App Review: Garmin StreetPilot GPS [App Store]
Although technically one of the first GPS manufacturers to market a mapping app for portables with its Garmin Mobile 10 software for PDAs and Palm, Garmin has been notably absent from the smartphone navigation app marketplace as of late (discounting the aging and ridiculously overpriced Garmin Mobile for Blackberry). Today, Garmin jumps back into the fray, challenging apps from TomTom, Magellan, and Navigon with not one, but four of its own GPS-centric apps, including the new StreetPilot navigation app for iPhone and three new GPS apps for Android devices.
The StreetPilot name hearkens back to the original Garmin StreetPilot GPS navigator announced at CES 1998. The app essentially brings all of the features that one would expect from a standalone Garmin Nuvi navigation device to the iPhone's touch screen, including a simple menu and map interface, turn-by-turn directions with text-to-speech spoken street names, and graphic lane guidance. Because the app can take advantage of the iPhone's hardware and software, users also have access to free traffic alerts, address book integration, and access and control of their iTunes library. iOS 4 devices can also utilize multitasking to take phone calls while the app handles background navigation.
The Garmin StreetPilot app takes up only 7.5MB, which means that it does not preload and store on the iPhone full map and data sets. This is different than the approach taken by TomTom, for example, which preloads 1.4GB of maps and data onto the phone.
Features include: text-to-speech, turn-by-turn navigation, free map updates, traffic detection & avoidance, integrated local search, lane assist with junction views, address book integration, integrated iPod music control, a weather screen, and place-calls-from-search
The Garmin StreetPilot app is currently available in the iTunes App Store for $39.99.