SpaceNavigator for the Mac for the first time, you will need to install the driver first – available here.
Tips – when you first open Google Earth 4.1 you get a “Tips” window which shows suggestions of things you can try, or instructions of how to use some feature in GE. See the screenshot. I think this is a handy way to help people learn about cool things you can do with GE. And, you can turn it off if you don’t want it. Also, you can bring up the window any time through the “Help -> Start up tips” menu option. Nice addition!
Starting Location – there is a new starting location added to your “My Places”. I’m told by Google you get a different starting location depending on what country version of Google Earth you use. For me, I get a placemark for Lawrence, Kansas.
View in Maps – this is a LONG-awaited new feature. At the top of Google Earth, where the tool icons appear, you see a new icon at the right which looks like a “map” – this button enables the new “View in Google Maps” option. When you click on it, it opens your browser window and shows you the same view in Google Maps. Finally, simple button interface to Google Maps from within GE! One difference is that Google Maps is always oriented north up, and you can’t zoom as close as in GE. But, otherwise the new view button works perfect.
New Installation Process – The installer for this version of Google Earth is MSI-based which enhances site-wide installations.
New Language Versions – Google Earth 4.1 now has support for the following NEW languages: Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Korean, Arabic, and Czech
I’m sure there are a few minor bugs and enhancements in the mix as well. Stefan Geens at OgleEarth heard about the file reaching the public earlier today… thanks for the tip!