Garmin goes after Google Maps with twist on turn-by-turn directionsNews / Technology | OnlineBy Nick Vivion | June 19, 2014Share This article was originally published on Garmin, which has long been done for its in-vehicle navigation systems, has released a new mobile app for navigation.The app is called viago and expands from the more basic StreetPilot app, which was basically a replacement for individual on-dash devices. The app is targeted to travelers and day-to-day movements that require a direct navigation tool, offering a more robust handheld tool for those on the move.The app goes up against the dominant Google Maps, as it also offers walking and public transportation information, which can provide added value as a comprehensive navigation solution for all types of travel. Apple Maps continues to be behind in this game, as that product remains without public transportation.Beyond the traditional routings, the app has an interesting take on how to deliver directions: by offering a visual representation on what's ahead, drivers and navigators can be more certain of the correct direction without having to squint to see street names.These directions are not only represented by actual images, but are complemented with directions tied to monuments, buildings, traffic lights and stop signs. This eliminates much of the neck-craning needed to determine a street name and focuses specifically on the visual in front of the user. The company calls this "Real Directions" and has smartly made this an in-app purchase on top of the initial download.This will likely change the way that directions are delivered, focusing more on how to get to a location in the easiest way without weighting navigation with a series of potentially meaningless street names. For foreign travel, the inability to read signs (or the actual absence of signs overall) will help travelers navigate visually without needing to know specific street names.The app also features Maps To Go, where users can download maps for offline use, meaning that travelers can purchase maps for visits to foreign countries without worrying about data overage charges. While Google Maps will allow for directions to continue without data, Garmin one-ups the utility by allowing travelers access to mapping without coverage.Garmin has worked to expand the mobile selection, with apps for land, water, cycling, hiking and air navigation bridging the transition into the smartphone era.NB: Map and compass courtesy Shutterstock.