Updates to Path bring better functionality—for certain users

Mar 13, 2012
Tech

Since the last time I reviewed Path, for iPhone and iPod Touch, the daily journaling service took some heat for how it collected data, unbeknownst to its users. I would’ve preferred to see this problem fixed first (according to The Verge, it’s coming), but Path is instead trying to satiate its power users with a […]

Since the last time I reviewed Path, for iPhone and iPod Touch, the daily journaling service took some heat for how it collected data, unbeknownst to its users. I would’ve preferred to see this problem fixed first (according to The Verge, it’s coming), but Path is instead trying to satiate its power users with a host of new features.

First is Music Match, a Shazam-style music recognizer that can help you detect whatever is playing at the time of your update. I think that this function is useful and will help Path become a truly one-stop shop for updates, however, I wasn’t impressed with my initial tests of the feature. I attempted to capture a song playing on my computer three times, all to no avail. In contrast, Shazam nailed the song on the first try. Your mileage may vary.

Second is the new support for the camera in the form of focus and exposure, which lets you further control the two points separately for better image control. This works with all of Path’s existing lenses. Honestly, I’d love some in-app instruction for this improvement. In my tests I found myself just tapping the screen and icons randomly—this made things look different, but I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing. Consider me a photography neophyte. iPhone 4S users are also treated to a new camera lens, called Pow!, that will turn your photos into comic book drawings. I don’t have a 4S so I’m left cold on this update.

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One of the biggest additions to Path is its new integration with Nike+. If you aren’t a runner or you’re a runner who doesn’t use Nike+ you could care lss eabout this function, but if you do embrace the Swoosh then this could be reason alone to start using Path. Data from Nike+ is turned automatically into a story with your route and time information. Cheers sent in by your friends will also display. That’ll keep you logging the miles.

I find most of the new features intriguing, but because some of the changes aren’t universally accessible for all Pathers, I’m guessing some of Path’s user base will be disappointed with this fact. But, for the users that do fit the mold, Path is offering a whole lot more than just daily activity tracking.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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