Google Earth lands on the iPhone

If you have an iPhone, chances are you already use Google Maps to find your way around and locate your nearest McDonalds (if only for blessed bladder

Well, now it's time to stop walking and start to fly - because Google Earth has arrivedon the App Store as a free download.

Like the desktop application, Google Earth for iPhone needs a constant data connection - and the speed of that connection is all important, so you're best off using it in a Wi-Fi hotpot rather than relying on 3G.

Once you're connected, Google Earth allows you to zoom right into satellite images at street level, then jump between continents and read Wikipedia entries for local landmarks. The animation is a bit jerky but it's pretty remarkable considering the limitations of the iPhone.

Google Earth makes the most of the iPhone's Multi-Touch control system, too, with pinch-zoom and rotate gestures - and if you lift the iPhone up, the accelerometer tilts the entire landscape so you can see the horizon.

Unlike the PC version, there are no 3D buildings and no space travel on the iPhone's Google Earth. But we'll let that slide - after all, it's a free download, and gawp-factor is guarnteed. An iPhone essential.