T-Mobile Offers Android-Powered, GPS-Enabled Garminfone

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2010-04-21 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

T-Mobile announced plans to bring a Garmin touch-screen smartphone to market this summer. The Garminfone, powered by Google's open-source Android operating system, will offer consumers a variety of GPS-enabled applications and features.

Network operator T-Mobile USA announced the upcoming availability of the new Garminfone, the first Google Android-powered smartphone integrated with Garmin's navigation experience.

T-Mobile, which has an exclusive contract to market the phone, said it anticipates the handset would be available later this spring. The full-touch 3G smartphone with a 3.5-inch screen integrates fully with Garmin's navigation experience, which allows customers to navigate to an address by clicking on it from a text message or e-mail, contact, calendar appointment or Web page. Information on possible pricing was unavailable.

Garminfone can also remember where users are parked and navigate them back to your car. The 3-megapixel camera with autofocus automatically geotags images so users can navigate back to where family vacation photos were taken, e-mail geo-tagged images to friends and family members, or post geo-tagged pictures on the Web. The phone also includes Garmin travel applications such as dynamic, real-time traffic, weather local events, movie listings and gas prices that come pre-installed.

"The Garminfone brings together two increasingly popular devices in one state-of-the-art package, delivering a rich, unique experience that no other smartphone or standalone navigation device can offer," said George Harrison, vice president of marketing product innovation for T-Mobile USA. "Busy people balancing personal and professional lives are increasingly seeking smartphones, and the deep integration of Garmin navigation into the smartphone features of this device helps them do more with one device to more simply navigate their busy lives."

Driving, walking and public transportation navigation with voice and on-screen directions and automatic re-routing are also integrated into the smartphone features of Garminfone, offering on-board North American maps, multiple overlapping positioning technologies and text-to-speech technology to speak street names. In addition, the screen automatically switches between day and night modes for enhanced viewing while driving. Garminfone is also the first to feature Garmin Voice Studio, an Android application, which allows customers to record and share custom voice directions.

"As the North American leader in Personal Navigation Devices, Garmin sought to partner with the leading carrier of Android smartphones, T-Mobile USA, to bring our first Android device to market," said Cliff Pemble, president and COO of Garmin International. "Garmin's advanced, user-friendly navigation technology is used by millions of people every day, and the combination of Garmin's rich navigation services on the Android platform simply makes Garminfone a must-have device for families, individuals, travelers, commuters and professionals alike."

In addition to the navigational features, the Garminfone is built on the Android operating system offering a mobile Web experience with integrated Google mobile services including Google Search by voice, Google Maps, YouTube and access to Android Market for additional applications. The mobile Web browser experience also offers functions including pinch-and-zoom capability and embedded location awareness, which links information found on the Web to navigation and mapping functions, allowing users to navigate directly to a location from a Web page.

 
 
 
 
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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