What you need to know
- Google utilized WebAssembly to make Google Earth work on Firefox, Edge, and Opera
- Google Earth only worked on Google Chrome until now.
- Google beta tested Google Earth on more browsers for six months.
Google Earth now works on the Firefox, Edge, and Opera browsers. Until recently, Google Earth was limited to Google's Chrome browser. To make Google Earth work on more browsers, Google utilized WebAssembly. Google explains how it got it to work on other browsers and the limitations it still has in a Medium post.
The Medium post is authored by Jessi Beck and Jordan Mears from the Google Earth team. It explains that when Google Earth was first created, it was built on Native Client, which only works on Chrome. Google moved Google Earth to WebAssembly, and beta tested it over the last six months. This opened it up to several other browsers as WebAssembly is a more open web standard.
Google says that it still needs to polish the experience of Google Earth on non-Chrome browsers. It also points out that Safari is not supported at this time.
Google has received criticism lately about how it treats other browsers. Earlier today, we reported that Google sends pop-ups to people trying to access certain Google services on the new Microsoft Edge. In contrast, this move to bring Google Earth to more browsers seems more open and positive than Google's recent moves regarding the new Microsoft Edge.