T-Mobile Announces New Android Garminfone for Navigation
Drivers who are plagued by chronically losing their way have a new handy tool, thanks to cellular phone company T-Moblile. The new Garminfone, an Android-powered smartphone offers cellular customers the best of both worlds—both a dash-mounted, turn-by-turn guidance system and the familiar versatility of a cell phone. The Garminfone, which will sell at $199.99 with a two-year service agreement, provides on-board maps to provide navigation "from the middle of town to the middle of nowhere—and back," according to T-Mobile. The 3G smartphone provides driving, walking and public transportation navigation with on-screen directions and automatic re-routing. Extras include real-time weather reports, estimated time of arrival, and pre-installed gas price information.
Garminfone is the first to feature Garmin Voice Studio, which is an Android navigation application that allows customers to record custom voice directions from family and friends. It also has the other capabilities of Android phones and access to the vast Android Market, so users can browse the Web, use e-mail. send messages, use a three-megapixel camera. Users also can make calls, navigate, and charge the battery simultaneously while the phone is on the dashboard and window mount. (Users must adhere to local laws about calling while driving, however.)
Android phones are already equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and can download the Google Maps app from Android Market. So we asked T-Mobile what the appeal is of Garminfone.
"Garmin navigation uses on-board maps so that the navigation experience is fully integrated into the…device and is very fast, allowing customers to access maps in or out of cell phone coverage," according to Matt Wakefield, of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, the public relations firm handling Garminfone. "In addition, advanced features like voice navigation, traffic, ETA, weather, the White Pages, fuel prices, and more are either integrated into the navigation application or just a click away."Continued on the next page