Hello! I’m Aaron Butcher and I’m the Group Program Manager for the Maps Team in the Windows PC, Phone, and Tablet Group. In the January Windows 10 Technical Preview, Windows Insiders got a chance to try out our new Maps app for the PC. We’re excited that the new Maps app is also available now on phones with the latest build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview (Build 10051). If you’re a Windows Insider, please give it a try and let us know what you think.
Based on the new Windows Universal app platform, Maps delivers a single and consistent mapping experience across all your Windows devices. Whether you’re on your PC in the office, or using your Windows phone on the go, Maps offers you the features and tools you need to explore and navigate the world. This includes the best maps, aerial imagery, rich local search data, and voice guided navigation experiences from both Bing Maps and HERE maps, integrated together for the first time into a single app for Windows.
Maps on Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones:
Maps on Windows 10 Technical Preview for PCs:
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll find in our first Maps preview for the phone.
Maps are great using touch
Our maps are easy to use with a mouse and keyboard on a PC, and even better to control using natural touch gestures on phones or other touch-screen devices. Pinch to zoom in or out, use two fingers to rotate and tap on a label to launch detailed information about the business or landmark. You can also scroll using two fingers to tilt the map for a different perspective. Tap on the Show my Location button to zoom to your current location, or on the Map views button to turn on Bing aerial imagery or live traffic data.
Find the places you’re looking for
Maps for Windows 10 Technical Preview brings you rich local search data from Bing. Tap the Search box and you’ll immediately see a list of our most popular search categories, and with one tap, you can find coffee shops, hotels, shopping, or restaurants quickly and easily.
Enter the name of a place you are looking for, such as the “Space Needle”, and you’ll see a rich set of details that’s consistent with our search experiences across Windows 10 Technical Preview and Bing web search. Along with the landmark’s location and contact information, you’ll see images and recent customer reviews. You can even make a reservation for a restaurant right from the app.
When you’re on the go — let’s say you’re staying at a hotel in an unfamiliar city — you can easily find nearby places to eat, drink, and shop, or even suggested attractions and activities, right from the detail card for your hotel.
Helping you find the places you’re looking for, especially when you’re on the go or in an unfamiliar place is one of our most important goals for Maps on the phone. We’ll continue to improve these features, and would love to hear from you to let us know how we’re doing.
Directions and guided navigation
Once you’ve found the place you’re looking for, Maps will be the best app to help get you there! Regardless of whether you’re driving, taking public transportation, or walking, the app gives you the detailed turn-by-turn directions to help you navigate with confidence.
We automatically find the best route for you based on current traffic conditions, and also give you the option to tailor the route to your preferences. For example, I like avoiding toll roads.
If you’re using a GPS-enabled device, you’ll also get voice guided driving directions. This rich, hands-free navigation experience is based on the guided navigation features from HERE maps, and includes the popular speed limit warnings and day and night modes to help you get to your destination as safely as possible.
Access Maps anywhere, anytime, any device
In Windows 10, you can always count on having your maps available by storing your maps offline, on both your PC and phone. From the Maps Settings page, choose Download a Map and pick the regions of the world you’d like to store offline. Once downloaded, the maps, local search results, and even voice guided navigation features will work without an internet connection and without using your data plan.
We’re also making it really easy to get to your content from one device to another. Sign in to any Windows device with your Microsoft Account, and your home and work locations, route preferences, and recent searches will automatically roam with you. Simply tag a place as a favorite and it will always be there, in your Favorites list on all your Windows 10 devices. Search for a favorite restaurant on your PC, and the search result will be there on your Windows phone when you’re ready to go.
Improvements to the Maps preview app on the PC
In addition to our first Maps preview for the phone, we’ve made some big improvements to the Maps app you saw in the January Windows 10 Technical Preview for the PC.
If you were a fan of the Bing Maps Preview app for Windows 8.1, you’ll be excited to know that we’ve brought the beautiful, photo-realistic, 3D images to Maps. From your PC, you can virtually travel and explore the world with breathtaking, hi-fidelity views of more than 190 cities and famous landmarks. Just choose Explore in 3D from the left pane and explore your favorite cities from the comfort of your living room.
Virtually stroll down a street with Streetside imagery, exploring places with stunning 360° panoramas and views. Check out a hotel before taking your summer vacation, virtually tour local landmarks and attractions, and even scope out parking near a restaurant ahead of your dinner reservation. Shopping for a new house? Get a feel for the neighborhood before you schedule a viewing with a realtor.
We have a lot of work left to do in the coming months, and hope you like where we are headed. Consider joining the Windows Insider Program today for early access to Windows 10 Technical Preview, and let us know what you think through the Windows Feedback app – we’d love to hear from you!
With your feedback, you can help us deliver the best maps, local search, and guided navigation experiences for millions of Windows 10 users. Thank you.
Have questions or comments about the Maps app in Windows 10? Head over to the Windows Insider Program forums.