I requested and got access to the new google maps. I would imagine they are rolling it out pretty quickly.
It's pretty nice. I think the search interface is much better. It's easier to look at the results as they are shown on the map. It's pretty spotty for where I live. I did a search for tire places and some showed up but lots of them around me did not. I'm not sure how they get on there - if it is something the businesses need to do themselves or there is a missing link in the chain somewhere else. I still saw more than I expected to find. I needed to search in Hungarian but that makes sense.
A search for restaurants by where I live was really lacking. This makes me wonder how useful maps will be for travel.
The cards that come up for search results are really nice. I like that interface quite a bit. I like how it fits in with the way that Google Now presents information. The only issue I've had with Google Now so far is that it tries to anticipate what you want and can give you information you don't want. To be specific, when the Penguins were playing the Islanders in the first round - I googled the Islanders following one of the games to look at the team roster. A day or two later, google now gave me a card showing the results of the previous nights game - that I hadn't watched yet. I removed the card and the alerts stopped. I'm glad I hadn't googled the Penguins or maybe I'd have kept getting updates.
This is also a reminder that everything I search or do logged in with my google account is being recorded and acted upon in one way or another. I know this wont sit well at all with some people.
Finally - I can't see all the features of the new google maps. It tells me I'm running in "Lite Mode" because I'm on Linux. You only get the full experience on Mac, Windows or Chrome.