Every new Mac comes with the usual array of Apple’s basic apps. Mail, Safari, Calendar, Photos, Garageband, iTunes, and the like. The latest to make the grade as table stakes is the Maps app (think of iPhone’s Maps app but on the Mac). Here’s a cool way to use satellite maps in a way no one ever thought of before.
The Bird’s Eye View
Apple’s Maps on the Mac functions pretty much like you’d expect, and seemingly exactly like Maps on iPhone and iPad. It features 3D flyover, standard map view, directions, current location, traffic conditions, and satellite view.
It’s the satellite view which makes the free Satellite Eyes app so interesting. Maybe not valuable or useful for much, but certainly interesting, if anything because it does not use Apple’s built-in Maps app.
Satellite Eyes displays your Mac’s current location as Desktop Wallpaper, and it spans across the Mac’s screen, end to end, and even displays on Macs with multiple connected displays.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re traveling and get stuck in a lengthy layover at some airport so you whip out your Macbook to check email and do a bit of browsing. Check your Mac’s Desktop to see exactly where you are– from the bird’s eye view.
Satellite Eyes resides in the Mac’s Menubar so it’s easily accessed, and the satellite view changes depending upon your current location. The app has a few options you won’t find in Apple’s Mac Maps app, too. Not only is their aerial photography involved, there’s abstract watercolors.
The app uses OS X’s Location Services so if that’s not on, it won’t know where you are. Interestingly, Satellite Eyes does not use the Mac’s built-in Maps app, instead relying upon a variety of sources, including Bing Maps.
It’s free, interesting, and makes for a conversational Desktop image, but you’re likely to get more usage with the Mac’s Maps app which has 3D view, traffic conditions, and more– for any location, not just where you are at the moment.