Google is opening up its web-based version of Earth to browsers like Firefox, Edge, and Opera today. The search giant originally launched Google Earth on the online back in 2017, and axed its desktop apps at an equivalent time. Google says “we are big supporters of open web standards,” but Earth launched on the online with Chrome-only Native Client (NaCl) technology as there wasn’t a typical available to support what it wanted to try to to . This resulted in Earth becoming one among the primary of the many Chrome-only sites from Google.
NaCI allowed Google to bring its native C++ app code and run it directly during a Chrome browser, with all the performance required to allow you to concentrate and out of locations on a virtual globe. Google has spent the past three years contributing to emerging web standards like WebAssembly, which allows developers to bring native code to the online .
"Google has been beta testing Earth on non-Chrome browsers for 6 months"
Google beta tested a switch from its NaCI implementation to WebAssembly over the past six months, and it's successfully led to today’s launch of Google Earth for Firefox, Edge, and Opera. Safari is that the big exception, but that’s totally on Apple.
“We still have some work to try to to ,” notes the Google Earth team during a blog post. “Namely polishing our experience across of these browsers and adding support for Safari.” Google revealed last year that Earth would support Safari once Apple adds “better support for WebGL2” within the browser.
If you’re curious about trying out Google Earth in Firefox, Edge, or Opera then it’s available immediately over at Google’s site.