Windows Maps Gets a Big Update on Windows 10 for PC and Mobile

Posted on March 17, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Windows Phones with 0

Windows Maps Gets a Big Update on Windows 10 for PC and Mobile

Well, Microsoft wasn’t kidding: In the wake of the HERE apps debacle, the software giant promised that it would quickly update its own Windows Maps app for Windows 10. And it has, shipping a new version of the app for both PC and Mobile with a lot of new features.

“Our [goal] on the Maps team is to deliver the best map and navigation experiences on Windows far beyond directions alone,” Windows Maps product marketing manager Kushal Kapoor writes in a new post to the Windows Experience Blog. “Local search, robust offline capability, 3D cities and street imagery are just a few of the things already available in the Windows 10 Maps app we know you love using every day.”

Available to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring, the new version of the Windows Maps app—on both PC and Mobile—includes a ton of new features. These include:

Multiple search. This functionality lets you view several searches on a single map view at the same time. For example, in the screenshot below you can see hotel and restaurant results together. You can also view multiple searches and directions at the same time layered on top of each other or use tabs to switch between views.


Turn-by-turn improvements. In a nod to HERE Drive+, Windows Maps now provides a dramatically improved UX for turn-by-turn navigation, with improve glanceability and layout, especially in landscape mode.


Improved navigation UX. In the PC version of Maps, the navigation UX is now positioned at the top of the app, while on Mobile it is at the bottom. These are both new locations, and reflect how people really use Maps on these different devices.

Labels for search results. Now, search results are labeled directly on the map, instead of the numbering system used before.

Nearby search results improvements. Microsoft says it has made improvements to its Nearby algorithms that will result in closer and better search results. (This feature is only available in some markets.)


Minimize. You can now minimize search results, directions, and location info so that you can see more of the map. But these items are still available when you need them.

3D cities search. Now, you you no longer have to scroll to find the city you’re looking for.

Favorites are available offline. This completes the picture on offline maps. Plus, you can add notes to your favorites (something I wish Google Maps offered).

Cortana integration. Turn-by-turn directions will now utilize Cortana’s voice, which is kind of fun. This is currently available for English (United States), English (United Kingdom), Simplified Chinese (China), French (France), Italian (Italy), German (Germany) and Spanish (Spain) only.

Public transit improvements. In a nod to HERE Transit, Maps makes it easier to follow your public transit route and know when it’s time to get off at a stop using updated turn-by-turn instructions.


Underlying architectural improvements. Kapoor says that under-the-hood improvements will enable faster innovation and enhanced performance for the Maps app.

“We are committed to building a great maps experience for all our users and hope you like where we are headed,” Kapoor concludes. “With your feedback, you can help us deliver the best maps, local search, and guided navigation experiences for millions of Windows 10 users. Please continue to share your feedback with us through the Feedback Hub.”

Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, Willis. I mean, Microsoft.


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