When we talk about mobile apps in relation to Earth based images, two big names will clearly jump up. Earthscape has been around as an iPhone app with these features earlier than Google Earth but once Google Earth was launched as an iPhone app, it has garnered a huge following among the users. So let’s take a look at the head to head clash between these two apps and see which one will emerge victorious.
Google Earth’s developer is renowned; I mean come on, who doesn’t know Google? It is one of the biggest multinational tech corporations around in the world now and is well known for their series of internet-related products and services. Some worthy mentions include Google (the search engine) and YouTube. The developers of Earthscape are definitely significantly less well known if you place them alongside the guys from Mountain View and so far, they are only known as Earthscape. A simple search on the net shows that Earthscape is their only app product.
Head2Head: A comparison of app features between Google Earth and Earthscape
In terms of interface, Google Earth has done well in this department even though it is rather basic. However, I can only say that this is simplicity at its best as the buttons are well placed and navigation hinges on the idea of being purposeful and non-distracting. Using the multitouch function in the iPhone, the Google Earth’s map features can easily be in the limelight and seriously, the learning curve to using this app is rather mild and short. For Earthscape, I would say that more functions are displayed on the dock but as opposed to Google Earth, it lacks a touch of the best utilization of the iPhone’s accelerometer and the multitouch capabilities.
For Google Earth, once you are in the app, you are offered a bird’s eye view of the specific location you want to explore. It looks like the maps on this app look more recently updated compared to those from Earthscape. Also, when I can see the exact buildings in Google Earth, Earthscape only offers a map that shows a plot of land.
However, in terms of social networking features, Earthscape actually has a tint of advantage over Google Earth. You can actually perform geotagging on the images you have captured in the Earthscape app so features wise, it has to be said that Earthscape has better offerings. Both of these apps allow the user to browse through Wikipedia articles that provide more information about a certain location which is quite neat.
Talking about stability, it has been recorded that both Google Earth and Earthscape do crash on the iPhone sometimes. Well, I guess that when you are streaming live images like that, this is something an iPhone app user has to grow accustomed to. Nothing is perfect after all.
Google Earth is rated 4+ while Earthscape is rated 3+ on the iTunes app store. A quick glance on the users’ reviews and feedback clearly shows that Google Earth is the preferred app over Earthscape. In addition, Google Earth has a larger user proportion as compared to Earthscape.
Currently, both of them are free iPhone apps though before Google Earth’s emergence on the market, Earthscape comes at a price of $4.99.
In a nutshell
I guess as a smart reader, you should have guessed where the discussion will be leading to. Even though Earthscape has the advantage of attracting the users first because of its earlier-timed emergence as an iPhone app, Google Earth simply crushes its competition based on two points: Better maps and better navigation usage. For such an app, I would expect that the map quality will play a very important role to determine a top notch program providing map and geographical information as a virtual globe. This is where Google Earth has managed to nail its success.
Furthermore, Google Earth presents better usability to its users though I would say that Earthscape isn’t too far behind in this area. There are also other similar apps out there but when it comes to the best in this niche, I would strongly advise you to go for Google Earth and the best argument is – it’s free!
Head2Head winner: Google Earth
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