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Microsoft releases Bing Maps preview for Windows 8.1

Microsoft has released a new version of its Bing Maps app for the most recent version of Windows as it shows off the changes it has made to the service as well as new apps for both iOS and Android.

The app, built for Windows 8.1, has been “built from the ground up” according to The Verge and it features extensive support for the new OS version including Snap Views and Live Tiles.

Microsoft has also included StreetSide support with the new preview and part of this will see a “bubble view” providing a preview of StreetSide images alongside maps with road names. Maps will also automatically rotate when the user moves around the interface and an additional visible search box will be added into the interface with navigation controls put on the left hand side.

Traffic notifications have been revamped with real-time information available on the app’s Live Tile or via notifications through Windows 8.1. The app also comes with a Local Scout feature that provides information on local points of interest and helps users find restaurants, shops and a lot more.

The iOS and Android apps, meanwhile, have been given major redesigns with various other things tinkered with inside each app. Microsoft’s main new feature in both apps is that the Bing daily image can now easily be set as the wallpaper on either OS and the firm explained that this has been implemented with users in mind.

“You have told us that one of the things you love most about Bing is the homepage image of the day. With that in mind, in this release we’ve made it simple for you to set the homepage image as your lockscreen," stated a post on the official Bing blog.

The update also allows users to sync bookmarks and images saved within the app and users can easily do this by signing in, bookmarking a page in the app on one device and it will then be available across all of them.

Image Credit: Flickr (Robert Scoble)