Google Earth is coming to Firefox, Edge and Opera, with Google finally deciding to open up the software to more browsers.
Somewhat astonishingly, up until now it had only worked on Chrome.
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“For the past five years, we’ve been on a journey to bring Google Earth to as many browsers as possible,” said the Google Earth team in a recent blog post.
“After six months of a public beta, we are now making Google Earth accessible on Firefox, Edge and Opera browsers. This was made possible by moving Google Earth for Chrome onto WebAssembly (Wasm), the W3C web standard for bringing native code to the web.
“Since the initial launch of Google Earth on web; it has been accessible using the Chrome browser. This is because it was built using Native Client (NaCI), which was a Chrome-only solution. Back then, this was the only way we could make sure that Earth would work well on the web. Much has changed since that time and WebAssembly has emerged as the leading open standard, with browser support maturing greatly over the past few years.”
So, what’s missing? The big omission is Apple’s search engine, Safari, but according to the blog post there are plans to make Google Earth available on Safari soon.
“We still have some work to do. Namely polishing our experience across all these browsers and adding support for Safari. We’re continuing to work on supporting as many browsers as possible, and we’ll keep you posted on any new developments. If you haven’t tried Earth on web yet, check it out — we’ll be doing our part behind the scenes to speed you along on your journey.”
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If you’re a fan of Google Earth, but not a fan of Google Chrome, then this is a result. It’s also interesting to see that Google isn’t keeping its tools solely on its own browser.