Google has expanded
the reach of its Google Maps preview
to all Internet users. The search giant is now allowing anyone to sign up for the overhauled service, which it announced during Google I/O
alongside updated versions of the app for Android
, with applicants gaining access straight away instead of waiting for an e-mail invitation.
The new Google Maps uses vector-based data instead of graphical tiles, which will theoretically allow for faster loading times, along with a main user interface that now appears above the full-page map, rather than to the side. Route finding now takes into account public transport as well as driving, and new Photo Tours use images supplied by users to show a location. The satellite view now takes after Google Earth, and Street View has also received a few interface tweaks.
While it has opened up the Google Maps preview to all, it has stopped short of replacing the current version of the service, though this could change in the next few months.