Mini-review: WinGo Maps UWP - early days!

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A new UWP client for Google Maps' APIs, WinGo Maps is, in theory, the UWP application that brings Google Navigation to Windows 10 Mobile. Except that it's incredibly early days, which is why this is a Flow mini-review and not a full blown AAWP review - the app just isn't good enough yet. Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on it though.

From the Store description (sic):

  • Exploring on Google Maps (Roadmaps, Satellite, and Hybrid including traffic data)
  • Offline map usage support
  • Show places info, ratings and more
  • Rate and review places you know
  • Getting directions in 3 different modes (Walking, Driving and Transit)
  • Voice Navigation
  • Bookmark and Secondary Live Tile support
  • Inking support (handwriting on map temporary)
  • Continuum support for Windows 10 Mobile
  • Cortana support (Commands: Bingo, Where am I? / Bingo, Get me directions to Somewhere / Bingo, Find somewhere on map)
  • Live Location on your Live Tile
  • Windows Maps Uri association override (Applications trying to show location on windows maps can show there on WinGo maps too)

In theory, everything's in place then. Could this be the best of Google Maps but on Windows 10? Well, not quite. In practice, WinGo Maps works pretty well for pedestrians, but it's (currently) utterly hopeless when driving:

  • the maps doesn't keep current location centred
  • on-screen turn instructions lag behind real life
  • voice instructions are confusing, sometimes wrong, and sometimes playing over the top of each other

I'm not going to give up on this though - this is just code and the raw data (Google's APIs) is top notch, so I'm sure the developer is working on improving things ASAP. In the meantime, some screens of WinGo Maps in action on my Lumia 950 XL:


Defaulting to 'Walking' (probably just as well!) and - curiously - to Congo! Still, it found my location fast enough thereafter; (right) you can download offline maps (at multiple tile sizes), though you do have to keep the phone on and with the screen in place during the download. And that might be ten minutes or so, even for modest areas.


The full range of locations and POIs from Google Maps is available, of course; (right) plenty of settings, but no dark/night theme, sadly...


Getting going on a journey (screenshot slightly redacted), but (right) things quickly get out of step. I'm only seeing my current position here at all because I tapped on the location control!

You can buy this in the Store here, or grab a free trial to see how it works for you (so far)! I honestly think this is worth buying and persevering with, as long as the developer keeps coding.

PS. Or stick with Windows 10 Maps, though note the current temporary hiatus.

Source / Credit: Store