When I try, it gets to installing and then a pop up says: ‘Application cannot be installed in the default installation location’. I’m using a brand new generic Chinese android with ICS & 32gb sd card so there’s no lack of space.
It sounds like you're using a pre-rooted device, meaning if you wanted to, it's possible to force installation, but that's self defeating (you would use an app like Solid Explorer to move it to your app directory located in /system), since it would only create two copies of the same app, one in your system folder, located within your internal memory and one on your SD card.
As Susendeep wrote, you can't update a lot of apps if you've already moved them to SD. In fact, if they're installed on SD, they will slow down immensely. For occasional use apps, it's better to use Titanium Backup to make a backup of the app, which removes it from internal memory. That way, whenever you need it, you can restore the app and use it as demand necessitates.
Yeah install on internal memory. that should fix it.
what do you mean by internal memory
The memory that device has without SD card.
Google earth is trying to install in internal memory and if you try to move it to SD card,it won't get moved fully as some part will remain in internal memory.So,the only solution to have Google earth installed in your tablet is to uninstall those apps which you'll never use and occupying internal memory.
I'm guessing your 32GB card is an add-in card rather than built in, right? Usually the generic androids don't have built-in SD. AFAIK, Google maps won't install to an external SD card. You *might* be able to do it if you root the device.