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Unofficial Google Maps app gMaps updated, adds numerous improvements

The popular unofficial Google Maps app for Windows Phone has been updated to version 2.1. gMaps has been available on the platform for some time and it's good to see more updates published by the developer. gMaps (both the free and pro version) were previously bumped to version 2.0, adding Windows Phone 8 support. So what's new in this latest release? Street View has been refreshed and a number of improvements have been implemented.

Major features also affected include Latitude and Driver Mode. Currently, Street View has a rather limited ability to browse views and doesn't sport an optimised rendering engine. This has been fixed in version 2.1 and users can now enjoy a full 360-degree panoramic view of supported locations. The option to enable high quality tiles is also present. It's noted that this version of Street View is already available on gMaps for Windows 8.

The second improvement covers Drive Mode. Numerous fixes have been applied that address the clipped route / objects and map rotation issues. The centre of rotation has been moved to the bottom of the display, offering a better view for the user with more of the map rendered in the distance. Lastly, the ability to activate and deactivate the mode by tapping on the location has returned.

The final change is Google Latitude. The developer has managed to optimise the connection within gMaps to reduce the amount of data transmitted and received by the Windows Phone. Some of the processing, etc. has been moved to the backend.

You can download gMaps and gMaps Pro ($2.49 - right QR code) from the Windows Phone Store (both Windows Phone 7.x and 8 are supported - free version is ad-supported). The full details of this update for Windows Phone has also been published on the DreamTeam Mobile team blog. The team urges users to add their suggestions for future releases. Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

QR: gMaps

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • I love this app I but I often get told that I've reached my quota request limit when I try and place a pin on the map(even if its the first time I've used it in days), does anyone know why that is?
  • Great update
  • Don't use it ever since I moved to windows phone 8 and it was the only app that wanted to charge me again for the pro....
  • I will never use this app because I don't want anything to do with Google.
  • +10000000!
  • Nokia maps owns Google maps in every way as far as its India focus is concerned. So this app is cool and choice is good but no more google stuff for us please.
  • Not really, have used both of them and for non metro cities google maps are way more if there was a way to enable community edits on nokia maps, things would have been slightly better, but without it gmaps is way to go.
  • no more google products.
  • Why no more google products? Some of us enjoy it and hearing about it and This dev needs love too. I love google maps and I bought this app so I'm glad they are improving it :)
  • Because I am concerned about my privacy.
  • so don't use it, what does that have to do with the rest who wants to use it :)
  • Google and crApple are info whores, sellin it on every street corner, they just as well offer a bj with every user agreement these"johns" agree to when they sign for their free apps and services.
  • I was waiting for a comment like that. Thank you!
  • You go girl, tell that whore of a search engine where to get off!
  • Ok Google Map is great.
    And I never tried this app but since BingMap/HereMap are deeply integrated into WP why would you use another map application? I'm not sure the voice recognition works with this one, does it?
  • Because Bings routing is serverly limited on WP7.X devices. You cannot choose from multiple routes, you cannot choose to avoid any specific obstacles, highways, or tolls. Bing is limited by the type of routes you can choose, currently is walking or car on WP7.X, while Google Maps allows for biking and public transit. Worst of all, Bing forces you to tap the screen at each junction of your route.
  • There are many limitations in how the Bing Maps works vs the Google Maps. The Google Maps one is marginally better, especially if you are going hands free and actually driving a vehicle.
  • Wow... Didn't know that :/
    And does Here Map work on WP7.x ? Because all you need can be found in there
  • Bicycle directions and much better subway/bus directions (in NYC at least)
  • I like the mapping features in WP8, but I might pick this one up.  Not because I have any love for Google, but because sometimes it comes in handy to have an alternative.  Think of it in medical terms.  If your diagnosis comes in wierd, its nice to get a 2nd opinion.  So I would only use it when it seems that Bing or HERE or whatever can't find good directions to where I want to go.
  • @ Aaron if the app should give up on me I could probably use the browser based access. Or, I could just ask for directions the old fashioned way.
  • Google sucks!
  • Cool story bro
  • I wanted to look up Roatan Island cause I'm going on vacation there in three weeks. Tried to pull it up in Nokia and Bing map and LMAO cause there's no street images or anything for that country. Pulled up GMaps and and streets and satellite images. Go figure. Lol at google suck yet their map imaging is the best out of the three.
  • Similar experience for me on Kauai over Xmas. Huge 3+ year old retail development a block from our B&B didn't show up on Nokia Maps (no not even with the updated maps). Relied on gMaps Pro a lot. Thank goodness the option existed.
  • Google map's data in my location is better than here maps or Bing. I still in need for such app
  • But still, no support for 2-steps verification....
  • Is this better then Nokia apps though? I don't really use Bing for maps
  • For the most part yes.
  • It is and it isn't. Its pretty variable which service has better poi information and Public transit directions (in NYC gmaps is better at both, but in europe i think nokia is better) from location to location. Gmaps has a bicycle lane layer and bicycle directions which Nokia maps lacks, which many could care less about but to others could be extremely important.
  • I'll keep using Nokia but I might try it out just to compare
  • Nokia offline maps wins!!!
  • Unfortunately, Bing's POI database still sucks compared to Google's.  It seems like half the time when I'm on the road and need to search for a place by name (restaurants, businesses), Bing can't find it - especially if I don't know EXACTLY how it happens to be listed by Bing.  So I have to open gMaps, search for the place (ALWAYS found even if I'm way off on the name), confirm the address and location on the map, then go back to Bing Maps and search by address.  This procedure is slow and awkward but currently necessary because 1) Bing doesn't find stuff and 2) gMaps has a very slow and clunky UI compared to the built-in map app on WP7.
    Window Phone 8 getting more support for it's hardware!! Check it out!
  • Need Offline map.
  • Well, ever since i got myself a lumia 920.. Google maps is not my choice anymore...