Garmin is trying to differeniate its latest navigation\/GPS app, Viago, by offering a "premium" navigation experience at a low-entry price: $1 until July 13, when the price will increase to $2. Additional features in the Android and iOS app, including downloadable maps that can be used without incurring cellular data charges, live traffic reports, 3D views of buildings and spoken street names, are all available as optional in-app upgrades.\n\n\nSo you can literally build your own GPS app. But should you?\n\n\n\nI say yes, if you\u2019re a Garmin fan. A lot of people (myself included) have fond feelings for Garmin\u2019s dedicated, portable GPS devices \u2014 despite the slightly judgmental \u201cRecalculating\u201d audio notification you get when you ignore the gadget\u2019s directions or miss a turn.\n\n\nGarmin\u2019s smartphone apps tend to be pricey. For example, the Garmin U.S.A. app for iOS costs $50. That\u2019s certainly less than what you\u2019d pay for a dedicated Garmin GPS device, but $50 feels like $500 in the mobile app economy.\n\n\nAmong the GPS devices and apps I\u2019ve used, and I\u2019ve used plenty, Garmin\u2019s are some of the best options. They\u2019re not perfect, mind you \u2014 I\u2019ve yet to find a GPS app or device that always gives me perfect directions. For most people, in most situations, Garmin gets you where you\u2019re going with minimal stress.\n\n\nThe \u00e0 la carte offerings of Garmin Viago may be off-putting for some. As you pimp out the app with features, its ultimate price tag grows. (The following prices are sale prices through July 13th.) For example, let\u2019s say you spend $2 for the app. Now you want to download an offline map of Europe, so you can get on-the-go directions without eating into an expensive international data-roaming plan. That\u2019ll be another $10. (For more on this topic, read \u201cHow to Get GPS Directions on the Go Without Using Your Data Plan.\u201d)\n\n\nOf course you\u2019ll want live traffic reports and alternative routing \u2014 that\u2019s $10 for each region or continent supported. For example, it costs $10 for North America, $10 for Australia and $10 more for Europe. The "active lane assistant," (which visually displays the correct lane you should be in when, say, exiting a highway), speed limit alerts, and route preference features cost another $10. Garmin\u2019s cool "Real Directions" feature, which mentions landmarks in your directions, such as "Turn right after the bridge," is another $10.\n\n\nBefore you know it, you could spent $40 to $50 \u2014 the price of the full Garmin U.S.A. app. But with Viago, at least you\u2019ve spent it only on the features you want.\n\n\nAnother relevant question: Why pay for GPS navigation when you can get it for free from Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze and others?\n\n\nThat\u2019s harder to answer, but each option has its annoyances along with some solid features. For example, Google Maps tends to give me some circuitous directions, while Apple Maps \u2014 initially a disaster \u2014 has shown definite signs of improvement.\n\n\nMy suggestion: Before venturing out on your next trip, ask the basic Garmin Viago app to give you directions in your area. Compare those directions to, say, Google Maps, and for just a $2 you\u2019ll get a sense of which one you like better.