The Earth App on Your Android Phone

By Dan Gookin

The Earth app is similar to the Maps app on your Android phone, but with one huge difference: It covers the entire planet. And while you can get around and explore your locale or destination using the Maps app, Earth is more of a look-and-see, interactive world atlas.

Your phone may or may not have come with the Earth app. If you don’t find the Earth app in the apps drawer, visit the Google Play Store and download a free copy.

If you’re familiar with the Google Earth program on a computer, the Earth app should be familiar to you. Its interface is shown. It has similar features to the Maps app, but it’s customized for viewing the globe.

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The best advice for using the Earth app is to explore: Drag your finger around the screen to pan and tilt the globe; pinch and spread your fingers to zoom out and zoom in, respectively.

  • Items in the Layers navigation drawer are used to show or hide map details.

  • Use the thumb tab to slide the picture previews up or down.

  • If you enjoy looking up as much as you enjoy looking down, consider getting the Sky Map app. Search the Google Play Store for the Sky Map app from Sky Map Devs. (It was once known as Google Sky Map.)