For old-school Sat Nav companies, the motto is: if you can’t beat smartphones, join’em. That’s why Garmin have released a new Street Pilot App for the iPhone, bring with it UK and Ireland maps, free real-time speed camera alerts, traffic avoidance options and loads more premium sat nav features.
Where the app excels is in its use of preloaded maps, to allow for easy navigation without tapping into your data plan. It’s a feature sorely missing from other sat nav offerings – or from regular mapping services like Google Maps.
Alongside the maps, Points of Interest can also be stored on the phone, meaning no data charges whatsoever – perfect if you’re navigating the wilds of the UK with no signal.
The company states that “millions” of inbuilt POIs are included, accessible from the search bar or via the in-category quick search option. For more details, the app hooks up to Google Local Search so you can get the most up-to-date information in the area and route you directly to it.
Other Garmin-exclusive features have also made the jump to the iPhone, including the PhotoReal junction view for easier navigation of complicated roundabouts, lane guidance, 3D buildings and the “Where am I?” safety feature.
Aside from functionality, the user interface also has a degree of customisation that would be nice to see on other apps. Drivers can choose what information they want on the map screen, switching between arrival time, time or distance to destination, direction of travel or even elevation.
The app costs £44.99 from the App Store, and those of you who use your iPhone for in-car audio need not worry: it’ll still play music while running Garmin UK & Ireland – and it’ll drop the volume for voice commands, too.