Path, the personal photo sharing app, was updated today. Significantly. It’s not the same app anymore, and has a completely different agenda. If you’re not familiar with what Path was before, I’ll explain. Path was there to take photos with some contextual information (time, weather, location) and share those photos with a small group of friends using push notifications and email. That was all it did. The only thing it could be compared with was Instagram.
Today’s update completely changed the game. It still does those same core functions, except now it does a lot more. Path’s website claims it’s “The smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love”. The first thing I noticed is how incredibly beautiful it is now. It sports a new icon and a completely refreshed design which looks more like a real journal. It has a feature called “Covers”, which is like wallpaper for your path. One of my favorite features is a subtle one, but when you swipe up and down to see your timeline, it shows a corresponding clock with the exact time and date of when everything happened.
The whole app moves to the side to reveal other options. Swiping to the right reveals the navigation, whereas swiping to the left shows all your friends and an option to add more. In the main view, there’s a plus sign in the bottom left-hand corner to create a new post. It will pop up a bunch of options to choose what type of post it will be. That’s where all the new features come in that change the purpose of Path.
It now lets you share more than just photos. You can post thoughts (like status updates), what music you’re listening to, sleep schedules (more on that in a bit), and location. It allows you to “check-in” to a location too. Before you say “Oh, great, like we need another app to check-in to”, it does connect up with Foursquare. In fact, sharing on Facebook and Twitter is also now possible directly from Path.
One of the most intriguing new features is in that word “smart” from Path’s description of the app. It automatically recognizes and logs data when you spend time in a new neighborhood or city. It’s great to have a record of your life without requiring an action from the user.
A feature Path now offers, that other social apps don’t, is the ability to record your sleep schedule. Path keeps track of how many hours you’ve slept along with correct moon phases. Of course this all relies on how alert you are in the morning and remember to tell Path you’re awake.
Overall the new Path looks to be a very solid and well thought out app. It’s certainly more complete after this update. It was overly minimalistic before. It runs smooth, is responsive, and has a slick design – at least on the iPhone side. This update puts Path in a new category – actually, several new categories. Path displays you and your friend’s updates in a visually stunning way. Plus, it’s a free app — well worth the download.