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Garmin navigation joins forces with Sony Smartwatch 2

Having navigation on your smartphone is convenient, but what if you could get walking directions right on your wrist? Thanks to a partnership between Garmin and Sony, it's now possible.

Garmin on Sunday unveiled a new navigation app for Xperia smartphones that also integrates with the Sony SmartWatch 2. The Garmin Xperia Edition app boasts navigation features like onboard maps, lane guidance, speed warnings, traffic information, and integration with social media sites.

But, perhaps most notably, the app also "seamlessly" connects with the SmartWatch 2 to display walking directions right on your wrist without having to hold your phone. You'll be able to see your current position, as well as your route, and zoom in on the map with a simple press of a button on the watch.

The Garmin Xperia Edition app is compatible with Xperia devices running Android 4.0.4 or higher. The app and its extension are both expected to be released next month. The extension allows the SmartWatch 2 to receive navigation data via Bluetooth from an Android phone running Garmin Xperia Edition or the Navigon Android app.

Garmin Xperia Edition will be free for the first 30 days with access to all premium navigation features. After the trial period, however, the app only provides free access to a map viewer and pedestrian navigation. You'll need to pay $2.95 (around £1.76) a month for the complete feature set, or choose between different one-time in-app purchase options. The SmartWatch 2 app extension will be an extra purchase, though Garmin has not revealed pricing.

"We're thrilled to bring Garmin's premium navigation features to Xperia smartphones," Joern Watzke, vice president of Garmin's worldwide mobile business, said in a statement. "Garmin Xperia Edition boasts a comprehensive navigation feature set not available from other apps. The unique integration with Sony SmartWatch 2 provides users a seamless experience that extends smartphone navigation in the car to displaying pedestrian directions on the user's wrist."

Sony is at Mobile World Congress this week, where it unveiled a new Xperia smartphone and tablet, as well as the midrange M2 phone.