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Maps

The Windows Phone world is still reeling from the rather sad news that HERE is pulling their apps and support from Microsoft's mobile OS. Once a crown jewel of Windows Phone HERE is now being jettisoned for a native solution.

Speaking of built-in maps Microsoft is giving a bit of a tease about what is coming next to Insider builds for Windows 10 Mobile. In a commend on reddit, a Microsoft employee on the Maps team named Dave_MSFT gave a glimpse of what Insiders can expect in the near future:

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Back in 2013, Nokia released an app for their Lumia line of Windows Phones dubbed Lumia Storage Check Beta. This app was in addition to just Lumia Storage Check, which was the main build of the tool that integrated into Settings and was part of the original 1308 firmware release.

The main difference between the Beta app and main release was the inclusion of offline Map data control in the beta. This new function lets users move offline map data to their storage card at will. At least, it did.

Since then, Microsoft took the idea and built their system called Storage Sense into the OS directly for all phones running Windows Phone 8.1. Storage Sense is also now a part of Windows 10, even for desktops.

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Offline map data is a Windows Phone feature you don’t appreciate until you really need it. While you’re probably in data coverage most of the time, those few times you’re not really make you love having access to your maps. Today we’re looking at an update for offline map data on Windows Phone!

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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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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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