If BlackBerry Maps isn’t cutting it for your GPS-enabled BB, there’s some new navigation software from GPS giant Garmin available for a cool $99.99. You get the whole nine yards on this deal, including turn-by-turn instructions, points of interest, and traffic information. Generally these things have a monthly charge and deployed through a carrier, but a one-time, unlimited-usage model certainly has its charm. They’ve also got a pricier product available if you’re packing a BlackBerry sans GPS.
Garmin offers a variety of GPS-based hardware, for everything from your daily drive to deep sea fishing to flying. Frankly, they probably have a GPS solution available if you happen to find yourself walking the surface of Mars. They also have a software division, which can include a GPS dongle if your BlackBerry doesn’t come with GPS. Of course, GPS is being included across all kinds of phones more and more often, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think we might see some of their hardware converted to a software version that will run on other devices. Regardless, they should have some cool demos at WES.
Garmin has released details on a new update to Garmin Mobile that they’ll be showing off at the CTIA Wirless show in the next couple days. The app, which offers driving directions, weather forecasts, local gas prices and more, has been updated with an interface similar to the upcoming nüvifone as well as tight support for Google Local. You can either type directly into the Google Local search, or search through categories like food or lodging for quicker requests. It’ll hit BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile phones in July.
Tele Atlas, the fine folks who do BlackBerry Maps, are in the process of being bought. Fellow Dutch navigation company, TomTom, had already put about $3 billion on the table, but now that GPS heavyweight Garmin has stepped up, it looks like a bidding war is going to ensue. Both TomTom and Garmin have experience on handhelds, and can potentially bring some new stuff to BlackBerry Maps, but it’s more likely that Tele Atlas will keep doing what they do best, regardless of who owns them.
“Given the high growth and rapid change the navigation market has undergone to date, we feel that now is the right time for Garmin to move ahead with this proposed combination with Tele Atlas,” Garmin Chief Executive Min Kao.
Last week at Futurecom, TIM Brazil and Garmin announced that they’ll be launching a mapping solution for the BlackBerry 8800 and their newly-released BlackBerry 8310 before the year is out, covering over 70 cities across the country. Garmin is a top-shelf name in GPS, and there’s no doubt that they’ll pump out some solid software for our readers down south.