Google Earth for Android has hidden timelapse

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At least since 2016 it is possible to see the changes that have occurred on the face of the Earth through the timelapse feature of Google Earth – but, so far, it is restricted to the desktop version. Musician Kyler Jeffrey discovered that it will probably be possible to see the passage of time in the app also on Android devices soon, when he finds the feature hidden in the settings of the mobile version of Google Earth.

Jeffrey posted a video on YouTube with his discovery. Check out:

The feature provides a slider to move the years forward and backward in the visualization of the hidden place and also access the Street View mode to see, in detail, buildings and monuments (and this is a novelty, since the desktop application does not have this possibility).

Root access

For those who don’t want to wait, the feature can be accessed in Google Earth on an Android device with root access. Jeffrey taught the stone path: install a file manager (like Total File Commander, MiXplorer or, as Jeffrey prefers, PrefEdit); then enter the URL data / data / com.google.earth / shared_prefs / phenotypePrefs.xml -> debug_menus into your browser. This will make the Experiments option appear in the menu.

(Jeffrey, however, warns that “anything you modify will cause Google Earth to close the next time you start the app, until you clear the data and cache”.)

Always good to remember: you can still play to see what happens in your region on your cell phone through Google Earth Engine, Google’s cloud platform for geospatial analysis, available in the mobile version since 2018.

It is possible to go back in time by at least 30 years and explore an image bank made from the databases captured by NASA’s Landsat 8 satellites and Sentinel 1, from the European Space Agency (ESA).