Remember, when Google Earth had launched 14 years ago, how excited all of us were to find out our locations and homes on it? As kids, we zeroed in and zoomed on our apartments and buildings so as to locate our homes and schools. However, during that phase of time, all this was possible once the Earth application was downloaded. At that time, Google Earth was available as a native application because advanced technologies were essential for the application to function in real-time. And these technologies were not available at that time.
However, with time, technologies also improved. A few years back, Google had said “No” to its desktop Earth app as it wanted its viewers to enjoy a pure web experience of the Google Earth application. It was then that Google had promised that it would be getting Google Earth working on Firefox as well as some other browsers. This was announced by the tech giant about three years back. It now looks like the good time for Google Earth has arrived as it has started working not only on Firefox but also on Edge as well as Opera browsers along with, of course, the Chrome browser.
One question that many people might have in their minds is that, why did Google Earth initially appear on just the Chrome browser? Well, to answer that, the Google Earth application was initially built on a platform that used the Native Client solution that was very exclusive only for the Chrome browser.
In order to get Google Earth working on different browsers, the entire code had to be redesigned all over again. Google decided on reconstructing Earth right from scratch by using “WebAssembly” to compile the C++ code.
What is WebAssembly?
With the help of WebAssembly, it is possible not only to develop apps across multiple browsers but also to smoothen out the complete online experience, as it is evident from Google Earth. So the point here is, this native language can be used for other applications too in the future.
For the last six months, the Google Earth application was in the beta testing phase for the remaining browsers. Now, once it is out of the beta phase, Google has made it public that Earth is available on other browsers too.
Although the search giant has finally managed to get Google Earth to work on other browsers, like any other application, it may need to get some changes and updates done from time to time. So presently, one can get the best Google Earth viewing experience on Chrome. However, as time passes, with all the polishing done for the application code, Google Earth would no doubt, start functioning brilliantly on all the browsers.
Apart from Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera, Google plans on getting its Earth application working on Apple’s Safari browser too in the future.
Image Source: NDTV