Ever since the launch of Google Earth VR for HTC Vive headset owners on Steam last year, we’ve been waiting on the Mountain View-based tech giant to expand on its own VR efforts and port the app to other VR platforms. These efforts are apparent today as Google Earth VR is now functional on Facebook’s Oculus Rift, with a simultaneous support for the Oculus Touch controllers.
Prior to official support, Rift owners trying to launch Google Earth VR through steam were slammed with the following message ‘This content is not supported by the connected hardware’. But an alternative was found by a few enthusiastic Rift owners, which allowed them to run Earth VR on their Oculus-made headsets. In comparison to that, today’s announcement not only comes as a convenient option but offers far better services. It will help Oculus Rift owners to enjoy Google Earth VR without any hacks.
Addressing the waiting Rift owners about the official support, the company emphasized,
Google Earth VR gives you the opportunity to easily explore the world and discover new places. We made sure that navigating the planet in Earth VR on Rift with Touch feels natural, comfortable, and immersive, so that even more people can fly over cities and stand on top of mountains in VR. We thought a lot about the button mapping to make sure it was intuitive and took advantage of the Touch controllers’ precise analog sticks, which are a great fit for the way you move around in Earth VR.
Along with the Rift support, many other features have been added to the Earth VR app today. This includes a new search feature for the app, which allows you to search for any place where you want to go on the app itself. When activated, this feature displays a VR keyboard that you can command with your respective headset’s controllers. This VR keyboard works in an identical manner on all platforms as a user can write by simply pointing at the letters he wants to input.
Google said that it has added 27 new locations, including South Africa’s Table Mountain and Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier to expand the reach of the platform on VR. Moreover, from now onwards Google Earth VR will be available in Oculus Store as well.
We are eager to see what’s next from Google after the launch of the revamped version of Earth VR yesterday and support of Rift today! Grab the app right now as Google Earth VR is available on Steam for free and, for the first time ever, Oculus right now.
Simran is The Tech Portal’s newest member, and has a keen interest in covering enterprise tech and app tech. She reports from our HQ @ Jaipur, India.