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
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at 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;")
  • Yes except that the amount of people who actively use both devices (Xbox and W10M) are rather small.  Also, I could do all three things from my phone at the same time already. I guess I just have never seen anyone put a map up on their TV before...or ask to do it.
  • I've pulled it up on my PC before, same kinda scenario, only this time I won't have to switch between devices if I'm already using my Xbox. Mobility is the goal.
  • That's why I would just use my phone for something like this.  I actually don't use the Xbox for anything but gaming or the TV functions (Amen to not having to use the slow, crappy guide from the cable box).  I find that Netflix and apps like that are easier to use on the phone and use chromecast to display it on the TV.
  • You've never seen anyone put a map up on the tv or ask to do it because generally it's never been an easier option (nor have you had it, I don't recall other consoles having this as an option at all? so you would have to cast your phone or computer to a tv), but having the option on the console could make it an easy option like Jez Corden is saying. I can agree that the navigation on an app can be different, like I really don't like the netflix UI on my roku 3 and would rather navigate it with a touch screen than a remote. So I think if they can make the navigation easy on the xbox, then it's a win situation. 
  • You might want that feature when you are in a meeting. Mapping feature in the TV might help only if you have Xbox at your office
  • For those questioning the usefulness of Maps on Xbox, I think sitting back with a controller and a large screen TV could be the preferred way for people to explore the Globe, through aerial\streetside views.  Am I the only one that thinks that can be as entertaining as a video game or other Xbox entertainment?  I'd like to see streetside data used for virtual tours, and I think Maps on Xbox TVs could be the best way to experience that.
  • Would be nice to use if you're planning a trip with someone else.
  • i could have used yesterday. i was watching tv through an xbox. my daughter asked me if i could pick her up on friday but she wasn't sure how gar the location was. Neither of us had a phone with us. She ran to her room to get the phone. Then we both were looking at the small screen of her phone. It would have been easier to do this through the xbox.  I could see this being useful if you are making plans with other people. Easier to look at a tv screen than share a tablet or phone.
  • I am hoping that as the Maps app matures, users will be able to plan a journey on a PC, and now an XBox, and then hand that journey off to their mobile handset. As soon as you can do that, then having Maps on the Xbox becomes way more useful.
  • Still says "coming soon" on my Xbox.
  • If you go to My Games and Apps, there should be an update available.
  • Nope.
    I'm not on the preview if that's the difference, which would mean It's not really "live".
  • Hmm strange, are you in the preview?
  • No.
  • Ah, it is preview only by the looks of it. Sorry about that.
  • Why not??? Exactly! :)
  • Come on VLC team, your turn!!
  • Nintendo Wii U have Google Maps with Street View using the Gamepad's gyro, since launch, so not the first console with a map like the video says.
    also, there is no way to invert the y axis control for the right analog, so navigating feels odd to me
  • My bad then :P
  • I suppose you can argue that all consoles already had maps accessible via the web browser. Besides, maps for Wii U was shut down months ago. http://www.gamespot.com/articles/nintendo-shutting-down-wii-us-google-ma...
  • If it runs anything like the Store and other items, no thanks. Things continue to run worse on my Xbox with each addition and it's mind boggling. It's a computer running fewer processes, yet my experience with apps is very spotty. I'm in the preview program on Xbox, but I'm not happy with the way my Xbox is running nowadays. I continue to get more and more frustrated with Windows products as time goes on. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I tend to agree with this.  I would pay a premium to have my Xbox run anywhere close to the speed of my desktop/laptop/tablet/phone.  With the news that the Xbox One S uses SATA III, I wonder how fast it will be with an SSD in it (specifically talking about speed in everyday use outside of games).
  • I can find out directly as some of my employees work at MSFT testing hardware. Now that has been released, they can discuss more openly. I'm sure they've tested this internally. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That would be pretty cool. I really hope an SSD makes a difference in this version of the console!
  • There's a video if you want to see how it runs.
  • When I'm at home relaxing on my days off, I rarely use my phone unless I'm making or receiving a call. I put it to charge and It's either my PC downstairs or my XB1 upstairs. I use maps on my PC very often for various reasons. Having this function upstairs on my XB1 is both awesome and convenient. It's one of those things that because it has never been done on a console, people might question it's purpose. But being in the preview and having tried it, I can tell you that it might be one of those things where you will probably miss if you didn't have it all of a sudden. I'm loving it.
  • Edit, this glitchy WC app, nevermind
  • Nice Demo. Thanks Jez
  • Wonderful.  The app that sucks so horribly on Windows phones and PCs is now on the game console.  Brilliant.  Call me when they bring the HERE suite of apps back.  Until then,this a complete waste.
  • What's so bad about it?
  • Apparently from him everything about Xbox really just a pissed off consumer like that new Apple fanboy trolling around. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (LG V10 or Nexus 5x)
  • Your comment is a complete waste, like always.
  • Troll
  • Where is outlook, photos, Calender, or even office ...
  • Coming soon
  • Great! Sounds awesome! I didn't realize that MS was still using Here Technologies. Now, if only they could bring back off line maps of China to mobile or PC... (sorry for always harping on that, but I could really use it)
  • This lays the foundation for Yelp and others to pull there apps over to Xbox that use a map app. How about the food gets delivered to me and my friends while we're gaming?
  • Would this have compatability with Kinect?
  • It would be really cool to be able to use Kinect grabe and flick gestures to spin the Earth, swim-in and swim-out gestures to zoom in and zoom out, and otherwise navigate this app with Kinect.
  • Now the big question, when will they integrate kinnect control with maps?  wouldn't it be cool to pan, zoom rotate, etc without using the controller?
  • Unfortunately Microsoft has decided to remove all gesture/Hand controls via the Kinect from XBox One as a system wide option quite some time ago. Some thirdparty apps still support it though. So the system can do it... MS just depricated it.
  • Well this is just awesome!!! This again proves the use of uwp apps! Ok, I don't see the immediate practical use with the maps app but this really showcases where msft is going to and I like it a lot!!! Thanks for the demo Jez!!! Keep em coming Microsoft!
  • Remote Desktop for XBO Microsoft ... . do it!
  • That would be... Nice!
  • If I'm playing a game like the Division it would be great if I could see where a location is in real life.