March 9, 2012
Path might have drawn some bad rap from its contacts privacy issue last month, but that sure didn't hinder the emerging social networking startup to continue developing its popular iPhone app. If anything, the much publicized misstep might have even pushed Path to improve its product. Look no further than today's major Path app update for proof of the company's forward roadmap. Version 2.1 of Path for iPhone marks the first implementation of the recently released Path API, and Path could hardly ask for a more noteworthy initial API partner than Nike. Connectivity with Nike+ FuelBand is set to be launched in the coming weeks, but beginning today you can connect Path to Nike+ GPS to share your runs with your family and friends on Path. Since your runs are mapped and shared as you go, people can cheer you on by adding a comment or an "emotion" (which is to Path as "like" is to Facebook) to your run status. You can even hear a cheer if you have your headphones on. How's that for a virtual hooray, motivating you to go that extra mile or two? As expected, the latest version of Path for iPhone also applies some behind-the-scenes improvements, mainly bug fixes. It also brings several new features to supplement the app's photo- and music-sharing capabilities. Aside from enhancing the existing camera lenses in the app, including Ansel, Diana and Lomo, the update introduces a brand new camera lens called Pow! The name brings to mind the bombastic callouts in classic comic books, and rightly so. Pow! lets you take photos with a comic book effect, but for some reason it's only available for iPhone 4S users. The camera preview, for whichever lens, has also been upgraded to have high definition. In addition, focus and exposure points in a photo can now be adjusted separately in order to achieve a more detailed result. On the music-sharing front, real-time track tagging is now integrated, using Gracenote's audio database. With this new feature, you no longer have to first use Shazam or SoundHound to identify the title and artist of a new or obscure track that catches your fancy at your favorite coffee shop before sharing the song on your Path profile. Path is available for download or update in the App Store for free. What do you think? Is any of these features, most notably the Nike+ GPS integration, a run in the right direction?