Windows 10 Maps app update adds Surface Dial support, improved Ink features

The Windows Ink revolution began with the Anniversary Update back in August – that’s also when the Maps app initially gained support for Windows Ink; Windows 10 is meant to work on a variety of devices – a whole bunch of them, being equipped with touchscreens.

Windows Maps with Ink

On touch screen devices, users have always been able to pinch-to-zoom or perform various other intuitive gestures that everyone has gotten used to – with the Windows Ink support introduced in Anniversary Update, users have even been able to draw on the map with a Surface Pen as if it was paper.

For those not on touch screen devices – Windows Ink still works, albeit as an inferior experience. A mouse is not a replacement for a finger.

The Pen brings a more natural form of interaction to touch devices – a pen, contrary to popular belief, is unlike a stylus. The Maps app have let users annotate, and write details on top of a map (and then share said map), and while that’s all great, there’s room for more.

Today, the Maps app is updating, to add more.

The Directions

The Maps app will now let you draw on the map with a pen – and then measure the distance as you trace the route.

There’s also a new ruler tool, if you would like to draw straight lines – you can rotate it and do everything you could do with a real ruler.

You can also draw a line from your start point to the end point, and the Maps app will calculate a route between the two points – if you know where something is on the map, you don’t need to enter its address.

The Dial


The Surface Dial was announced last month at the Surface event, and while it’s built for use with the Surface Studio – it can also work with all the existing Surface devices.

If you have managed to get your hands on one, you can now use it to rotate, zoom, or change the map perspective with a more natural interaction.

The Dial can also help you move things like the ruler around the map – give you something physical to interact with, while still being virtual.


The update is rolling out to everyone on a Windows 10 device with the Anniversary Update. It’s not limited to Insiders.

Of course, the update is rolling out via the Windows Store – here’s a link for the Maps app if you somehow managed to uninstall it.

You can read more about the update over at Microsoft’s official blog.

If you haven’t received the update yet, just be patient!

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