Microsoft today updated Bing Maps for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, adding a slew of features it has implemented over the last six months. These include personalized recommendations, Yelp and TripAdvisor integration, roaming favorites, a static search box, and more cities in 3D. You can download the new app now directly from the Windows Store.
First up, the new auto-suggest feature gives the user a more personalized experience: when you type into the search box, Bing displays your past searches for places and addresses as well as places you may have already saved as favorites. It also includes recommendations for popular searches nearby and inline insights.
Yet the recommendations go further than that. Microsoft has partnered with Yelp and TripAdvisor to offer suggestions that are custom-built for Bing Maps, as you can in the screenshot below.
The best part, in our opinion, is that favorites are now roaming: they follow you to whatever Windows device you use. You can now create and manage the places and addresses that matter most to you. To turn the feature on, go to settings and turn on “personalization.”
These saved favorites will also show up inside Cortana’s notebook under “Places” for Windows Phone 8.1. Unfortunately, Microsoft wouldn’t say when and if this option will land on Android or iOS.
Next up, the search box is now available directly on the map. Just start typing and the app will run with your query:
Last but not least, Microsoft has made it easier to explore cities in three dimensions with the new Explore 3D pane & Featured 3D Cities carousel. A total of 96 cities are now supported, including nine new additions in the US (Richmond, VA; Providence, RI; Austin, TX; Tucson, AZ; Jacksonville, FL; Lincoln, NE; Las Vegas, NV; Reno, NV and Daytona Beach, FL).
It’s worth noting that Microsoft offers a Bing Maps Preview app that lets you play with new features before they are pushed out to the main app. You can grab it alongside your existing Maps app over on the Windows Store.