Earlier this year, major GPS navigation firm Garmin released its first turn-by-turn navigation app for iOS. But rather than having all map data included within the application, Garmin StreetPilot relied on data access to download maps as needed. Garmin touted the decision as offering smaller and quicker downloads with the most up-to-date mapping data, but it also required users to tap into their data plan to use the application and could result in poor navigation in areas of poor or no cell coverage.
To address those issues, Garmin today announced the release of several "StreetPilot Onboard" apps offering full map data bundled within the apps to allow for offline navigation.
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 dataplan. 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 dataplan 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 dataplan is running low.
Three versions of StreetPilot Onboard are available:
- Garmin U.S.A. ($39.99): Lower 49 states plus a number of Caribbean islands
- Garmin N. America ($49.99): United States, Canada, Mexico, and a number of Caribbean islands
- Garmin UK & Ireland (£44.99): Full maps of Great Britain, Isle of Man, and Channel Islands, with coverage of 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.
Just last week, Garmin announced that it had completed its acquisition of German GPS firm Navigon, which itself offers a full suite of two dozen GPS applications for iOS covering various countries and regions.