Garmin launches plug 'n' play sat-nav for smartphones

News

Satellite navigation company, Garmin, has launched an all-in-one software solution that turns selected smartphones with internal GPS into high-end navigators. Garmin Mobile XT is a mobile phone software application that seamlessly pairs the phone's built-in GPS with Garmin's software so that customers have the benefits of navigation anywhere in Europe or North America.

Unlike other mobile phone applications, Garmin Mobile XT is said to offer convenient preloaded maps and includes access to dynamic content like premium real-time traffic alerts and weather reports but does not require any monthly fees.

"Garmin Mobile XT is easy-to-use and affordable, with no monthly charges to get navigating straight away" said Garmin's Mobile Product Manager, Greg Stephenson. "It's a one-time investment that gives customers full-featured GPS sat-nav on their smartphone whenever and wherever they need it, including areas outside of wireless network coverage."

Garmin Mobile XT is preloaded on a microSD card (with miniSD and standard SD card converter) that includes Garmin navigation software for UK and Ireland, Europe, or the United States and Canada. Once the card is inserted into a compatible smartphone with embedded GPS, the Garmin Mobile XT application launches automatically.  Customers are then greeted with Garmin's intuitive "Where to?" and "View map" welcome screen. With a few screen or button taps, customers can easily route to a specific street address or choose from millions of points of interest - such as restaurants, hotels, ATMs, and petrol stations.  In addition to turn-by-turn, voice prompted directions, users will also see their exact position on a detailed moving map. If a turn is missed along the way, a new route will be recalculated automatically.

As a result of Garmin's large product line and ability to leverage technology from the other GPS markets Garmin serves, Garmin Mobile XT builds in features such as support for travel guides, topographical maps and custom points of interest, as well as advanced features such as route planning with saved routes, custom avoidances and visible trip logs.  Garmin Mobile XT users also have the benefit of routing to the location of a contact in their phone's address book or to a calendar appointment (on supported platforms).

Garmin Mobile XT also includes PeerPoints, a powerful feature enabling users to send their position to any other phone as well as view and navigate to the location of other Garmin Mobile XT users. PeerPoints can keep track of friends and family and navigate to them with the touch of a button.

In addition to navigation, Garmin Mobile XT includes free access to Garmin Online so that customers have useful, constantly-updating information at their fingertips like real-time traffic and weather forecasts.  The real-time traffic service identifies accidents, road construction or other incidents affecting traffic, and routes users around the congestion. Real-time weather information lets users see forecasts at their current location or anywhere in the world. Garmin Online is accessed through the phone's wireless data service.

Garmin Mobile XT is compatible with a wide range of smartphones including models by Sony Ericsson, HP, Nokia, HTC and Samsung. It works with operating systems such as Windows Mobile, Palm and S60 v3.