The portable navigation device (PND) sales leader, Garmin has held out from offering an iPhone navigation app until today. The Garmin StreetPilot app is now available in the Apple iTunes store for $39.99. The company has also launched several applications for both Android and iPhone, including Garmin Tracker, myMechanic, and My-Cast Lite.
The StreetPilot app launches with the familiar choice of "Where to?" and "View Map" as seen on contemporary Garmin nav devices. It likewise provides the common features seen in PNDs, with spoken street names used for guidance, reality view, lane assist, speed limit indicators, and free real-time traffic.
Garmin Tracker is coming soon for Android and iPhone, working with the new Garmin GTU 10 tracking device to allow users to monitor the location of the device. It could be used to track a car, child, pet, suitcase, or other object via a smart phone. The GTU 10 costs $199.99 and it requires a $49.99 annual service fee.
MyMechanic provides car performance data, such as horsepower, torque, and g-force, on Android phones. Available in February, the app requires the Garmin ecoRoute HD device introduced last year at the 2010 CES. The ecoRoute HD plugs into a vehicle's onboard diagnostics (OBD II) port found on vehicles made since 1996, and it wirelessly transmits performance information to compatible PNDs and now smart phones.
My-Cast Lite is a free weather application for Android and iPhone that provides information on current conditions, forecasts, and weather radar.
Being slow to join the application realm, Garmin had tried to go it alone with its own navigation-enabled phones, but the GPS-focused company quickly learned that it is hard to compete with the iPhone, especially in AT&T stores. Meanwhile, traditional brand-name competitors Magellan, Navigon, and TomTom have rapidly accrued downloads and market share on the popular smart phones.
We look forward to sampling and later fully testing the Garmin StreetPilot app to see how it compares against the established competition.
See our iPhone navigation ratings.