The face of our planet is constantly changing, and nothing shows this better than a timelapse from a bird’s-eye view. If you weren’t aware, Google Earth already lets you see this with the help of its Timelapse feature that’s available on web for both desktop and mobile. But as it turns out, it’s also hidden within the Android app and if you’re a tinkerer, there’s a way to manually enable it.
A developer by the name of Kyler managed to get Timelapse to show up within the Android app by editing shared preferences, one of the ways that Android apps can store internal app data like feature flags.
As you can see in the tweet below, the user interface is noticeably different from the web UI for mobile. There’s a slider that makes it easier to jump through time, but you can also make use of arrow buttons to jump to specific years. The interface also shows street view and 3D view buttons — the web version lacks them — but it’s unclear whether they work or not.
RT this? pic.twitter.com/2O5aCYuN9z
— Kyler (@Developerrr_) March 11, 2021
It’s not known whether Timelapse for Android is only developed for internal testing or if it’ll be released for users at some point in the future. But if you don’t want to wait, you can try it out by following the instructions shared by the developer (proceed at your own risk). Unfortunately, you’ll need a rooted phone for that.