Garmin targets Waze and Google Maps with Viago, a $2, upgradeable GPS app


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Hoping to compete with free navigation smartphone apps like Google Maps and Waze, once-mighty GPS giant Garmin announced a low-cost, turn-by-turn navigation aid for Android and iPhone. Called Viago, the new app costs just $2 and includes a host of powerful features that don't require in-app purchases.

Garmin features such as current speed, speed limit display, lane assist, weather information, in-map traffic display, and photo-realistic intersection views are all available for the $2 purchase price.

Some of those features, such as displaying your current speed and in-map traffic display, are already included apps like Waze. Depending on your location, Waze's traffic data may also be better than Garmin's. But photo-realistic views and a speed limit display for the road you're traveling on are handy tools to have available.

Anyone willing to pay extra can also get other features as in-app purchases, with prices ranging from $5 to $20, such as downloadable maps for offline navigation; real-time traffic with automatic rerouting (free on Waze); urban navigation with public transport (free on Google Maps); and 3D terrain view.

Garmin is also offering Garmin Real Directions in Viago for $10. This feature takes a more casual approach to turn-by-turn navigation with instructions based on landmarks, buildings, stop signs, and traffic lights. Instead of hearing instructions like, "In 500 feet, turn left" you'd hear something more like "turn left at the next 4-way stop."

Garmin is offering Viago for just $1 until July 13. Offline maps and traffic rerouting are also available for 50 percent off during the promotional period priced at $10 each instead of the usual $20.

In an age of high-quality, free navigation aids Garmin's app isn't really a must-have. But when a name brand navigation app costs as much as a can of soda until mid-July, it's hard to go wrong.

This story, "Garmin targets Waze and Google Maps with Viago, a $2, upgradeable GPS app" was originally published by TechHive.

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