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Garmin looks to fill an iOS 6 void, updates navigation apps with public transit, Street View

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Garmin has updated two of its more popular navigation apps, Navigon and StreetPilot Onboard, with public transportation features — a major omission from Apple's latest version of iOS.

Navigon iOS 6
Navigon iOS 6

As millions of iOS 6 users wade through third-party apps that provide public transit directions — a glaring omission in Apple's new Maps — Garmin is making a play to reel them in. The GPS heavyweight has today updated two of its more popular navigation apps, Navigon and StreetPilot Onboard, with public transportation features. Originally announced back at IFA, the new Urban Guidance mode is said to offer detailed itineraries for a number of public transit options like trains, busses, trams, and water taxis. A corresponding Last Mile feature will automatically save the location of your parked car when it's time to carry on by foot, according to Garmin. Both apps have been fully optimized for iOS 6 and, after installation, will appear among supported third-party transit alternatives in Apple Maps.

Street View lives on in Garmin's apps

The company has also sought to restore another useful feature that vanished along with Google Maps: Street View. With the new update, Garmin StreetPilot Onboard will now offer Mountain View's extensive database of street-level imagery. That's good news for anyone who finds Apple's new 3D flyover to be little more than eye candy.

Convincing iOS 6 users to pay for turn-by-turn could prove a challenge

Still, Apple's addition of turn-by-turn directions in iOS 6 presents a major challenge for Garmin and other GPS/navigation developers. What once demanded a premium (often significant) is now being given to iOS users at no cost. Despite being on sale, the $39.99 asking price for StreetPilot USA ($44.99 for all of North America) is no small chunk of change. Nor is the $39.99 cost of Navigon USA, though you can opt for the cheaper $24.99 MyRegion version if you don't often travel away from home. Unfortunately public transit commands a separate $2.99 in-app purchase. So if that's all you're after, you may do better sticking with other third-party apps tailored for that specific purpose. Both updates will be available in the App Store today.