Magellan has announced nationwide availability of its new SmartGPS device. The hardware GPS for cars mates with an iPhone via an iOS app to provide the in-car solution with several advantages, including connections to Yelp and Foursquare based on the user location. Live content includes fuel prices, traffic, local weather and traffic camera alerts. The hardware is initially available at Best Buy and sells for U.S> $249.00. The iOS app that provides the network links is free. You can find information for a destination on the Magellan app, then send it via Bluetooth to the GPS hardware in the car.
The reasoning is to blend the best parts of the smartphone experience with dedicated hardware. Success with this approach will depend upon whether people find the navigation solutions on their smartphones to be needing a boost from dedicated hardware.
The Magellan SmartGPS has a 5 inch touchscreen, free lifetime map updates and traffic alerts, WiFI and Bluetooth radios, and an AV input for connection to media devices and wireless back-up cameras.
Consumers can upgrade to Premium SmartGPS apps for iOS, featuring turn-by-turn directions with voice navigation, for $49.00 with US maps/$59.00 with US & Canada maps. The iOS companion app is available in May 2013. iOS premium navigation upgrades are available summer 2013.