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Garmin Reduces Opening Price For Nav App

Olathe, Kan. — Garmin is reducing its opening-price point for a downloadable navigation app with the launch of a $1.99 Viago app, which can be upgraded through in-app purchases of new features.

The company will continue to offer its $49.99 Garmin StreetPilot and Navigon apps and will continue to update them, a spokesman said.

“The idea behind the Viago app is to give users the choice to pick the features they really need and only pay for those as opposed to having to purchase a full-featured app at a higher price,” a spokesman said.

Garmin Víago is available on Google Play and the App Store at an introductory price of $0.99 through July 13. In-app purchase packages range from $4.99 to $19.99, including downloadable onboard maps in lieu of cloud-based maps.

At $1.99, the app offers access to the Here Cloud-based map database, current-speed and speed-limit display, lane assist, weather information, in-map traffic display, and photo-realistic junction views. It also features a completely redesigned user interface.

Viago also offers features that Garmin’s other two apps lack, including Real Directions and Active Lane Guidance, both available as in-app purchases. Active Lane Guidance displays an animated graphic with arrows to indicate the proper lane needed to make a turn. Garmin Real Directions provides spoken turn-by-turn directions and uses recognizable landmarks, buildings, stop signs and traffic lights as audible prompts.

Other app options include Traffic Live, which automatically routes drivers around traffic by using historic and real-time data from other drivers. Panorama View offers 3D views obtained from NASA for “intuitive visual orientation.” Urban Guidance integrates public transportation and pedestrian navigation information so users can switch, for example, from car to pedestrian navigation to continue by foot after parking the car. Urban Guidance is initially available only for the iPhone.

Optional downloadable maps stored locally provide navigation capabilities in areas where cellular coverage is spotty, the company said. Maps are available for different regions around the world so users avoid roaming fees when navigation outside the country.

A multi-stop route planner lets users add multiple destinations to a trip.

Víago is compatible with the $129-suggested Garmin HUD, which projects navigation information onto a windshield from a Bluetooth-connected smartphone that’s running one of Garmin’s navigation apps. HUD projects directions onto a transparent film on the windshield or onto an attached reflector lens.

Garmin also offers mounts to secure the smartphone in the car when it is being used for navigation.