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Windows Maps is now live on Xbox One Preview, here's how it works!

Windows Maps is built into Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Powered by Bing and HERE mapping technologies, Windows Maps provides directions, rich mapping data of the entire world, and even 3D aerial views. Windows Maps also allows you to sync favorite places and use them with Cortana, who in turn lets you refer to places simply as "home" and "work" and so on while using her locational commands. Additionally,

Windows Maps is now available on the Xbox One Preview thanks to the Summer Update, and here's how it works on the console.

Update: I previously reported that Windows Maps was live for all consoles on the Summer Update. At present, it seems that Windows Maps is only available on the Xbox One Preview. If you're able to find it in the public store, leave us a comment!

Windows Maps has all the same features that it does on PC and Windows 10 Mobile. Favorite locations sync using your Microsoft Account, you can search for directions, browse 3D maps and discover rich information about places all over the world.

Windows Maps doesn't utilize a mouse-like cursor seen in apps like Baconit and Cast. Instead, its controls are mapped directly to the Xbox One controller and handle fairly similarly to browsing the map screen of an open world video game. The left joystick moves your position, and the right joystick controls the tilt and rotation of the map. 'A' is your left click, 'Y' is a global search key, and 'B' is your back button. The triggers zoom and the view button cycles between map controls and Windows Maps' more complex user interface elements.

When out of map view, you can search for locations, get directions, discover rich features of the current vicinity and switch the view between aerial photographs and regular map data. Universal Windows Platform apps don't have access to the full breadth of Xbox One hardware power, so some of its more complex 3D maps like the skyline of New York City caused the app to lag out a little. Still, there's always room for optimization.

Frankly put, Windows Maps on Xbox One is another victory for UWP. You might be asking yourself, "why would I want Windows Maps on my games console?" and for many, there may not be a good reason, but the sheer option is powerful. The whole point of UWP is the mobility of the experience.

For instance, you might be playing a game, but decide to go out to a new restaurant in your local area later in the evening. Instead of reaching for a phone or a laptop, you can now access it straight from your console. And who knows? In the future, you might be able to use Uber's UWP app to schedule a taxi cab too.

The Universal Windows Platform is opening up all sorts of exciting possibilities for computing in the living room, and Microsoft hopes developers will agree. Let's wait and see.

Thanks Leon and Zack for the tips!

Need more?

Check out our other articles for more info on the Xbox One Summer Update.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

56 Comments
  • It is pretty awesome to see more and more apps appearing on every platform.  That said, I do fall in the group that wonders why you would possibly want to use maps on a console.  I can't imagine a time where I would want it on my TV compared to a phone/tablet/laptop.
  • Probably just easy to port and increases awareness of the service on Windows.
  • I almost wrote that this was an app available for the sake of having it there...same idea.  You could argue it serves as a tech demo I guess.
  • I explain in the video and article why it could be a good idea. Also this isn't really a straight port, it has bespoke controls mapped to the Xbox One controller. A straight port would've been to just let it fall back on the cursor like Baconit and Cast. Also, Windows Maps preinstalled on hundreds of millions of Windows PCs is far more exposure than it could ever be on Xbox.
  • I did read that part.  I'm glad they took the time to make it more user friendly on the console...virtual cursors stink.
  • Was replying to Paul there more. :) Yeah I agree on the virtual cursors, in apps that have web views I think it might be hard/impossible to completely avoid, but at the very least they could add like, "Y" to search, and that sort of thing. Combinations work well in apps like Microsoft Edge.
  • This is literally the same maps app that we have on Windows 10 RS1. Windows 10 RS1 has all the XAML controls updated to work with an Xbox controller. So you can now use the maps app in Windows 10 RS1 with an Xbox controller too. An not only the maps app, it works with all other apps using standard XAML controls.
  • Oh nice!
  • If you think of xb1 as lifestyle device, with uwp it elevates beyond gaming, imagine xb1 in living room listening to music you get a call to join friends somewhere new, you just say hey Cortana find joes pub and gets directions then pushes to your w10 device of choice namely a phone.
  • Exactly, and it DOES do that, because it syncs favorite locations between devices. If you save it on your Xbox, it'll come up on your phone too.
  • MS may not have to make a Windows TV. They already have one;")
  • Ye