I’ve been a big fan of Garmin ever since I got my Nuvi back in 2006. That being said, I’d always hoped that Garmin would bring out a software suite that could run on mobile phones, without the need for any GPS attachments. Last week, I was notified that Garmap has done just that.
The official word:
Garmap, the official map data provider for Garmin navigation products in Africa, announced at the AfricaCom event in Cape Town recently that Garmap for Mobile Online, Garmap’s newest navigation software suite for mobile devices, will be available to purchase in retail blister packs at outlets and mobile phone stores around South Africa from mid-November.
Powered by Appello’s award-winning navigation platform, Garmap for Mobile Online delivers full-feature navigation throughout South Africa on nearly any GPS-enabled mobile phone, while only utilising a minimal amount of the phone memory.
“With this software, GPS-enabled mobile phones can be equipped with the same navigation capability utilising the latest mapping data that is available on bigger and more expensive GPS devices,” says Andrew McHenry, head of mobile for Garmap.
“When people purchase the new retail blister pack, they can enjoy the full version of Garmap for Mobile, which gives them access to voice turn-by-turn navigation, a full list of points of interest (POIs), weather updates and – for a small monthly fee – real time traffic, just to name a few of the features,” he adds.
Garmap for Mobile is designed to keep as small a presence as possible on a mobile phone and, as such, relies on a data connection (either GPRS, Edge or 3G/HSDPA) to download maps, POIs and other data that gives users the full GPS experience.
Because maps and POIs are downloaded in real-time via the phone’s data connection, users can be assured that they are always accessing the most up-to-date maps of Southern Africa that Garmap has to offer.
Garmap for Mobile is available for Symbian-based phones as well as BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile phones.
Garmap for Mobile Online retails for a recommended R990.00, which includes a 24-month usage license and a live traffic subscription.
I’m delighted that this is out, but I have a few reservations. It’s still only available for Symbian,
CrackBlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile, which unfortunately doesn’t help me with my iPhone. Secondly, the pricing model seems a bit steep, considering that Google Maps is free (and it works on practically any mobile device).
I’d like to think that Garmin offers a completely different experience with its extensive POI (Points of interest) database and Southern African coverage – the area that the Google maps lags behind in many ways. We’ll wait and see.