January 9, 2012

Garmin Smartphone Link to Android - The Semi-Connected Nuvi

GarminSmartphoneLink.jpg

Garmin just announced their Smartphone link to the 2012 Nuvi line letting you use your Andoird (sorry iPhone Nation) to pull down Live Traffic, get Fuel Prices, see Traffic cameras, weather and more. This is all through the Smartphone data plan, and will start to blur the line between the Smartphone experience and a stand-alone un-connected GPS/PND. The App is available for free, and utilizes the Bluetooth capability to pull down the data - you get weather for free, but pay for the others:

  • Live Traffic - $20 a year, covering highways, interstates and main roads. This should give you a reasonable way to get around traffic, more traffic data, and a high quality navigation system. The cost is similar to annual traffic plans on smartphone Apps. I'll try to figure out how expansive the road coverage is.
  • photoLive Traffic Cameras - At $10, it gives you insight into the standard traffic cameras; 10,000 of them across the US and Canada.
  • Fuel Prices - $10 - I've used service like this and it's not the first time around for Garmin on this service, but it's a great new way to deliver the data to the Nuvi.
  • Advanced Weather - $5 a year - to only do you get extended forecasts, but you get animated radar images on your GPS - very cool.


Garmin Smartphone Link works with all Bluetooth enabled 2012 Garmin PNDs, the nüvi 2475LT, 2495LMT, 2595LMT, 3490LMT and the all-new 3590LMT, the company's most feature-packed 5" navigator. All of these models require a software update, except the nüvi 3590LMT. Garmin Smartphone Link is available from the Android Market at no cost. To learn more, go to http://sites.garmin.com/smartphonelink.

Press Release after the jump.....



Garmin Smartphone Link for Android Provides Connected Services to nüvi® Personal Navigation Devices

OLATHE, Kan./January 9, 2012/Business Wire -- Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced the launch of Smartphone Link, the first Android app to provide live services to personal navigation devices (PNDs). Smartphone Link creates a seamless navigation experience between any Bluetooth® enabled 2012 Garmin nüvi and an AndroidTM smartphone allowing them to communicate and share data. Among other functionalities, the app lets nüvi users add live services, such as traffic information, traffic camera images, weather and fuel prices to their navigation device, utilizing the smartphone's mobile data plan. Garmin Smartphone Link is available at no cost in the Android Market and includes several free live services as well as premium content available through subscriptions.

"Garmin Smartphone Link solves the problem of having to pay for an extra data plan to use live services on a PND by utilizing the existing connection of a smartphone," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "It is a great example of how smartphone apps can complement navigation devices, which offer key benefits such as bigger screens and better GPS reception."

Free connected services include live weather information and myGarmin™ messaging, which provides update notifications and special offers from Garmin. Premium Live Services include the following:    

Live Traffic ($19.99 per year): Garmin Live Traffic provides the best-in-class real-time information to help users navigate in and around congestion. Live Traffic is updated every two minutes and receives more than 1,000 messages every update cycle, including details of traffic incidents, road conditions and delays. It covers major highways, interstates and main roads.

photoLive traffic cameras ($9.99 per year): This functionality is an addition to Garmin's Live Traffic feature and provides drivers the ability to literally see traffic conditions ahead of time. It lets users easily look up real-time photos from traffic cameras to get a glance at traffic and weather conditions. Included are more than 10,000 traffic cameras across the U.S. and Canada that send images every couple of minutes.

Fuel Prices ($9.99 per year): Users can find the best prices for any grade of fuel in their area by tapping the screen and selecting a station.

Advanced Weather ($4.99 per year): Get current and 5-day forecasts tailored for major cities in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to what the free weather service provides, Advanced Weather also allows users to receive severe weather alerts and view animated radar images on a map. Colors distinguish types of precipitation such as rain, snow and ice, to help you avoid bad driving conditions.

In addition to using Garmin Live Services, Smartphone Link allows the Garmin GPS to share its favorite locations with the phone. And better yet, the app can help users find their way from a parking spot to their destination and back by displaying both on a map.

Garmin Smartphone Link works with all Bluetooth enabled 2012 Garmin PNDs, the nüvi 2475LT, 2495LMT, 2595LMT, 3490LMT and the all-new 3590LMT, the company's most feature-packed 5" navigator. All of these models require a software update, except the nüvi 3590LMT. Garmin Smartphone Link is available from the Android Market at no cost. To learn more, go to http://sites.garmin.com/smartphonelink.

The new nüvi 3590LMT features pinch-to-zoom touchscreen interaction, automatic dual-screen orientation and Garmin's most advanced ensemble of mapping and navigation features available: Guidance 3.0, free lifetime digital 3D traffic updates[1] from the HD Radio System, voice-activated navigation, free lifetime map updates[2], lane assist with photoReal junction view (a Garmin exclusive), Bird's Eye junction view, 3-D landmarks and terrain views, and exit services, among many other functions. The premium PND is expected to be available in spring 2012. For more information about individual nüvi models, features and pricing, visit http://www.garmin.com/move.

Read More in: CES 2012 | Garmin GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at January 9, 2012 7:00 AM

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