Earlier today, Microsoft not only released Windows 10 Mobile for a number of Windows Phone 8.1 devices, which could be upgraded immediately via the Upgrade Advisor app, the company also released a new Windows 10 Redstone build 14291 for both PC and Mobile bringing with it a plethora of new features to the OS, one of those being a sizeable update to Maps in the wake of HERE maps and related apps eventually being discontinued on Windows.
The new features for Windows 10 Maps, on PC and Mobile are only available to Windows Insiders, which is included with build 14291 of Windows 10, below is what has been added or updated to the Maps app.
The biggest feature added in this update is the multiple search functionality that lets you view several searches on a single map view at the same time.
As an example, now you can see search results for Hotels and search results for Restaurants in the same area easily – planning a trip or a night out in the town and sharing with family and friends just got a lot easier. 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.
Wayfinding and usability is serious business for our Maps team and with this build many of the menu locations have been enhanced with this in mind. For instance, navigation is now positioned at the top on desktop (instead of the side) and at the bottom on phone (instead of the top) as a direct result of how people use the Maps app differently on different types of devices. For the phone, this directly improves the experience when using your device with one hand, especially when getting directions or opening your favorites with a single tap. Moving navigation to the bottom of the phone is just one of the great ways Insider feedback is helping us improve the experience for all Windows 10 Map app users.
Other improvements driven primarily by our users include:
- We’ve added labels for your search results directly on the map instead of referencing numbers on the search list. You can now see the name of each place directly on the map.
- For those markets that offer nearby search results, we’ve made improvements to our algorithms that result in closer and better search results.
- You can now minimize search results, directions, and location info to enjoy more of the map, while keeping them in easy reach.
- We added search to 3D cities so you no longer have to scroll to find the city you’re looking for.
- Your favorites are now available offline so you can truly enjoy your offline maps and take advantage of all the places you have saved. You can also add notes to your favorites to keep track of things you want to remember about that place.
- When Cortana is enabled, you will receive turn-by-turn directions in Cortana’s voice, currently supported for English (United States), English (United Kingdom), Simplified Chinese (China), French (France), Italian (Italy), German (Germany) and Spanish (Spain).
- We’ve made it easier for you to follow your public transit route and know when it’s time to get off the bus with updated turn-by-turn instructions.
- And finally, based on the greatest amount of user feedback we’ve made improvements to the UI of turn-by-turn instructions to improve glanceability and the layout in landscape mode.
It's evident with this Maps update that Microsoft is responding to the loss of HERE apps on Windows by bringing a number of improvements to it's own mapping apps, if you have tried the updated Maps app already, let us know in the comments how you like it, and what can be improved.
Source: Microsoft Blog