When last I met Bernd Hahn, he was the product lead on NAVIGON for iOS, one of the best turn-by-turn navigation apps on iOS in an era when neither Apple nor Google offered any such functionality. Now Garmin has bought NAVIGON but luckily they were smart enough to not only keep Hahn on, but put the Garmin for iOS app firmly under his passionate, creative control as well.
At Macworld|iWorld 2013, Hahn tells me how he keeps both apps, and lovers of both apps in harmony. Garmin, which looks and feels like a traditional, stand-alone turn-by-turn device interface, and NAVIGON, which more enthusiastically embraced iPhone design and interface qualities, give their customers a choice. This year, they've also gone social. They make it easier now to share location, but to control for who and how long. They've also added foursquare, but not only check-in -- their database as well.
It's still early days when it comes to exploring the real potential of social, integrated location, however, so for now Garmin is working on showing people the difference between their apps and the free alternatives from Google, Apple, and others. And they've got some pretty cool stuff in the pipeline for 2013.