Revamped Google Maps hits Google Play with new interface

Major overhaul features cleaner design with livelier colors and new discovery features.

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Overhauled Google Maps. Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET

It appears that Google is ready to deliver the updated Android version of Google Maps that it previewed at its I/O developers conference in May.

As spotted by Android Police, a major update for the app has appeared in the Google Play store, sporting an overhauled interface and new discovery features. The update doesn't seem to be appearing on devices yet, but Google promises it "will be gradually rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users over the next few weeks." (Editors' note: See the news of the actual announcement, which came early Wednesday, here: "New Google Maps for Android moves in on Yelp, Foursquare.")

Besides a cleaner design with more lively colors, the interface delivers enhanced navigational features, including "live traffic updates, incident reports, and dynamic rerouting." The update also includes an Foursquare-like Explore function designed to help users browse and discover local restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels.

While the update sports features Google would have picked up with its $1.1 billion acquisition of Waze last month, that deal is likely too recent to have allowed engineers to integrate the map-app maker's features with Google's. The Web giant's acquisition of the Israel-based startup has also attracted the antitrust interest of U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which has the option of examining deals even after they close.

(Via The Verge)