Apps iPhone

Garmin brings out first iPhone GPS app, nuvi 2400

Garmin kicked off CES today with not just a GPS unit but its first-ever iPhone navigation app. StreetPilot ($40, App Store) reflects Garmin’s exit from smartphones and gives iPhone users full spoken, turn-by-turn directions. It provides many of the features of high-end GPS units, including lane assist, both 2D and 3D map views, weather and real-time traffic.

The app can use iOS 4 and will keep navigating if the user starts or takes a call in mid-route. It likewise taps into Apple’s support for accessing the iPhone’s music library and has access to the address book to drive to existing contacts.

Using the app requires an iOS device with built-in GPS and at least iOS 3. Map updates are free for the lifetime of the app. Garmin has promised a handful of other apps as well, including Garmin Tracker for Android and iOS to pair up with its new GTU 10 personal tracking unit; myMechanic, an Android app due in February that can provide engine details when paired with an ecoRoute HD over Bluetooth; and a version of My-Cast Lite for Android that provides radar and weather updates like in the iOS version.

Those who need traditional GPS hardware also received a new dedicated unit, the nuvi 2400 series. It sits as one of the larger devices at five inches and on some models has voice recognition support, Bluetooth pairing for calls and a predictive routing system that calculates based on historical data.

The series is split into four models that each get increasing amounts of access. An entry nuvi 2450 supports North American maps but lacks Bluetooth and has strictly optional map and traffic updates. The 2450LM brings lifetime map updates; a 2460LT adds Bluetooth, voice guidance and lifetime traffic while omitting lifetime maps, and a 2460LMT flagship brings them back.

All of the nuvi 2400 models are due before the end of March at prices ranging between $250 and $350.

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