(Pocket-lint) - Google already offers a Google Maps experience for drivers, with a dedicated Android Auto in-car navigation system - but, if you don't have such vehicle, it looks like the mobile version of the Google Maps app might soon serve up a dedicated interface for when in car mode.
The Google Maps for Android app seems to be testing a new car mode UI reminiscent of the Google Maps for Android Auto app. According to Android Police, which shared screenshots, the UI is very minimal. The leaked screenshots show a navigation bar with three large buttons on it for Google Assistant, Google Maps, and a home screen.
From the home screen, you can apparently access calling and messaging or even apps, including third-party ones. The home screen in the leaked screenshots shows apps like Google Podcast, YouTube Music, Spotify, and Telegram. The YouTube Music app reportedly lets you quickly get to your favourite playlists and tunes. Meanwhile, the Calls option under the home screen shows your three most recent contacts, though you can still “call someone else” from your contacts.
As for the Google Maps icon in the navigation bar, you can just tap it to return to the newly streamlined car mode navigation view in Google Maps.
Google is clearly trying to let drivers access music and other entertainment on their phones with as little distraction as possible. But it's unclear when this Google Maps app update will roll out to Android users, but given Google appears to be testing it now, we suspect it might roll out sooner rather than later.