updated 03:25 pm EDT, Wed October 3, 2007
Garmin Mobile XT
Garmin today updated its Garmin Mobile offerings with Mobile XT, a new software package for smartphones that provides navigation without the subscription fee that often comes attached to similar services. A preloaded microSD card comes with not just the program but a set of preloaded maps of North America and Europe. Any compatible phone can use its GPS hardware to plot driving routes and locate points of interest as though it were a dedicated Garmin device; users are even presented with the same opening screen as on a Nuvim the company boasts. The software also takes advantage of its inherent connection to the Internet and lets users share either their immediate location to any phone or the coordinates for a new route to a fellow XT user. Gas prices, weather, and other information is also updated live, Garmin adds.
Garmin did not outline which phone models would work with the map suite but said it would bundle adapters to transfer Mobile XT to miniSD and full SD cards that will work with computers and some specialized phone card slots. Versions should be available now with either the North American or Europan map sets provided by NAVTEQ. The American price is set at $99 for either version; access to extra map sets was not announced.