Google Earth on the Motorola Xoom

I just picked up my Motorola Xoom last week, and I’ve gotta say that I’m very impressed so far. It’s running Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” and it’s a very worthy competitor to the iPad. You can read my full thoughts on the Xoom here, but I’m going to take this time to talk about Google Earth specifically.
While Google hasn’t released a Honeycomb-specific version of Google Earth yet, the phone version scales up very nicely. This is largely due to how Honeycomb deals with phone-based apps. On the iPad, it simply doubles the size of the iPhone app, which made it quite blurry. On Honeycomb, they actually scale the app properly so it stays sharp.
This works very well for many apps, but not so good for other. For example, the Facebook app looks kind of funny with a few little icons in the middle, and status updates rolling along the full width of the 10.1″ screen. However, for Google Earth it works great!
While the icons are a bit small on the big screen, the quality of the imagery takes excellent advantage of the 1280×800 screen and it looks amazing. The dual-core processor and 1GB of memory help it to be as smooth as silk, too. Check out the video below for a quick review.


Even if you fly down to terrain-heavy areas such as the Grand Canyon, the app doesn’t even stutter a bit. This is certainly a very powerful device.
Google has yet to announce anything related to Google Earth on Honeycomb, but I have to think they’re working on a new version for it. The power in this tablet might mean we’ll finally see some 3D buildings in the app, too! Even better, I hope we see more of the features that Frank suggested in this post earlier this month.
Do you have a Xoom yet? Are you holding out to see what the iPad 2 has to offer? Or just not sure you need/want a tablet at all?

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



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