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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

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.

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.