Microsoft's Bing Maps can now alleviate some of your pain at the gas pump

Does anybody actually use Bing Maps? I mean, I am sure some people do (right?), but I have never met any of them in my travels. In my experience, most folks use either Google Maps or Apple Maps -- I prefer the latter.

However, thanks to some new features being added to Bing Maps, maybe it is finally time to consider trying Microsoft's offering. You see, the Windows-maker has added some new things, such as a parking finder and a distance calculator to its app.

While those two new features are cool, the truly exciting addition is gas prices! Yes, Microsoft is addressing one of the biggest issues facing consumers today by showing gas prices in Bing Maps. With gasoline prices being at their highest ever, drivers will likely welcome any tool that can alleviate some pain at the pump -- even friggin' Bing.

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"The Gas Prices Map feature is pretty self-explanatory – it finds gas prices within a 5-mile radius of where you’re searching. It also doubles as a gas station finder app. So, we’ll look closer at the beginning of our route in Seattle and find the closest gas station with the best price. Because we can have two map apps running simultaneously in different browser pages, we can see our route from Seattle to San Diego still on the map. This allows us to see where these gas stations are relative to our route. So, while Union 76 is $5.90 per gallon, there’s a Shell station that’s $5.52 per gallon and that is a significant difference of 38 cents per gallon, so it does pay to shop around before you leave," explains Microsoft.

The Windows-maker adds, "Starting the Gas Prices Map App loads all gas stations as soon as you ask; it’s as quick as the Distance Calculator App because they are all supported by Bing Places and Bing Maps. You’ll notice the branded icons on the left navigation panel with name, address, and price information per station along with pins on the map. Clicking on any of the pins will pop up a callout that gives you the same information, plus the last date and time the information was updated. There’s also a link to get directions from within Bing Maps. Clicking on any of the gas stations found on the left-hand navigation of the app will recenter the map to the respective gas station."

While the added abilities to find parking, calculate distances, and view gas prices are certainly useful, it probably isn't enough to get people to switch to Bing... sorry, Microsoft. But hey, maybe I am wrong and people will switch. Please tell me in the comments below if these new features will get you to try Bing Maps.

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