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New Google Maps Takes Aim at Foursquare, Yelp

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 | 12:15 PM ET
Source: Google

Google just threw a big swing at Yelp and Foursquare.

The tech giant said Wednesday that it is in the early stages of rolling out the new version of Google Maps, which it unveiled at Google I/O in May. In addition to an improved interface, the app has some built-in features that could pose a threat to Yelp and Foursquare.

(Read More: Google Launches Music Service, Refreshes Maps )

The updated Google Maps incorporates restaurant reviews from Zagat, which Google bought in 2011, so a spot's ratings will appear with the search. Users also can add their own rating and comments for a restaurant directly through Maps, giving it a slight edge over Yelp as users can stay in the same app.

Google is also gunning for Foursquare with its Explore feature, which, similar to Foursquare's, breaks down the function for finding nearby spots into categories. In Google's case, those include 'Eat,' 'Drink,' 'Sleep' and 'Shop.'

(Read More: 'Naked and Lonely' Without Google Glass: Andreessen )

The company also has included discounts, which works by flagging businesses a user has searched with a blue tag on the Map if they have a special offer available. Users can then swipe to get more information and can either use the deal immediately or save to their Google account to cash out later. This is also similar to Foursquare, which flags specials for searched items in its app.

Maps for Android is being rolled out globally in Google Play and eventually will be available at the Apple App store, although the company did not specify when.

Maps is available for Android phones and tablets Wednesday but requires the Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean version.

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.