If you've been missing a dimension in your digital explorations, great news: Google today announced that newer Apple devices can now render Google Earth in 3D. Download an update, and you'll be able to explore cities in a much more realistic way than you could before.
Google uses what it calls "45-degree aerial imagery" to recreate cities in 3D. All of a city's buildings, its terrain, and the surrounding landscape are explorable in the virtual cities. Google Earth for Android received the same feature just a few weeks ago; both versions are free.
In a post on the Google Lat Long Blog, the company listed Boulder; Boston; Charlotte; Lawrence, KS; Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles; Portland, OR; San Diego; Santa Cruz; Tampa; Tucson; the San Francisco Bay area; and Rome, Italy, as cities currently recreated in 3D. Google plans to add other cities: "We'll keep building and releasing 3D imagery for new locations as fast as we can."
The update also includes over 11,000 virtual tours of popular sites, to help guide you in your explorations and possible real-life travel planning.
The new iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone 4S will work with the new version of Google Earth. Find comprehensive buying guides and lab-based reviews of these and other mobile devices at ConsumerReports.org.
3D Imagery now available on iPad and iPhone [Google Lat Long Blog]
Google Earth [App Store]
Google Earth for Android [Google Play]