Maps

The integration of map navigation throughout our Windows Phones can be a handy feature. From tapping on an address to a contact, in an email and now with Cortana, generating voice directions is but a tap away.

If you have multiple navigation apps installed on your Windows Phone you will be given a list of these apps to choose from when generating voice directions. That extra step in getting directions may not be a big deal to most, but there is a way to set one of your navigation apps as a default with Windows Phone 8.1 and avoid this step all together.

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Offline Map data updated for Windows Phone

Along with all the excited in the air today about the release of the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, many will also see an update to Nokia’s Offline Maps.

Our tipster is seeing updates for the entire U.S. map collection and we’ve been able to confirm updates for New York. It does appear that the updates are for devices running Windows Phone 8.1. My Lumia 1020 is still running Windows Phone 8 and no updates are in sight.

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GPS Voice Navigation is one of the more popular navigation apps available for our Windows Phone. While GPS Voice Navigation has its popularity, as we see with other navigation apps, battery consumption can be an issue. It is easy to see these apps suck the life out of a battery making a car charger a necessity when using Windows Phone navigation apps.

An update was recently pushed out for GPS Voice Navigation that hopes to noticeable improve battery performance. The version 7.0 update adds Eco and Background modes that are designed to save up to fifty-percent of your Windows Phone battery life.

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Microsoft's Bing Maps for Windows 8.1 is a breathtaking experience

The preinstalled map app within Windows 8 is quite good, but it comes nowhere near the detail and quality of map resources supplied by Google’s own mapping service. Microsoft intends to fix that idea and has just released their “Bing Maps Preview” application to the Windows Store.

Simply put from first impressions - we are impressed.

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Nokia is on an updating roll this morning. The company has pushed out a new version of HERE Drive to the Windows Phone Store, introducing a batch of new features. If you find yourself looking around for your car often, or wish to view a list of turn-by-turn directions from any given route, this update is for you. But wait, there's more.

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WPCentral gets an exclusive look at some new HERE tech with Nokia

Nokia today invited Windows Phone Central along to their UK offices in London to talk about HERE location services and to show off the new technology in the new fleet of vehicles. These mobile machines are tasked with keeping the data collected fresh and relevant, as well as adding yet more detail to services and apps that utilise HERE data.

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Update 4:15 PM ET: Users in comments are reporting updates globally, so make sure to check yours

Late Friday afternoon here and we can pass along that Nokia has updated some offline map data for their HERE services. No, that’s not an app update but rather the map data that you hopefully have downloaded for offline usage.

We were tipped by reader Corey S. and the Windows Phone Central staff were able to confirm updates for at least Florida, Alabama, California, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. In other words, it looks like a lot of the US has received some form of a minor update.

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Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Navigation Apps

One of the more useful applications our Windows Phones are capable of is helping us get where we need to go. Navigation apps are rather plentiful in the Windows Phone Store and is the focus of this week's roundup.

We take a look at four feature rich navigation apps to see if you can get away with a free navigation app or if you need to invest with a paid app. Two of the titles have been around for some time and two are relatively new comers.

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In a world where Google is king, Bing is beginning to spread. The service’s take over on iOS devices as Siri’s new backend search engine is a large step forward for the company, but Microsoft isn’t done there. Yesterday at Build 2013, the company announced that they would be opening a large number of new APIs and controls to developers.

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Nokia has updated both the Windows Phone app and web version of HERE Maps. The company has published a new article on the official blog that details multiple challenges when it comes to cartography. That said, we're more interested in what the team has added in this maps update. Today's update for both Windows Phone 8 and here.com is painted as a significant milestone.

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As promised, Navitel comes to Windows Phone 8

It was just last month when Navitel released a mapping app for Windows Phone 7.x devices with promises to release a Windows Phone 8 version in the near future. Today Navitel held true to their word and released the Windows Phone 8 version of their app.  In a manner of speaking that is.

Now before you get excited, the release is very limited in what maps are available and it's only a thirty day trial. After the thirty days you'll have to pony up and pay as much as 50 Euros for Navitel's service.

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MapQuest is no secret to mapping things out and has thrown it's name on to the Windows Phone Store shelves. The Windows Phone 8 app has voice-guided navigation, real-time traffic conditions, the ability to hunt down restaurants, and a lot more.

I can remember when MapQuest was the go-to website for looking up addresses and the MapQuest Windows Phone app makes a rather nice first impression.

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Go To is a new navigation app for our Windows Phone 8 devices that lets you look up addresses and create voice commands to generate travel directions to that address.

The app is in it's infancy but the foundation present in Go To's initial release is nice. The app supports both Nokia and Google maps with directions generated through the navigation apps installed on your Windows Phone (HERE,  NAVIGON, etc.).

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HTC looking to get into the mapping business?

HTC, much like Samsung, has been targeted by not only ourselves, but consumers too. The companies have been in the heat of complaints when it comes to lack of support for Windows Phone, when compared to Nokia. We'll attempt to not sound like a broken record, but it's long been the case where Nokia has pushed the platform forward, with Samsung and HTC (as well as other manufacturers) taking more of a back seat approach. 

Despite what we all may think of HTC, the company may yet show consumers that the towel hasn't been thrown in when it comes to Windows Phone. The news website Windows Phone Italy has contacted sources familiar with HTC plans in Taiwan and have learnt that the company is looking at a navigation solution for its family of Windows Phones. Could we see the first sign of the company looking to match its unique hardware with software?

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GPS Voice Navigation is a turn-by-turn navigation app for your Windows Phone and it recently received a hefty update. The version 5.1 update for Windows Phone 7.x devices gets a map autozoom and search in contacts feature along with a few bug fixes.

The version 6 update for Windows Phone 8 devices also adds the map autozoom and search in contacts features but also adds 2D/3D map modes, full voice directions, night mode and offline maps through Nokia Maps.

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A lot of folks running Windows Phone on an HTC or Samsung device have bemoaned at the some of the exclusive apps Nokia makes available only to their own Lumia line. While it makes sense for Nokia to differentiate themselves, we know that sting from feeling left out. No pouting today though, Nokia now is letting folks on non-Lumia devices get some more HERE action.

Previously HERE Drive Beta was available to everyone, but now you can add HERE Maps and HERE Transit to the list of apps.

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