Google Earth now works in more browsers, but Safari users must wait

By

Google-Earth-Safari
Google Earth won't work in Safari, but that's going to change ... someday.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

You no longer need to fire up Chrome just to explore our planet inside Google Earth. The service today rolled out support for three new browsers, while the ability to use Google Earth in Safari is coming … eventually.

When Google brought Earth to the web, its mission was to make it more accessible to everyone — so that more people could enjoy it. It was a nice idea, but it still forced us to jump through one big, Google Chrome-shaped hoop.

That’s no longer the case. Google today took a big step toward breaking down that barrier by making Earth available in more than just one web browser.

Google Earth for the web expands its reach

You can now enjoy Google Earth in Firefox, Edge, and Opera.

That’s thanks to Earth’s transition from Native Client (NaCI) — a standard supported only by Chrome — to WebAssembly, the W3C web standard for bringing native code to the web, that’s supported by almost everything.

“Back then, [NaCI] was the only way we could make sure that Earth would work well on the web,” Google today explained in a blog post announcing Earth’s expansion. “Much has changed since that time.”

“WebAssembly has emerged as the leading open standard, with browser support maturing greatly over the past few years.”

Earth for Safari is coming

Google admits it still has some work to do in expanding Earth’s reach. It wants to polish the experience across all supported browsers, so that it’s even better, and add support for Safari, the company confirmed today.

We don’t have a timeline for Safari support yet, so we don’t know how long we’ll be waiting for it. Google said it will keep us posted on new developments.