Bing Maps ‘built from the ground up’ and will work with key Windows 8.1 features like Snap and Live Tiles.
Microsoft has unveiled the first preview of its improved Bing Maps app for Windows 8.1 and it’s now free to download from the Windows Store.
Announced at Microsoft’s BUILD developer conference in the summer, the new improved mapping application will include high resolution 3D imagery of locations users search for.
In order to generate the slicker visuals, Microsoft claims it has processed upwards of 121 trillion pixels to create the impressive 3D landscape.
The same technology had previously been used for the online version of Bing Maps but was abandoned when Microsoft began to move away from using its own Silverlight development software.
The Bing Maps preview features 3D maps of 70 cities across the globe including Bremen in Germany and Canberra in Australia. Some of the world’s most famous cities including New York, Berlin and London will remain unavailable until the final version of the app is available.
Microsoft is also including its answer to Google Street View, Street Side where the key difference between the two is the much larger map below the images to make navigating at ground level much easier.
Other features include real-time traffic notifications and Open Table integration with Skype support so you can dial straight through to restaurants to make a reservation.
Unsurprisingly, Bing Maps is being optimized for touchscreens so you can pinch and zoom, tilt and rotate maps. It will also support mouse and trackpad navigation for those with Windows 8 laptop sans touchscreen display.
There’s no news on when we can expect to see the full version of Bing Maps but it’s clear there are some really promising features to look out for if you decide to download it and have a play.