With the Creators Update for Windows 10, Microsoft has been making improvements across the board in many of its applications. In a blog post this week, the company shared the new features and functions that it is adding for its in-house navigation app, Maps.
To start, a number of minor conveniences have been added to allow users to have a more seamless experience interacting with the app. These includes things from improved support for different input methods to syncing data across devices. Users can also contribute to Microsoft's data in order to improve their - and others' - experience going forward and correct any errors they might notice with locations or timings for different services.
On the input side of things, you can now use inking on the map and it'll even allow you to calculate the distance for a custom hiking you might mark with your stylus and so on. Support for the new Surface Dial and Narrator can also be found on the app, alongside a couple new views to provide more specific information on things like traffic. Pressing 'Locate me' will not only show your current location but also your orientation and the direction you're facing for easier navigation.
Microsoft has also added a range of improvements to the selection of specific locations as favorites, by introducing a new class of favorites called 'Collections'. This can be used to create tailored lists for specific types of locations (e.g. favorite restaurants), all while keeping these more trivial locations separate from the 'normal' favorited locations you visit regularly such as your home or work. Favorites from HERE maps (previously owned by Nokia) can also be imported into the Maps app on Windows 10 now.
Speaking of syncing data, Maps now syncs across devices and all searches, favorites and collections will be found on all of your devices.
The most interesting addition is probably the ability to map out more complex routes for navigation, such as adding multiple stops during your journey without the need to set each destination individually and changing it manually routinely.
Alongside these user-oriented features, Microsoft has also added new APIs for developers, including one for changing the look of Maps on the fly without much effort.
All in all, these are notable improvements over the previous iteration of Maps and while Microsoft's navigation tool may not surpass the hugely popular alternative from Google, it does bring the companys product on par with Google's in many ways.
Source and images: Microsoft