Windows Maps gets lane guidance and traffic cameras in latest update

Windows Maps for Windows 10 desktop and Mobile has received another pretty nifty update. Incoming with this version is lane guidance in turn-by-turn navigation, the ability to tap into and look at feeds from various traffic cameras, and even the ability to "track Santa" as he does his rounds later this month! Here's the official breakdown of what's new from the changelog:

  • Pin your Home or Work to Start for one-tap guided directions from anywhere
  • Find Santa and follow him as he travels around the world on December 24th*
  • Get lane guidance in turn-by-turn navigation (requires Windows 10 November update)

As a bit of an aside, while the changelog mentions the ability to pin directions to Start for easy access, this was already included in previous versions. The text has been changed slightly, however, from "Ping Guided Directions" to "Pin Directions."

One of the biggest additions in this update that isn't noted in the changelog is that there is a new "Cameras" option that will let users take a live peek at the traffic conditions in some areas. Bing recently added support for 35,000 traffic cameras across 11 countries and now it's in mobile too. Check it out below:

Windows Maps Traffic Cameras

Though it may not get used a ton, this is a really cool feature that's likely related to Bing Maps getting similar functionality in November. Add in lane guidance for turn-by-turn navigation, and this update feels like one of the best yet for Microsoft's fledgling Windows Maps app. To check out all of the latest bits and bobs, be sure to grab the update from the Windows Store at the link below.

Thanks to LennH and wmuser for the tips!

Download Windows Maps from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • It may be time to switch over from Here Drive+. I will have to give this a try.
  • It's crushing Here Drive+ at this point. I couldn't go back.
  • Agreed. I'm surprised how much I like it. I still want Here Drive + to improve.
  • They still using the Map data from Here? That's the only map system that seems to have my house/street on it.
  • Same here...It's smoother in my old 920. I'd really like to be able to import my favorites into Maps, I have hundreds...
  • Hells yeah. I've already switched since like... Yesterday.... And loving it
  • it been better than here drive for a long time now
  • Agreed.
  • Haven't used HERE since I got my 950. Maps does everything I used to do with HERE and it's much faster (though that might just be the new hardware).
  • This uses HERE maps.
  • Yes but the UI is MS
  • Only thing I miss from here drive is having voice available in multiple languages.
  • The UI in Maps is fricking tiny. Touch targets are very small. In tablet or PC this should be no issue but on a phone - and it gets even worse in car ;)
  • I agree, but over all the ability to have the directions tell you"you have reached your destination" and say its on the right or left is the best thing for me being new to a city.
  • Changing the Display scaling on my 640 has helped that tremendously. My only complaint about Maps is the overly large bars at the top that take up all the room where the map should be displayed. Overall, features are better and it's faster, and has more features now. Also, Here really hasn't been trying to improve for a long time now, while Microsoft is constantly trying to make all of their products better, including this one. I'm happy with it, but parts of the UI, while superior in many ways, still bother me. Namely the bars at the top. 
  • Used this recently since moving from my old 1020 with HERE+ to my 950XL. I must say these new features were glaringly obvious omissions so it's good to see these additions. Keep the updates coming!
  • Off topic. How did you find the camera of 950XL compared with the 1020? I'm a prospective switched too, but kind of turned off / held back by the mere 20MP and worse off OIS.
  • The camera was my only major sticking point, but the 950 XL camera is excellent in its own right, the only miss for me is the 1020's almost endless zoom. Everything else is an evolution from the 1020 apart from sensor size, all settings are very familiar, JPEG and DNG are there, low light photo's are great, and 4K video is very crisp and is good. Overall I'm happy I took the plunge, the 950 XL as a device is very impressive and makes up a lot for any perceived camera shortfalls.
  • Fledgling? Thats a bit harsh.
  • Maps is a bit harsh, have you used it? lol I mean, it's getting better and tonight's update goes a long way, but it still not quite Google Maps level.
  • It's been better than Here for months though, and that's the bar WP since there's no Google Maps.
    Frankly, Google Maps on my iPhone gives me terrible directions compared to Maps. I really don't like the UI on GM, so that's a big part of it.
  • Hah, since I can't even download HERE I'll take your word on it. Never was a big fan of HERE. UI was nice, but that's about it.
  • Here drive always worked fine and never steered me wrong.
  • I can be a bit if a lead foot, so I liked the speeding alert on Here. I'm not sure if WP has that feature. IOS and Android do. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android because I am unfortunately with Sprint
  • Both here and maps have user set, audible speeding alerts
  • Invest in a $200 radar detector. Best decision ever. I've already saved over $1000 from not getting caught.
  • How would you know if it never happened?  Are you creating imaginary tickets as you go along?
  • It's simple actually.. The radar detector picks up a lidar/radar 1 or more miles out so instead of still going 10-20 MPH over the speed limit you slow down.. Pass the cop and pick up speed again. I got a $3000 ticket going 113+ early morning on i5 by 580 and a $800 ticket for going 15 over in Mariposa by Yosemite.. I drive a fast car so investing in a radar was the best decision I've made..
  • There's no native Google Maps but there are great third party alternatives. Or at least the one with gMaps/gMaps Pro which I'm sure WC has covered in the past:
  • Right!?!?! Google Maps isn't as good as people say it is. I used to compete with my dad (he used Google I used HERE) to see who was better on road trips. Let's just say I got us through downtown Cincinnati at rush hour using quick side streets while Google had us jumping on a parking lot of a highway. Lol, but I must say, after switching to Android I feel the quality of HERE isn't near as good as it was on WP. Interesting... Posted via the Windows Central App for Symbian
  • Daniel, I haven't used Google Maps on a phone.  Does it have the lane guidance and traffic camera features that are coming?  Sounds like MS is serious about making MS Maps a real competitor, which is good for everyone.  I wonder if they'll put it on Android and iOS in the future after they make it full featured on Windows?
  • Maps is one of the few things they've stuck the 'Windows' name on, so I don't think it's going cross platform but you never know.
  • Did I hear some one say google?
  • I haven't liked Google Maps for a few years since they did a significant redesign. On mobile, its just not easy or intuitive (to me). I love the new MS Maps, though... even before this update it has worked well for me, very well.
  • What's google maps? ;)
  • That was before MySpace, AOL, and Yahoo.
  • Just means it's relatively new. I don't think it was meant to be harsh.
  • This ^ There was no malicious intent with that word. It's just an accurate descriptor of the current situation with the app. It's not bad by any means, but it's still relatively new and growing.
  • Agreed that it still isn't ready for prime time - e.g., takes way too long to load favorites or to search after booting, traffic toggle still wont stick after app close, loses traffic during navigation, UI very skeletal and unpolished (looks like they ported HERE drive commute UI from a couple of versions ago), route alternate choice and route option selection is counter-intuitive and clunky, and really needs traffic delay dialog with rerouting choices in navigation mode. As others have said, take a big cue on features and flow from Google maps.
  • Exactly. Fledgling is a bird that's just getting it's feathers and learning to fly. He didn't say "floundering". That would be an insult. 
  • Wow, I was literally just complaining about the lack of lane guidance yesterday.  Perfect timing. :D I still think the UI needs a ton of work with regards to navigation / UI while driving, but I personally like this far more than a suite of separate HERE apps.
  • Here in Honduras the maps are very outdated, I can't use this app until at least they update the image
  • Wow. That is an extremely decent update. Lane guidance! Sweeeet! Hold the phone, this isn't just a U.S. thing is it?
  • Thinking the same.. I hope it's note.. If it is.. Such a waste..
    Update: It's not US exclusive.. Appreciated.. Pheww
  • Yeah just checked. Cameras everywhere. Very cool. Wonder how lane guidance it's implemented?!
  • Nice addon
  • Agree.
  • Great additions .. Windows Maps is growing on me.. I hope the Cameras feature is not just US exclusive... Which is very likely...Can anybody confirm whether the feature is present outside US??
  • I just got update and can confirm the cameras option is linked to highways agency cameras here in the UK! Not sure on lane guidance (as haven't test drove it), but traffic incidents is also live.
  • Woww... Now that's a good news.... Thumbs Up... Very well-done MS.. :)
  • I can also confirm that traffic cams are available in Australia as well.
  • It does say in the article "35,000 in 11 countries". I'll give you all the benefit of the doubt and say it was probably edited to add that information in, right?
  • It was added.. Trust me
  • Or may be my eyes skipped it..can't be so sure :D
  • It was added ;)
  • Hah, just told my friend about the cameras.  I got a "I hate you" back.
  • Reason?
  • Friend is jealous. *flies away*
  • He should have replied " I have google maps "
    Then Thazal will be the one who'll reply " I hate you " :D /s
  • Eh I've lived almost 3 years now without google maps on my phone, I'm good.
  • The hardships we suffer :D :P
  • now if car head units had miracast/continuum support, this would be AWESOME!!!
  • I'm betting Continuum adds touch screen at some point. Then my "Head Unit" IS a 7-8 inch monitor (Double Din) Cortana, Groove, Turn by Turn, Netflix, .........
  • Personally, I'd rather have a dedicated car mode than put desktop class apps (as that's what Continuum is supposed to do in theory) on the car head unit. And it needs to use MirrorLink. There's unfortunately not a chance that Microsoft will be able to convince car OEMs to add some new type of connectivity just for them.
  • Now all we need is real time crowd sourcing of traffic data and Waze will have some serious competition (Waze still does not have lane guidance).
  • It does. More driving with maps open = better traffic information. But there are a lot more google users. Heck, even on the iPhone most people use Waze (google) or Google maps so they have impossibly good traffic info.
  • Does it ? Used Waze recently on a road trip on a Galaxy S6 and don't remember it having lane guidance.
  • WinMaps doesn't do automatic, live rerouting around traffic, though. That's the magic that Waze started.
  • Do the pined places act as my commutes? I go to more than one place weekly and want glance and go info on ETAs..
  • All welcome changes. Now if they can fix the bug that doesn't display roads in the app at all, add a feature for multiple destinations when getting directions, and fix the generally asinine directions it gives me sometimes, I could completely abandon Google.    Not asking much guys, just would like to not be told to drive 5 hours though the mountains when 45 min on a highway will suffice.
  • Ok this is pretty cool
  • Can anyone get Compass to work on 950? Mine is always greyed out... Or maybe I'm missing something?
  • That function is operative only when you are in guidance mode.  It took me a while to figure it out also.  
  • Thanks, I just tried it, somewhow it still stays fixed and not changing direction in guidance mode! Funny thing is that it works on gmaps apps!
  • I'm 99% sure that the lane guidance was already in the prior version.
  • I thought so too
  • If it was, I never saw it. Cause I was swearing just the other day about it not being there.
  • It wasn't obvious, but it was at the top of the map with little arrows showing the lanes with the ones you shouldn't be in greyed out... In looking back through posts I see that people were talking about it after the November 16th update.
  • Yeah, it was there. We I saw it for the first time, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. This was about a week and half ago.
  • Lane guidance was there a while ago. I used it a few times before.
  • So long Here maps...hehe
  • As much as I wish I could use the app, it doesn't perform as well as HERE Drive+ does on my Lumia 928. I love Maps way more, but its navigation gets up to 15 seconds behind. I'm a delivery driver, so that sucks horribly for me. Maybe it's just the processor not keeping up or something. I don't know.
    ​Either way, it seems Maps is using HERE Maps instead of Bing Maps, which means it's just as innacurate as HERE Drive+ is for me sometimes. I wish they'd switch to Bing Maps, as they're updated more, but I'm not sure when or if that'll ever happen.  
  • I think they're using some sort of combined version between Here Maps and Bing Maps.
  • Bing Maps has been using Here Maps data for quite sometime now. The difference between the two is the user-interface and how that data is used.
  • did they fix the GPS lag yet? on my lumia 928 the lag on the GPS is horrible, cant state that enought. like a full block or more off most of the time. the lag is so great that is very hard to use. Since I updated and did hard reset, now cannot get HERE Map so am pretty much stuck with this now.
  • I timed my lag with Maps app and it was around 15 seconds behind with driving navigation. ):
  • Also now tells you if the destination is ok the right out on the left.
  • Maps is so much better in W10 than 8.1
  • Awesome! I'm excited for the new Maps app. Here Drive was really stagnating.
  • Worked great on trip to new England. The lane feature is terrific.
  • I really like HERE maps but I just got my 950 XL today and HERE maps is not available in the Canadian store. I tried Windows Maps but I couldn't find an option to turn on voice directions. Can Windows Maps do that? It would be a deal breaker if not. I hope HERE ccomes back in the store soon.
  • If you've ever had a windows phone all the here suite apps are available in my library
  • Is this WP map automatically drive you to the fastest route if there's a current traffic incident? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Guys, try Sygic, they have a trial
  • Tried it and bought it. Leaves the Here and Maps standing :)
  • I wish they would fix this road map on the front of my house :( It's wrong, it should be connected to the roundabout...
  • HERE is better in every way
  • Could someone explain what is meant by "lane guidance"?  Does it verbally tell you which lane to get in?  I noticed Saturday, before the update, that the lane layout was displayed visually on the screen beside my next turn, so I would know which lanes were turn lanes.  Also, I noticed it gave me a choice of many different routes to take so I could choose my preferred route before I started navigation.  I don't know when that was added, but I was delighted.  I also like how you can pause the directions, so if you decide to take a different path you don't have to hear the phone insist that you make a U-turn at every intersection.  Then you can un-pause once you get to the area you are less familiar with.  There are other great additions too like StreetSide.  It's time for Windows Central to do a full overview of the features so we can all put HERE Drive to rest.
  • This is great! It just needs more countries to support. Now it still needs to make Windows Maps works reliably, fix the occasional bugs and glitches. Sometimes the app lost its Search bar and behaves erratic to the point it sometimes crash. This is why I have to use Here apps simply because it's snappier, stable and reliable, no need to worry that the app will crash or some other issues while driving. For driving, they need better UI for it. The Here Drive have better UI for driving.
  • Do turn by turn highway directions give you Exit #'s, names or both?
  • Yep, I noticed this weekend that traffic cameras showed up on my maps when I was out tooling around. Very nice
  • Waypoints... Anything about Maps having multiple waypoints??
  • actually it has now
  • Shut - Up...  Has MS actually come up with their own app in an established space that surpasses the third parties?  I have to try this out.
  • Alright, clue me in here.  How do you add additional destinations?
  • I like it but the narration voice is going 90 mph. Waze makes for stiff competition with the user alerts on radar and obstacles.
  • I'm surprised that after this update, the street annunciation started working properly while driving. I thought this was all related to the keyboard/speech downloads failing repeatedly for non-US instances of English (UK, Canada Australia). Maps is much better than HERE+ but still needs a lot of work with getting traffic/ETAs right.
  • WaaS is going to be awesome!
  • Whoa, it's called "Windows Maps" now?? What the heck...
  • How do I export my favourites from Here maps/drive+ to W10M maps?
  • You don't. However once you add the locations in Maps manually they will then synchronise across all devices.
  • How about being able to choose the language and region so you don't get American traffic signs in Europe:/
  • Here Drive UI still vastly superior, though! How is it that MS simply can't see that the font needs to be big enough to be easily legible at 60 cm and that a black bar taking up a third of the display is a waste of space?
  • I agree with that black bar being way to big. Also, the exit at Islands, whether 1,2,3 etc is small and needs to be larger so it can be read at a quick glance.
  • Here drive+ is still trying to update for months now, I'm tired of my store tile with 1 toast notification on that app trying to update when it won't go away...
  • It would be nice to actually be able to see the roads on this on my SP4. I can't believe this got through QC on the new pro4s and you can't actually the roads. A fundamental part of any map I would suggest!!
  • Wow, just yesterday I was in the opposite mind that Here is more reliable. But with the addition of lane assist and camera's this blows Here out of the water!
  • All I wish is that they add in the subway map again. That was a much used feature. At least by me.
  • I'm in the UK. I tried using Maps on the way home from a friend's place the other night. It lost GPS twice and then completely locked up as well. This was not just annoying. It was frightening, as I was alone in the middle of nowhere in the dark on a 60mph road. When I switched to Waze, I had no problems at all. Let's just say, I don't think Maps is ready yet...
  • Is it possible to make the app display the speed limit? Always find that handy on here drive when I'm not sure if it's a 30 or 40 zone.
  • I'm using Windows 10 Mobile on my 920 and 8.1 on my 720, still undecided if I should buy a 950 and jump to 10 full time, but for me I really missed the safety camera notifications when they dropped it from Here Drive. If they can bring that back on Windows Map, rather than traffic cameras that would be a big plus for me.
  • Lane guidance is the only reason I was keeping copilot around ...guess it's days may be numbered.
  • How do you change the map orientation? I thought by clicking on the top icon on the right that looks like a red compass needle it would change. It is lime it is greyed out on mine and does nothing when you tap it. My north always sty's facing up.