Garmin Launches Cloud-Based Navigation For iPhone


Olathe, Kan. - Garmin's latest navigation app for the iPhone is the company's first subscription-based navigation app, which the company believes will attract more users because of a lower up-front cost of 99 cents combined with a $2.99/month fee to access Garmin's Cloud-based navigation service.

That price compares with $49.99 for the company's current

StreetPilot Onboard app

, which uses maps and points of interest stored on the phone. That app also comes with optional annual $19.99 fee for cellular-delivered live traffic service and an annual $9.99 for cellular-delivered fuel-price updates.

 For 99 cents, the new StreetPilot OnDemand app provides 30 days of Cloud-based turn-by-turn voice-prompted navigation and traffic rerouting in the U.S. and Canada, automatic off-route recalculation, real-time traffic information, and multimodal pedestrian routing with integrated transit schedules. Users can extend the services by paying $2.99/month or $29.99/year. If they don't extend the services, users still will be able to view maps, look up points of interest and create routes.

"The idea behind the subscription model of the OnDemand app is twofold," a spokesperson said. "Users who only use navigation occasionally don't have to pay the full price and can pay as they go." And the 99-cent price "introduces more people to the idea of premium navigation," she said. "They can try it out at this price without a big risk and purchase the full app or a subscription if they like the experience."

With the subscription service, the app is the only iPhone navigation app with multimodal pedestrian navigation, enabling consumers using the app's pedestrian mode to integrate public transportation into a route. Rendered 3D buildings and landmarks help pedestrians find their destination, the company said.

 Because the app accesses Cloud-based Navteq maps rather than onboard maps and information,  maps are always the latest available, the spokesperson noted. Cloud-based service also frees up iPhone memory because once a route is calculated, only the needed maps are downloaded, she added. POI information is also accessed from the Cloud rather than from onboard memory to ensure the latest available information.

 The app also features many of Garmin's PND features, including spoken turn-by-turn directions, PhotoReal junction views that show a realistic depiction of the junction, lane guidance, and real-time traffic information that automatically routes drivers around gridlock.

  Users can find points of interest using Garmin's database or Google Local Search. A new feature suggests points of interest based on the users search history to provide faster and more relevant search results. The app also warns drivers when exceeding the speed limit and even provides an overview of the weather conditions at the destination, complete with a five-day forecast. 


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