back to article Garmin tells iPhone users where to go

Satnav giant Garmin's first turn-by-turn navigation app for iPhone makes its debut at CES this week. Garmin StreetPilot The StreetPilot App grants users unlimited access to Garmin's navigation system. Greeted by two simple options: 'Where to?' and 'View Map', customers can look up addresses or services and while on the move …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OEM SatNavs?

    Looks good. Better price than TomTom as well.

    This proves that both Garmin and TomTom have versions of their software that will run on standard hardware. What i don't understand is why Car manufacturers don't sell OEM/Built in car sat-navs that run Garmin/TomTom rather than developing their own.

    The satnav in a BMW I rented this summer was terrible.l

  2. mego


    Garmin still don't get the whole "navigation as an app" thing. GMaps is free. It has turn-by-turn navigation. It is UPDATED for FREE.

    Yeah, ok, so the Garmin app IS likely better than GMaps. But the thing is, I don't have to pay for updates on the GMaps. 40 bucks is fine if it were updated freely for perpetuity; no way is it worth 40 bucks - and then upgrades on top..

    1. D@v3

      generally speaking.....

      Apps brought through the AppStore, do include free updates. At least all the ones I have paid for so far have.

  3. Scott Thomson

    As an Android User...

    <Smug Mode>

    The (Free) Google Navigation App on my HTC Desire gets me where I want to go and it is considerably more up to date and accurate than my 18 month old Tom Tom for which I would have to pay for updated maps. In a side by side comparison the Tom Tom failed to plot a route to a destination that the navigation app found with ease.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      May be free

      but if I could have got updates (which are not available any more, having been dropped as a supported device), I would prefer to use TomTom Navigator 6 that I had running on my Palm Treo 650 using an external bluetooth GPS device than use Google Navigator on my Samsung Galaxy (the Treo really was a smartphone in it's time)

      The problem is that the Google app does not provide enough information with regard to speed, time to destination and distance to destination. All I appear to get is time to destination and distance to the next change in navigation (i.e. junction), and even this appears quite arbitrary when in the country.

      For instance, on the A396, there is a tight left turn in Exebridge which is counted as a change in navigation, so I can tell how far it is to that even though it is the same road, rather than when I reach the end of the A396. Not clever. And I still find it annoying that it calls the road things like the "A three thousand three hundred and ninety one", rather than a-three-three-nine-one. Reading the street names is clever, though.

      I also miss setting the journey up in advance, rather than getting in the car and waiting for it to work out where it is before entering the destination. One time I was in the outskirts of a city, and had to detour due to a closed road, and it did not re-plan the route until I had managed to nearly get to my destination.

      Never mind, hopefully Google will update it sometime to make it more usable.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge


      Shame you have to put up with gaping kernel holes:

      An SMS application that sends to the wrong people and could get you in trouble:

      Sub-optimal GPU use (which lowers battery life):

      Android truly is the Windows of the phone world now. Cheap, widespread and just about "good enough", not great.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Biased much?

        Dude, don't be a troll (and I'll have to assume a fanboi). Have you actually ever used a decent Android phone?

        I have an HTC Desire and my wife has an iPhone. I use both every day and they are both excellent phones. Each phone definitely has its strong (and weak) points of course but overall it's hard to pick a favourite.

  4. JaitcH

    Garmin: Great for underwater travel, ahem

    Not long ago I used a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx, loaded with Garmin software, and it faithfully recorded all my activities for some 1,900 kilometres.

    After transferring the data to laptop it showed, according to the Garmin software, that I had made the complete journey 10-15 kilometres out to sea. This was unexpected as I made the journey by road.

    There are only two major roads of any type running north and south, so it is impossible to take a wrong turn. One, called Highway 13, is a good 6-lane highway, clearly defined on maps. Again using my GPSMAP 60CSx recording my journey. Once again there was great satellite signal strength and once again the recorded track was 10-15 kilometres off compared to several maps.

    So I acquired alternative software and it proved the Garmin hardware was good but that the software was crap.

    So before you go placing your faith in the Garmin App, read the fine print - especially the part where Garmin denies all responsibility!

    1. Tempest

      Don't bring Garmin to Cambodia ... doesn't know it's head from the other end

      We get great GPS signals here in Cambodia, being near the equator, but the Garmin mapping system is useless - most of the roads are way off the reality.

      It won't matter what smartphone you use, with duff maps you are really lost.

  5. Alex Walsh

    Can't imagine

    it will be any better than the excellent priced Co Pilot software.

  6. s. pam

    Oi Register, ever you get it wrong again today was the day

    If your rocket scientists look in the AppStore You'll see that the purported SW is 'Merkin only and not available in Europe.

    So your article is a non-article....don't go all mushy guys but really you'd should have checked more!

  7. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    The tit is required, and must contain nipple and/or a bra.

    Or you can get an Android phone with FREE Google Navigation, with all the same features PLUS streetview and Google Earth built in =]

    £26 on an app is unjustifiable!

    Can you use Google Earth on an iphone anyone?

    It's a general question.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ahem ... Not all of the features...

      Google apps does 'turn by turn' direction. But it doesn't do Lane Assist or Junction Views.

  8. JDX Gold badge


    The Google things I've seen have not been a patch on proper dedicated sat-nav. It didn't seem to force you to be on a road, leading to lots of confusion. Maybe things are improved since then but considering a dedicated satnav is £hundreds, £25 for a decent app is a bargain.

    There's more to a decent sat-nav than simply having all the map data.

  9. Michael C

    LOOK at this app

    OK, yes, you CAN get GMaps, Mapquest, and a few other fairly competent free GPS nav apps.

    However, look at what this is offering above and beyond basic and simple "turn now" navigation...

    There's a frigging rendering of the street sign, and indicators not just "exit left" but which lane to be in at any point and time to avoid being in exit only lanes, or so that you can know both right lanes will exit so you don;' have to change to the rightmost one.

    The route planners are actually customizable beyond "shortest" and "fastest"

    Speed limit identification for most roads

    Real time traffic (yes some free ones do this, including map quest and Google, but they're not that good)

    music controls IN the app (no switching)

    integrated weather conditions

    portrait and landscape mode (only some do this)

    Maps are not only loaded on-the-fly, but also work offline for pre-plotted routes. Free map updates are in fact included, and always up-to-date (no annual updates)

    Continues voice prompts in the background even when on a call.

    Yes, around my town where i know the major and complex intersections by heart, and simply need to find back roads and the odd store, Google and other free solutions are fine. If I was headed through NY, DC, Hartford, Boston etc? trust me, I've tried (and failed) to use simple turn-only GPS in those cities. Knowing what LANE to be in is a damned important feature if you are not familiar with the city. Getting real time traffic and more, even placing calls from within the app without changing screens, and with continual map updates from the same systems that support the Nuvi? Its a one time $40 investment that is far superior to anything available for less.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Its a one time

      Dude.. if that were true, would be great. But I look at the history of the company (and yes, other navigator companies too); and all I see is sucker punches. For example, I have a 2 year old Garmin. It's completely flummoxed when I go ANYWHERE.. why? Because it's outta date. To upgrade will cost around $30.

      And sure.. I hear the argument that App store apps are typically free for update - not really, if you thought about it. Update to the SOFTWARE, sure; but the DATA (ie, what they usually rip you off for), that is the maps? Have yet to see any similar app offer that too for free... the ONLY exception being GMaps..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      decicated satnav

      around £100. If you want to add crap to it, then sure it can be more.. but same argument can be made of anything.

      Bottom line, if the £25 is for the app + all future map updates; then it's a deal. If it's just the app and initial maps; then it's a waste of breath..

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Can you say Junction View and Lane Assist?

      These are the features that you're 'glowing' about. Of course your post was down thumbed, and I don't know why. (Maybe it was done by a Google fanboi ???)

      Google doesn't offer JunctionViews or Lane Assist. I don't believe that their raw map data contains this information. This is more than just 'turn by turn' direction information because while you may know that in .01 miles you need to turn left. However sometimes you may have two lanes that exit and you need to be in a specific lane.

      Posting anon because I do know what it takes to have Junction Views and Lane Assist working. ;-)

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re Google...

      While I am not a fanboi of Google, its not really Google's fault.. per se.

      You are right that you have two components. The actual raw map data and the software/hardware that gets your position and then determines where you are on the map.

      I don't know what hardware is used in the phones relative to the hardware used in the GPS devices, but I do know that the GPS devices allow you to indicate what sort of mode of transportation you are using. (Car, or on foot as an example.) So assuming that the map data is accurate, most devices will snap your position to a road whenever possible. There's more to this but that's the basic idea. Google and Apple have attempted to overcome accuracy issues by using wi-fi 'hot spots' and cell reception to help better pin point your position. (Which is why Google was mapping hot-spots in the first place...)

      There's more to getting good map data than just driving a Google Car and collecting data. There's a bit of back end work required to improve on the quality of the data and add things in like speed limit signs.

      (Note: If you have a Garmin device driving down the road where the speed limit changes, try and see how accurately your Garmin gets the correct speed limit change. Its pretty close. ;-)

      Things like correct sign positioning, accurate addressing and up to date roads take time and money. Google is still new to Mapping and while their maps are generally 'good enough', they are spending their money elsewhere to get more people to use their maps in general.

      Which brings me up to an interesting question... what information does Google collect from you when you use their map applications? ;-)

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        RE: AC

        Google Navigation does tell you what lane to be in, it is clear on both the road map with the arrow telling you when to turn off, and the distance til the next corner or lane charge.

        Fail for bad research

  10. Lars Silver badge

    Nice title

    For a while I thought it was real.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    NavFree on the iPhone does a lot of this.

    No it's not as polished but it's free, and thats the problem. If you are paying £25 for this or £40 for TomTom versus the free NavFree it needs to offer something over and above. Traffic avoidance is one such but it's coming to NavFree (probably as a paid add in).

    Bottom line I have a tomtom style car satnav, having it on the phone is nice but I'm not paying £25 for it when there are free solutions out there.

  12. stuhacking

    Junction View and Lane assist...

    I drive one of those fancy cars with windows. I look out of the window and see a clear view of the road ahead complete with signposts, lane markings and scenery. Heck - I even have 3 fancy slabs of glass that show me where I've just been.

    Keep your £30 GPS app, I'll continue to plan my routes in advance and exercise a bit of observation on the road.

    Stop: An example of a road sign.

    1. DaveyP


      I don't understand this sort of thing. I guess it's along the lines of "I only use my phone to make calls - what's the point in all the other stuff". I'm quite old, and I learnt to drive using maps and local knowledge. I can get within a few miles of anywhere in the UK with general knowledge, I reckon. However, it's extremely useful to have nav for the last bit, if I'm going somewhere I don't know. That alone is worth the £20 for CoPilot. Add to that speed camera warnings and the ability to find good short cuts when in traffic, and I'm afraid that NOT having one starts to look foolish, not the other way round...

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Need 3G?

    Aparantly the maps for this are streemed over the air,

    what if im on Edge or i have bad 3G signal

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