Garmin Viago

Garmin is a household favorite when it comes to turn-by-turn navigation and has enjoyed continued success with its StreetPilot software, which goes for $30 (or more). Since we're in a more advanced world regarding smartphone technology and components, the company has unveiled Viago, a new app for both Android and iPhones that attempts to bridge the price gap between the premium tag and what consumers usually spend on app stores.

The apps themselves cost just $1 (until July 13 when prices will increase to $2) and come with worldwide maps licensing as well as lane assistance, realistic junction views, speed limits, weather and traffic reporting. Should users wish to take advantage of more functionality, the option is there with in-app purchases. Some of the extras are pretty cool – Real Directions provides directions based on landmarks rather than street names and Active Lane Guidance simplifies junction navigation.

Another change for Garmin is a cleaner interface, something we're sure many will welcome in this new app. While it's a step in the right direction for the navigation company, there's still some way to go since the optional extras can rack up to $20 to reach a level playing field with alternative services available for free.

Source: Engadget


Reader comments

Garmin launches Viago, a new navigation experience at an affordable price


what's the value proposition over free Google Maps Navigation? and downsides ex. resources/storage usage etc.?

With one of the offline packs, you can navigate completely offline (without a data connection). While Google Maps does let you download a small metro area for offline usage, this app lets you download entire continents for $9.99 each. This comes in very handy if you travel a lot and don't want to pay foreign roaming fees or if there's no cellular service available in the area.

I'm guessing he means a GPS app that is not tied to navigation, like Google Maps is now

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Yeah, like a Garmin but powered by Google maps that doesn't ever need a data connection. Download the mapset on WiFi then be able to use turn by turn navigation with it without the need for a data connection. I think Google's offline maps are like halfway there but are quite limited. I hate having my phone tied up as my GPS when I am on a trip.

Wow, I'd never thought of how awesome something like that would be. I have a Garmin, and I never remember to take it into the house to plug into my laptop to update the maps. Imagine one powered by Google Maps with WiFi. Any time you pull into your driveway/garage, it connects and downloads updates automatically so it's as up to date as the last time you were home (or near an open WiFi connection).

Google, you can have that idea for free. Make it happen and you've got my money!

I purchased Navigon and Copilot Live (both with offline mapping capability), and repurposed my old android phone as a gps device. The hardware cost me nearly nothing (it would have been donated or shoved in a drawer anyways), and the software cost me between 10-30$ depending on which one you want to consider. I laughed at the garmin software for $30 and still needed a data connection!

I now use a lumia 520 that I picked up on swappa for $45, and the built in HereDrive (free) has offline maps too. Doubles as a media player in the car too, for an added bonus :)

I think that is exactly what Garmin is trying to do with this newer product.... have a lower priced option to compete with things like Navigon and Copolot. Seems like $1 for app and $10 for a full offline map of north america now, instead of $30. Of course the site doesn't say that clearly, they just want to suck you in first.

I wonder how many navigation apps Garmin needs to release. They already got streetpilot and navigon they can just change the pricing models on those apps. I guess they don't want their existing paying customers a sour taste in the mouth.

Posted via Android Central App

Never mind. I fail to read good.

This is not at a good price it seems. Some of the comments on play indicate that Garmin gets you for $9.99 for several of the features.
I don't mind paying for apps, but it really is hard to pay so much when there are less expensive options that are probably just as good.

Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

Actually, from what most of what I read, there *isn't* a cheaper offline maps with navigation than the $10 that Garmin now wants (well, $1 + $10 for your continent).

$9.99 extra for the privilege.

Edit: I don't honestly know the exact price for that feature but it is an in-app purchase.
Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

Yes. $9.99 per continent. They aren't free but they can save you $$$ vs. paying data roaming charges when traveling...and of course you'll still be able to navigate where there is no cellular coverage.

Not in the true sense, it will cache part of your route, but requires data to redraw if you're offline. Also no POI or local searching. I live in N ireland, I do most of my driving in either Southern Ireland or Europe. I love Google Maps, but they are genuinely useless once I'm out of the UK, unless I want to buy a local SIM every time I cross a border.

I keep an old Nokia E7 for this reason.

The Google Maps caching is also a royal pain to use because you have to fiddle with lots of tiny squares of unknown size. They also don't seem to stay permanently and are hard to know what you have later. Plus you still end up with no navigation. Google really has screwed up on this. But it is apparently still the way they want it- dependent on the network for real functionality.

Google Maps only lets you download a few small metro areas for offline use. With this, you can download entire CONTINENTS: North America, Europe, Australia, etc. and use them offline.

I would love to see a Maps vs Waze vs Garmin vs MapQuest comparison (are there any others that are even noteworthy?)

Do you need me to write it?

Me too... it is all rather confusing now. Plus sites like Garmin are more into listing a bunch of features without showing ACTUAL PRICES and limitations. New users will be baffled. It is ripe for a good article.

i like the speed limit, the weather feature and real direction features, but I sure hell wont be willing to pay all those in-app purchases.

I use Waze. IMO its the best and it has all the features that Viago has for free.
Viago in-app purchases. I don't see whats so affordable!!
$9.99 to download maps locally
$9.99 for Live traffic
$9.99 for Mobile Alerts
$9.99 for Real Directions
$9.99 for Safety Kit
$9.99 for Sounds & Buildings

I'm not sure you understood his comment. "[Waze] has all the features that Viago has for free" meaning before the in-app purchases, which you'll have to do if you want Viago to have offline maps.

Sarcasm or not, you still don't seem to get that neither does the garmin app unless you _pay extra_. OP was comparing the free features of each. So, his initial statement still holds water.

Considering you can get a good refurbished Garmin unit with lifetime maps and traffic for $70-$100 depending on the model and features.

I'm not sure why someone would go the Viago route unless they hate juggling two devices.

Google Maps can't even do genuine offline navigation. You can download a small area of a map and keep it cached on the phone, but as soon as it needs to reroute you or anything, it needs a data connection. All of the navigation stuff is done on Google's end, without that connection you're screwed. It seems expensive, but this is still cheaper than buying an actual Garmin GPS unit.


"In addition to the maps, there are seven other in-app purchases you can make to build your own Víago experience. Here are the standouts:

Traffic Live ($19.99 but $9.99 until July 13): Traffic alerts that combine historic data with realtime information from fellow drivers. It will show traffic in the navigation view, and automatically route you around gridlock.

Safety Kit ($9.99) – Active lane guidance, telling you where to be when you’re getting on and off the highway; speed limit alerts; school zone warnings; routing that enables the shortest or fastest options.

Real Directions ($9.99) – Perhaps the most interesting feature, a turn-by-turn instruction set that tells you to turn right “at the light” or “when you pass the Starbucks.” It uses landmarks, lights and other information collected at the busiest intersections. It requires on-board maps in order to work.

The other add-ons, all $9.99 each, will provide features such as public transit routing, 3-D maps, spoken street names and the locations of speed cameras. (And despite these screenshots, there is a horizontal view, too—something many drivers prefer because of the lower dashboard profile.)"

$9.99, if you want spoken street names. Really!? They couldn't toss that in?

For the added price of all that stuff you could have just went out and bought a real Garmin GPS Unit.

I do a lot of off road motorcycling in areas that get little or no cell coverage. Google Maps don't cut it. Google maps is fine for the 'pavement dwellers'. Google Maps also doesn't do much to let you plan multi-day trips in advance.
I usually use OSMand+, or CoPilot. Those have the maps loaded on my device. No cell signal needed. OSMand+ in particular lets me plan multiple complicated off-road routes, then pull those up later to follow them.
This new garmin software may be just the thing. But I wish they were more open about the cost of the add-ons.

I'll pass on this one although it looked promising but all those add-ons really add up. Besides I got my Copilot app for $9 on sale a while back as a offline backup using G play free.

From my Note 2 to you

Google maps is mediocre at best and this viago is a joke. I like copilot but would love to see HERE drive with offline maps come to android now that they are separate. Best GPS app I've used since MIO went out of business.

Used a Garmin on my last road trip. So much better than my TomTom. Looking to switch. New offering from Garmin means I can use my Note 3 with all the Garmin features for 1/4 of the price.

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You clearly have no clue how this map works. Go ahead and spend 99 cents on it and see how unhappy you will become.

A Android unit would be great, or garmin to use Google maps. Garmin lifetime maps are still so out dated. 2 year old streets still do not show up when updated information. But in Google maps I can find the streets listed. I even sent Google a map update message and within 4 days my street was listed. I work for a delivery company and 90% of the time if the street is not in the GPS or on the area map it will be in Google maps.

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I downloaded it, with the north American map pack, works great without any data, the only thing that irks me is why do I have to pay another $10 for it let me know the name of the street I need to turn on, at the moment it just tells you turn left or right, if you plan to load all the add-on packs it will run you $60.
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Nice try, but still buggy. Even when you turn off the volume of navigation, it turns off your whole bluetooth-volume inc music etc.
Sygic is the way to go, often in 50% discount and New version coming out soon

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Bought it to see how it compares with Sygic. Offline maps and POIs can be a godsend.

Didn't take long to figure out it's a load of BS. I'm not a cheapskate but I can buy a dedicated unit for the price of their IAPs.

Why tie up my phone unless it's to save money?

This article is a paid advertisement. No where does it state that even the most basic functionality costs $10 per in-app purchase. EACH! This app is a rip-off and Android Central should be giving us the whole story, not some abbreviated commercial.