Earlier this month, a pre-release version of Google Earth for Mac OS X that uses OpenGL rendering reportedly began making the rounds overseas. The 40MB application packs a hefty set of preferences, allowing users to tweak detail and color, and control the speed of their “flights.”
Reportedly? It’s the first I’ve heard of it. The article mentions “sources” who confirm what Google has already publicly promised — that a Mac OS X version is underway. But the proof would appear to be in the screenshot (large), helpfully centered on the Cupertino campus.
You’ll notice the layout is practically identical to the PC version, but with Mac-like control buttons. At 40MB, the application would also be significantly larger than the 13MB PC version. There’s an outside chance this is a hoax, of course. But an avid Mac user myself, I’m certainly hoping this gets onto my Mac by Xmas.
Considering that Microsoft Live Local doesn’t even work on Safari, Google can expect an enthusiastic adoption of GEOSX by Mac users. (Content-wise, Live Local’s maps of Europe now easily beat Google Maps, though.)
I’m quite glad Google’s business model is advertising-driven, in the main, because this kind of model has to be platform neutral to be effective. It’s why there won’t be an ESRI ArcGis Explorer for Mac. Microsoft, on the other hand, is about making its operating system as attractive as possible to potential customers, and finding synergies among its products. Platform agnosticism in their customers is what they’d rather not have.