Developer: Garmin U.S.A.
Price: $39.99
Version: 2.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Ever since iOS 6 was released, many users have addressed their qualms with Apple’s new maps. Heck, there’s even a website dedicated to pointing out the hilarious and not so funny issues. While Apple promises updated maps in the future, many users are looking for alternatives. Garmin recently updated their GPS app to not only run on iOS 6 with iPhone 5 support, but to also add features like Google street view to satisfy consumer demands.

Garmin U.S.A. has been around in the App Store for awhile now, but its new features are what iOS users are talking about. Not only is it possible to use the app as a personal GPS device, but it now includes Urban Guidance, Panorama View 3D and Google Street View.

Out of all these features, Google street view is the most impressive as it is a free addition. This new feature allows users to view the street-level view of their destination before starting a route and when arriving at the destination, and it also provides them with a full-screen 360 degree view so that they can see their surroundings. Of course, it’s only available in cities with Google street view coverage.

The Urban Guidance and Panorama View 3D features are in-app purchases. Urban Guidance is designed for users who walk to their destinations. It helps guide them to such locations as subways, taxis and bus stops as well as gives them the option to look up information about what stop to get off at and what bus line to take. This features costs $2.99. Panorama View 3D is available for an additional $9.99 and it allows users to see 3D elevation views that are taken by NASA in order to view more details of everything ahead of their destination.

For those not familiar with the app, the features don’t stop there. Garmin U.S.A. is loaded with even more tools like points of interest, integrated Google local search, speed limits for major roads, spoken street names and turn-by-turn directions, a five day forecast and even a trip planner to create routes with multiple stops. The disappointment is that some features will cost additional money like the $5.99 photoLive Traffic Cameras feature, the $19.99 Traffic updates and the $24.99 vehicle display integration. However, there are a couple of free features: Add PhotoReal Junction View and Add 3D Buildings and Landmarks.

With this new update and recent price slash, Garmin U.S.A. is an ideal candidate to replace or even substitute the native iOS 6 maps. Since Google has delayed its own maps for the newest iOS and Apple is still improving their Maps app, Garmin U.S.A. is easily recommendable for those looking for a more accurate navigation application. It’s certainly one of the better alternatives available, but are users willing to shell out the extra cash?

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Navigation, Reviews

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