Garmin Mobile Maps come in two versions. The first version version is offered for Blackberry Devices that have a built-in GPS receiver. You’ll first want to see if this piece of hardware is available on your device. If it is you’ll have a simple download with a reasonable $99.99 fee and you’ll be ready to go.
Please note: Even with built-in GPS your carrier may block such services in an attempt to make you pay for their own navigation solutions. I would suggest calling your carrier to find out if they do so.
The second solution involves purchasing the Garmin Mobile Maps software along with the Garmin GPS 10X Bluetooth Receiver. This option allows your device to connect to a GPS receiver via Bluetooth and use that receiver to transmit data to your device. You can use other Bluetooth receivers as well, however after having tested the GPS 10X I would definitely recommend giving it a try, its a lower power chipset Sirf III GPS receiver with the ability to pickup the maximum 20 satellite signals. This option will run you $149.99 at the time this article was written, but that includes a GPS receiver for $50 more than the original which is actually a really good deal.
Aside from figuring out your GPS receiver situation that’s all you really need to worry about.
Now lets take a look at some of the impressive features found on Garmin Mobile Maps.
Turn By Turn Functionality (5 out of 5)
If you’ve used a Garmin receiver in general you’re probably very familiar with the devices ability to offer some of the best turn-by turn directions on the market, and Garmin Mobile Maps are no different.
Users can receive directions on a turn-by-turn basis, and the Garmin Mobile program can even offer voice directions as you travel. Not only will the voice tell you to turn left or right, it actually says the street name, so you’ll hear for example “Turn Left On Main Street in 500ft” or if you prefer just “Turn Left in 500ft”
The ability to follow simple turn by turn directions, to use voice in several ways, and the clear and conciseness of those directions are top notch and definitely makes Garmin Mobile Maps one of the best solutions available on the market.
Advanced Routing Options (4 out of 5)
Sometimes the mapped route you choose may not be the best route due to many other factors, and for those cases Garmin Mobile is a great piece of software to implement.
For instance, users can choose as they can on a full fledged Garmin unit to setup their directions for the shortest distance, or the fastest time to their location, they can even choose off road options.
Garmin Mobile Maps also allow for Route Re-calculation based on several factors. First, if you simple drive pass your location the maps immediately find the next shortest route to your location, with no prompting from the user. This is a great automated feature so you don’t have to change directions while driving (It definitely adds a safety feature to the device). The re-routing also allows for quick detour recalculations in case you have to turn off your route do to a detour.
The second routing option lets users choose to avoice highways, tollways, and other specified routes. This is a great option if you want to save some money by staying off toll roads, or if you maybe want the young driver in your house to avoid highways. Its also a good option to avoid traffic jams during highway rush hour driving.
Overall the Route features mimic many of the popular Garmin device features, while offering almost instantaneous re-routing and high tech route choice features.
I found each offering in this section worked flawlessly and thanks to easy intuitive user menu’s it was a breeze to learn how each option worked.
Points Of Interest (5 out of 5)
Garmin Mobile gives users access to literally Millions of Points of Interest, these areas include such places as Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Emergency Locations such as Hospitals, Restaurants, and pretty much any other type of business you may be looking for.
While Points of Interest come standard on most navigation units, the Garmin Mobile maps allow users to download new information for the lifetime of their devices. For this you’ll want to make sure you have a data plan from your carrier.
I would even suggest an unlimited data plan, which in my opinion most Blackberry users should have anyways.
By searching for information such as “Restaurants” users can easily choose one of the options that come up in their area and click on that POI to receive immediate driving directions based on the point of their current location.
Overall the Point Of Interest pulled up quickly, offered a ton of options, and plotted driving directions in a quick manner.
With advanced 3D mapping, auto re-routing, and millions of points of interest the Garmin Mobile Maps solution is a great alternative to traditional handheld GPS units. Not only does it work with the Blackberry device you’re already carrying, but you’ll also receive lifetime updates for the entire time you own the device you’ve installed the Garmin Mobile Maps on.
If you want a great mobile mapping solution for your Blackberry device check out Garmin Mobile Maps.