Editor's note: Large portions of this post have been updated to correct errors and inaccurate statements originally provided by the author and to add information from the app developer.
Third-party Google apps aren't rare in the Microsoft Store. Google won't release apps in the store and developers are happy to fill the gap. WinGo Maps is described as an unofficial Google Maps client for Windows 10. Unfortunately, there are issues with the app that prevent it from being a solid Google Maps client.
I originally made an error and stated that the app didn't use Google Maps data at all. I have spoken with the developer since and gained some clarification regarding WinGo Maps. The developer states that the app does use a Google Maps SDK for sourcing map data and has shared his source code to illustrate this.
However, there is an issue with the application that results in Windows Maps being shown rather than Google Maps in some circumstances. As a result, I was seeing Windows Map data rather than Google Maps data in my initial review. Inside WinGo Maps, if you open settings or switch to offline maps mode and then hit the back button the app will show Windows Maps content rather than Google Maps.
This review has been updated based on my conversation with the app's developer
Google Maps … some of the time
The apps's description states that WinGo Maps is an unofficial Google Maps client, but a bug within the app shows Windows Maps rather than Google Maps if you go into settings or offline map view and then hit the back button.
However, there is no indication that this issue occurs or that the app is showing a different source for map data. This also isn't an intermittent bug caused by a rare set of circumstances. Every single instance of the application that you open settings or open offline maps and then go back to maps, this issue will occur.
If you open the app and just jump straight into using it for navigation, it works fine. The Google Maps data is present, and in many areas, is more detailed than Windows Maps data.
The app's developer states that this issue will be fixed in future releases, but until that happens, it's an issue.
What does work
Aside from the bug which causes Windows Map data to appear, WinGo Maps works as a navigation app. Gesture controls work well and allow you to move around the map, change your perspective from overhead view to 3-D views, and zoom in and out. You can get directions for walking, driving, or public transport as well.
Inking support works and allows you draw on a map with various colors and inking options. The app has some performance bugginess that I'll chalk up to it being in beta, such as stuttering, but it's generally an okay maps app.
Overall thoughts on WinGo Maps
WinGo Maps attempts to fill a gap that many people want closed: Google Maps not being available on Windows 10. While the app does perform well when it comes to navigation and inking, a bug that results in Windows Maps data being shown rather than Google Maps data holds WinGo Maps back.
The developer says that this issue is being worked on and if it is removed, the app will be significantly better.
The app is available for $1.99 on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, and HoloLens.
- Inking support
- Location tracking
- 3-D map view option
- A bug shows Windows Maps rather than Google Maps
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