TomTom brings turn-by-turn navigation to iPhone

At WWDC, TomTom announces that it will offer an app to bring maps and turn-by-turn navigation to the iPhone.

TomTom on iPhone James Martin/CNET

With the announcement of iPhone OS 3.0, we knew that real-time, turn-by-turn navigation would soon become a reality on the iPhone. It was just a matter of when and how, and it looks like we finally got our answer on Monday.

Joining Apple onstage at the WWDC 2009 keynote, longtime GPS manufacturer TomTom unveiled its application for the iPhone, bringing maps and voice-guided directions to the smartphone. The biggest boon for drivers is the addition of the audible prompts, since the current iPhone is only able to provide text-based instructions through Google Maps. In addition, TomTom will offer a car kit for the iPhone, which includes a vehicle mount and car charger.

The TomTom app is expected to be available this summer, but as CNET's Erica Ogg and Kent German point out, the big question is how much this will cost. Mapping and navigation software isn't cheap, so it'll be interesting to see where they put the pricing on this app and how it compares with Sprint Navigation on the Palm Pre. Also, I have to wonder, would Garmin have been better off going the app route instead of launching its own Nuvifone line of GPS-enabled smartphones, which has yet to see the light of day?

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