Google had initially restricted to access to Google Maps on Windows Phone saying that Internet Explorer versions that are part of Windows Phone didn’t use the Webkit rendering engine but then it was one of the things Google said to stop the growth of Windows Phone. Times changed and the fact that the Trident rendering engine which was used on Internet Explorer was the same as Windows and Windows RT, could not help Google stand its claim for long while.
Yes, Google Maps are back on Windows Phone and say it or not, Google has accepted the fact that it will indeed have to provide support to Google Maps through Windows Phone. They can be used through Internet Explorer but still do not give you the same level of functionality as they do on Android. The Google Maps application is available on Windows Phone Marketplace which is not the official application but performs in an exact manner as Google maps. It has been developed by a third party called Clarity.
You just need to install the application from the marketplace and you are good to go.
- It offers you the ability to explore new places by giving you the same level of navigation as Google Maps
- It gets Voice Guided turn-by-turn GPS navigation.
- It will provide you with the ever so useful 360 degree street view which is one of the highlights of Google maps and you can see what is inside the places around you like the museums, hotels, restaurants, etc.
- You will get live traffic updates from Waze alongside incident reports so that you can re-direct yourself in case of holdups at certain places. Waze is one of the most useful applications integrated with Google maps as it helps you save a lot of time by helping you alter your routes according to the traffic conditions
- There is a compass mode on offer which offers you a 3D and more real view of things around you.
- You get directions to go to different places through various transportation means like public transport, walking or through your personal vehicle after you have set a destination.
- It has been integrated with Google+ too so if you want to discover new places and want to have a small review about them before you visit them, you can check them out courtesy of the reviews from various Google+ users.
The unofficial Google Maps application is available with maps of about 200 countries with over 100 million places in its database. Seeing the fact that it is more of redirected version of Google Maps rather than the official ones, it does have small bugs which the developers are working on to fix. Nokia HERE is a good alternative to the same but if you are a fan of Google Maps, this is the closest you can get to on Windows Phone.