Garmin's Nuvi 1690 Gets Connected With Google Services

Garmin isn't unleashing a new fleet of navigators over at IFA, but the company is still introducing one new guy that'll undoubtedly garner its fair share of attention. The nüvi 1690 doesn't look all that different than any of the company's other PNDs, but as they say about relationships, it's what is inside that counts.

This device is the first that enables users to tap into Garmin's own nüLink! service, which gives owners direct links to certain online information like Google local search, traffic, weather, fuel prices, movie listings, flight status, local events, white page telephone listings and Ciao!, Garmin’s exclusive location-based social networking system that connects multiple networks into a single portal for Garmin users. The U.S. version of the nüvi 1690 comes with two years of free Garmin nüLink! service, which makes it the first PND to offer an extended period of online features included in the purchase price of the device.

The consumer world hasn't reacted too kindly to connected GPS units in the past, but that's probably due to the nagging monthly fees that have been associated with them. By bundling the service for 2 full years, we're guessing a lot more people will give this setup a chance. Unlike non-connected units, this one can always find updated POIs, cheap gas, movie times, etc. In other words, it can find many of the things your iPhone can find, but you don't need a smartphone and data plan to find 'em if you have this. The Bluetooth-equipped unit will come preloaded with North American maps and should be on shelves in Q4 for $499.99 in the United States.