The improvements to Google Maps that the company demonstrated at its I/O conference in June have left the preview stage and are now available for everyone to use. Visual tweaks, personalized results and more transportation options are yours for the taking.
The new Google Maps look, with personalized results and "card" interface.
Google announced the universal availability in a Google+ post; all you have to do is head over to the sign-up page here and hit the big blue button.
The new Maps Web app has quite a few improvements, though you'll need the latest browser and a bit of horsepower to take advantage of them. A 3-D Google Earth view can be switched to instantly, complete with pop-up, 3-D buildings. The maps themselves have been revised and clarified as well.
Transit data now slides in from the top in a slick little interface, telling you when and where to catch the next bus or train. Other things, like restaurant reviews or Street View previews, show up in Google Now-esque "cards" hovering over the map.
The mobile Maps app also recently got an upgrade, although at the moment it's only available on Android while it goes through the approval process with Apple.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.
First published July 16 2013, 5:03 PM