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You may recall Garmin’s first move into the App Store back in January with StreetPilot, a navigation app that tried a different approach from the others -- leaving the maps out, requiring users to have data access through their iPhone. Now the company is back to rectify that move, complete with maps.
MacRumors is reporting that Garmin has released three new flavors of navigation apps to the App Store, all of which feature onboard map data, unlike their first StreetPilot effort. Although Garmin StreetPilot made for a quick download from the App Store, it required data access on your device in order to receive maps -- making it less desirable for users in remote areas, or even cities where 3G is spotty.
That’s why the company has now moved in the opposite direction, releasing three flavors of navigation apps they call “Garmin StreetPilot Onboard,” with all of the necessary map data included with the installation. As such, a hefty initial download from the App Store is now required, and will likely be the same for future updates -- but at least you’ll have your map data with you at all times now.
“Garmin StreetPilot Onboard puts the vast preloaded database and intuitive interface of a Garmin nüvi into the iPhone you use everyday -- without tapping into your data plan,” the company announced in a press release on Tuesday. “With ultra-fast map drawing, panning and zooming, the preloaded maps and Points of Interest offer peace of mind in knowing that wireless coverage and data plan usage are not required to access maps or calculate routes. So just as with a nüvi, the maps and directions are always there when you need them most -- especially when you can’t get cell or Wi-Fi signals or your data plan is running low.”
The company is offering three flavors of the app: The $39.99 Garmin U.S.A. which includes the lower 49 states with a few Caribbean islands; the $49.99 Garmin N. America which includes the entire United States, Canada, Mexico and those Caribbean islands; and finally, the £44.99 Garmin UK & Ireland for complete maps of Great Britain, Isle of Man and Channel Islands as well as major cities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Real-time traffic and fuel price data are also available as separate in-app purchases.
And no, before you ask: Owners of the existing Garmin StreetPilot won’t get free updates to the new onboard map versions -- they’re considered all new apps.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter