Of Saved places and Collections - Windows 10 Maps updated for Fast Insiders

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Two weeks ago I reported on Windows 10 Maps getting a big update for those whose phones were registered on the Insiders 'Fast' ring and said that this version would ripple down to production Windows 10 Mobile users around now. It seems as though there are still bugs being quoshed though, not least in the Favourites Saved places system (spot the renamed feature!), which still seems a bit quirky to me. See below for a demonstration of this in action in Windows 10 Maps, updated last night again only for the Fast ring Insiders.

For this new release of Windows 10 Maps, you see, Microsoft has hugely expanded the old simple list of 'Favourites'. This has been renamed as 'Saved places', a term designed to indicate a slightly wider remit and indeed you can now save locations into 'Collections', such as 'Friends', 'Customers', 'Clubs', and so on. Unfortunately it's slightly awkward to put a location you've already saved as a favourite into a collection - and I'd hope to see Microsoft implement my suggestion below before this new branch of Windows 10 Maps is pushed to the mainstream.

Screenshot, MapsScreenshot, Maps

As you may have noticed (and Microsoft is not done fiddling yet), there's now a 'Collections' tab under the (renamed) 'Saved places' pane. Note also the relocated quick shortcuts to 'Home', 'Work' and 'Car'. What you do with 'Collections' is up to you, though some of my labels here are good starting points.

Screenshot, MapsScreenshot, Maps

Bring up a collection and the display goes a little split screen, with the collection in view en masse (if possible), along with a new option to 'Add a place'. Unfortunately, if you go via this UI route then you have to choose from the map or via a recent search. 

Screenshot, MapsScreenshot, Maps

Assuming you're happy to add via picking a spot on the map then just pick it and then 'Edit' the place's name as needed. Of course, for anyone who's been using Maps for a while and who already has a bunch of favourites saved, there needs to be a better way. Although you can't add a favourite from within the collection view, if you go into the favourite itself you'll see new pop-up options available under 'Save', including adding to any collection or starting a new one.

So the facility exists to add existing favourites to collections, in order to populate them quickly and easily, but the UI needs to be more streamlined, with a trivial fix suggested here by me. Just add existing Favourites to the list of options when adding a new place to a collection. 

And if Microsoft wanted to be fancy, what about a 'wizard' the first time a new user launches this version of Maps, introducing the 'Collections' concept and with a dialog to assign all existing favourites to new or existing collections. Just a thought.

Anyway, give Microsoft another week or two to get some of this in place and then hopefully we'lll see this branch of Maps formally released to the world.