Google Earth browser plug-in arrives for Mac

Web sites that feature the built-in version of Google Earth now can support Mac OS X users--or at least those who download a 47MB plug-in.

Google Earth on MacBook
Google Earth now works as a Safari or Firefox plug-in on Mac OS X. Google

Google has released a Mac OS X version of a plug-in that lets people use its Google Earth software as a browser plug-in.

The move means a smaller but significant crowd can rely on Web pages that employ the sophisticated aerial viewing options the software provides. But Mac fans should brace themselves for a 47MB download from the Google Earth API page.

The size is large because Google provided a universal binary file that runs on both PowerPC-based and Intel-based Macs, a Google representative said in a forum posting about the availability of the Mac version. "There are also some other space-saving changes that we may look into later on," he said, adding that Google plans to mention the software in a forthcoming blog post.

Digital Earth Blog, which surfaced the forum post Wednesday, points to a few sites such as EarthSwoop and Mini Flight Sim where people can try the plug-in.

In other Mac news, Jason Toff, an associate product marketing manager for the Google Mac Team, announced Wednesday on the Google Mac blog that the Mac-specific Google page is no longer just available in English. The site now works in German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Dutch, and Italian.

Update 9:45 a.m. PST December 4:Google's blog post about the plug-in is now live.

In it, Google also announced a new Google Earth plug-in game, Puzzler, and some bug fixes in the Windows version of the Google Earth plug-in.

(Via Google Earth Blog.)

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