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Microsoft tips Maps app overhaul for Windows 10

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Here Maps

A Microsoft engineer has promised a considerable overhaul for the Windows 10 Maps app - which is much needed after recent events.

Just yesterday the Here Maps team announced that it was ditching support for Windows 10 and Windows Phone. This left Windows 10 and Windows Phone users in a bit of a sticky position, as Microsoft's own Maps app is a bit rubbish.

Now a Reddit user named Dave_MSFT, who works for the Microsoft Maps team, has revealed some of the company's mapping plans.

As part of a forthcoming major update, Maps will receive a "better drive UI".

"We are exploring options around the arrow on the location marker (compass)," he adds.

Dave_MSFT also claims that the team is "looking to improve all aspects of guided navigation," and he promises to bring a number of suggestions from fellow Redditors back to the Maps team, such as "being able to search along the route".

As Winbeta suggests, the Maps update should come to Insider builds of Windows 10 first before a wider rollout, though there's no time frame at present. However, with Here Maps set to be pulled from the Windows 10 store on March 29 and Microsoft Build set for the day after, we should hear more soon.

Here Maps is one of the better non-Google navigation apps on the market. It was initially developed by Nokia, so it soon established itself as a core app for Windows Phone 8.1 as the Finnish company drew ever closer to Microsoft.

When Microsoft purchased Nokia in 2014, however, it didn't purchase the Here team with it. Rather, the Here app was snapped up recently by a consortium of major German car makers made up of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes - and they evidently want to focus on iOS and Android.

Related: Windows 10 Mobile review

"To continue offering the HERE apps for Windows 10 would require us to redevelop the apps from the ground up," explained a recent Here blog post, "a scenario that led to the business decision to remove our apps from the Windows 10 store."

The Windows Phone 8 version of Here will continue to receive critical bug fixes.

Dead Words

March 16, 2016, 11:23 am

I'm not sure the iOS and Android versions of HERE will stick around forever either. HERE seems to be focusing more on other matters than consumer level navigation. Either way, I'm not going to miss them. I never used them.

TDH69

March 16, 2016, 3:27 pm

I hope MS continues to use the existing underlying HERE Map data. The Maps are excellent and usable offline...

I also hope the MS Maps app(s) are massively improved and run on all Windows 10 devices. There must be huge improvements to compass based orientation navigation. There must be huge improvements to transit system layering including underground rail systems and referrals to informative transit details.

There must be POI layering for attractions, etc., and linking to informative details as well.

Also, consider interoperability with Apple and Google for position sharing marking, etc. Having the ability to exchange navigational position information (favorites, pins, etc.) across platforms is a must.

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