To preview the changes that Microsoft has planned for its mapping service, it released the Bing Maps Preview app for Windows 8.1 today. The company says that this app is a first step in “introducing a new way to explore the world.” The app has been built from the ground up, according to Microsoft, and that they have focused on detail, scale and clarity. To ensure that users are provided with the highest quality imagery possible, Microsoft is showcasing a focused list of more than 70 cities around the globe just to let users know what’s to come from Bing Maps in the future.
Since the app was built for Windows 8.1, it takes advantage of features like Snapview and Windows notification, it also has Live Tile support. Users can explore places of interest, routes and landmarks over the cityscape, they will also have the option to switch to Streetside viewing mode in selected areas. “Bubble view” will provide a preview of the Streetside view while maintaining a broad perspective of the entire map, so basically as the user rotates the map, their view turns with it. In-app search is also present, allowing users to search for a restaurant or a venue and immediately get a route overlay. Favorite routes can also be saved in the Bings Maps Preview app and if certain times are specified, the app will automatically display traffic notification along those routes at the provided time even if the app isn’t active. The app is available for download right now in Windows Store.