Navigadget has found two videos of Garmin’s upcoming Nuvifone. They offer lots of hints at the services the iPhone-like device will offer. The scenario video (below) focuses on navigation, photos, web browsing, phone and media. The intro video (above) lets us know that it’ll also have BlueTooth, calendaring, NAVTEQ maps (touting their long-term geo-data partner), Google, email, MSN Direct (for map overlays of gas prices, movie listings, news, stocks, local events, yellow pages), and search (I assume from the spyglass icon they show. The video makes it clear that the Nuvifone is a direct descendant of the Nuvi GPS line and not just an evolutionary namesake.
Garmin is definitely showing it’s GPS background in the feature set. It seems that you’ll be able to use the GPS while you are on the phone (not something you can do with the iPhone and Google Maps). Also their seems to be some location integration with email. A woman is shown taking a picture of a cafe and emailing it. Her date is shown recieving the photo and clicking a “Go” button on the image. Assuming it’s easy to do and those are real, production screens, this will be a slick feature (both of these features are shown in the second video). The Google app looks very slick and easy to use.
One thing the video doesn’t show is the multi-touch interactions with the device. There are zoom-in/zoom-out buttons on the map, camera and web screens (see this gallery of nuvifone screens) which I assume means no pinching action (like on the iPhone). The keyboard does not have the letters pop-up as you type them either.
It definitely seems like a great device. I haven’t heard about the data plan yet and that can always be a deal killer. My other big concern is syncing. Garmin is a device manufacturer. Their PC/Mac software is OK, but not a big wow. What type of options will their be? Is it all custom? Will the device plug into the native Mac apps and popular PC apps? This is the biggest wait-and-see in my book. The unsung hero of the iPod/iPhone family is their desktop integration.