The ceaseless wonder of the iPhone is that it is a forever evolving multifunction centre. Maybe you know, or maybe you don't, that your iPhone can be used as a fax machine, a multiplayer game console, a barcode reader, and so much more. In fact, what the iPhone can do seems to be limited only by the imagination of market demand and the developers who deliver to it. So, it's nice to see the iPhone turn into a fully functional Garmin StreetPilot as well.
Garmin StreetPilot onDemand delivers superior graphics and uses the phone's data connection to give you access to roadmaps , voice guided driving or walking instructions, real time traffic updates, lane guidance and off-route recalculation. At least, this is what you get in the first 30 days, for the very low price of $0.99. After that, if you wanted to stay fully optioned, you would have to subscribe for $2.99 a month or just under $20 for a yearly subscription until September 14 at which point the price jumps to $29.99.
The Garmin StreetPilot is not rocket science and the interface is fairly simple to use. What I liked about it, and what I haven't seen in other GPS systems I have used in the past are the pedestrian-friendly navigation options and available public transport options as well. Like most other GPS systems, Garmin StreetPilot will render apps you might already have on your phone, like AroundMe, obsolete, because it will tell you where places of interest are, like hotels, hospitals, gas stations, airports and so forth. You can also search for intersections, rather than specific addresses and travel time is calculated using real traffic congestion reports for increased accuracy and better travel time predictions. The Garmin StreetPilot will also tell you what the weather is like, in case you're having difficulty determining this when looking out of the window of your moving vehicle.
The home screen gives a standard set of options for any navigation system: it asks "Where to?" where you can input an address, or you can ask to "go home," if you have already pre-programmed a home address. From the home screen too, you can use a Google local search to look up a dozen things like banks and public transport options. The home screen also lets you choose a "traffic" option, if you wanted a traffic update, it can also send you to the Garmin "store," to your list of "favorites," and so on. Perhaps worth mentioning is the "settings" tab from the home screen. Here you can change measuring units from miles to kilometres, set a number of pre-requisites like "avoid UTurns," or "Avoid Toll Roads" or even avoid using Highways. Here too you can optimise navigation instructions for a motor vehicle or for pedestrian use. You also can elect to have the system ask you which of the two you prefer before calculating each route.
Let's say you decided you didn't want to subscribe for the full functionality of Street Pilot, you'd still be able to take advantage of turn by turn driving instructions, excellent graphics and 3D Building landmarks, but you would have to say goodbye to the good stuff that really take the stress out of navigation like lane guidance (especially on those mutli lane freeways) and auto off-route recalculation, as well as voice prompts. But the beauty of this service being "On Demand" is, say you found yourself needing the full option version on some unexpected road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas, then you would just have to go to "store," on the home screen, subscribe for a month, paying $2.99, and then off you go, remembering to cancel that subscription once you're done using the nav system.
AppPicker Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Pick It Up in the App Store: Garmin StreetPilot onDemand
Other apps by Garmin