Garmin finally enters the 21st century with affordable maps

It took Garmin quite a long time to get with the times. After their failed attempt at creating GPS phones that could help you find your way around town without an internet connection, the navigation company released several overpriced apps in the Google Play Store. For $30 you were promised offline maps of whichever region you chose, and some features unique to Garmin that Google Maps couldn’t provide.

garmin viago

And then Google Maps got good. It got great. And now, thinking about paying $30 for something Google offers for free is downright ludicrous. Thankfully Garmin is making an attempt to adapt to the times with a new app.

For $2, Viago breaks things down to the bare essentials, including basic road navigation of the entirety of the world. You then help yourself to additional features that you want a-la-carte using in-app purchases, such as Active Lane Guidance, offline maps and landmarks-based directions (“turn right at the clock tower,” for instance.)

The problem is that Garmin still isn’t providing much more than what Google Maps can give you for absolutely nothing. There are a few cool things, but nothing that seems worth paying for when other solutions already get the job done just fine. Take public transit? Forget about it — Viago only offers driving and walking directions.

But if for some reason you’re attached to Garmin and absolutely can’t go without their maps, Viago doesn’t seem like a terrible place to start. You can grab the download from Google Play just ahead.

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  • MG83

    In-app purchases such as voice navigation, alternate routes and rerouting, and unlock your GPS marker.

    • T4rd

      Lol.. *Misses turn* “Please authorize $3.50 charge for rerouting.”

      • Autobot

        LOL

  • S-Off

    I remember seeing a maps app for like $89 or something like that in the play store with a bunch of 1 star ratings.

    • No_Nickname90

      The fact that someone downloaded it to give it a rating…

      • Medion

        Back then you could purchase it, one-star it, and fully refunded it all within 24 hours. Now you have 15 minutes.

        • Dwight

          Enough time if you’ve got quick fingers.
          And once you refund an app, you don’t get your money back for like 4 hours, although Google said it could take up to 24.
          I thought that was weird because most things that say they’ll take 24 hours actually take 3 seconds…

          • Medion

            “Enough time if you’ve got quick fingers.”

            Quick fingers? Dwight, a paraplegic could refund an app back then. There was literally a 24-hour refund window.

            How long it takes to get your money back had NOTHING to do with what I said. Sometimes, I think that you argue for the sake of arguing.

          • Dwight

            Sometimes I think you lack basic understanding skills. The “quick fingers” was referring to the 15 minute window, not the 24 hours.

            And the other part was completely unrelated to your statement, I just thought it deserved mentioning. I apologize for writing something that you did not approve of.

  • ChicagoBob

    Hmm if they can not have advertising, not try to sell you anything and not track/save your position information for resale.
    Is there even a way to do that when you get tracked by GPS location you enable?

    • spicymeatball

      You lose services by them not knowing anything about you and your position.

  • Phaz0n

    Looks like it’s only .99c on The Google Play Store.

    • NexusKoolaid

      “Offers in-app purchases”

      • Phaz0n

        Quentyn is referring to the entry fee, and so am I. It’s $1.99 on the Apple App Store, .99c on Google Play.

  • Phaz0n

    Sorry Garmin, still not good enough. Step up or step out.

  • spicymeatball

    I like that they’re trying. It’s probably not better than waze, but I’ll give it a try for .99.

    • HotInEER

      It’s a joke of a app. They lure you in with .99 then you realize to do anything you have to pay $9.99 per set.

  • HotInEER

    $60 for app that so many other’s do for free and better…LOL

  • Roaduardo

    The fact that it took them this long to offer a cheaper version is evidence of their lack of ambition when it comes to the mobile phone market. They seem to be betting on their bread and butter stand alone devices.

  • Jason Yuen

    Too little, too late.

  • Jay

    What foolishness. Only die hard Garmin loyalists would fall victim to in app purchases. Just go away Garmin.

  • skirlofthepipes

    The only thing I really miss on Google Nav are posted speed limits and actual speed display. Nice that the Garmin app still has these.

  • AGx

    Google Maps still lacks true offline Navigation meaning you don’t want to take Google Maps across country. That’s the ONLY benefit I see to something like this.

  • molomolo

    In-app purchases – does it mean I need to pay every time when I switch or reset the phone?