Released earlier today on the App Store following a media event where CEO Dave Morin gave out some interesting tidbits about the company, Path 2.1 is a substantial update to the social networking app that aims at build a beautiful journal of our daily lives. Sarah Lacy at PandoDaily has liveblogged the most interesting details: over 100 million moments have been shared on Path, with over 1 billion pieces of “feedback” on them (I assume these include comments and reactions); Path is announcing an API for third-party developers to integrate their services and apps with, and Nike is an initial partner (the API is private for now). The Verge is also reporting that Path has listened to the suggestion of hashing users’ data, and will do so in an upcoming 2.1.1 release.
What we have today is Path 2.1 — I have tried the new version, and it’s pretty good. I haven’t been able to test Nike integration as I’m not a user, but I’ve taken the new music recognition functionality for a spin. Similarly to how Shazam works, Path 2.1 lets you hold up your iPhone’s mic to a music source, and wait a few seconds for the app to contact an online service (in Path’s case, Gracenote) and return the title of the song alongside other information (album, artist, etc). Path’s implementation of this is unsurprisingly great-looking, but Gracenote’s database isn’t nearly as powerful as Shazam’s. For instance, the app recognized The Shins and Coldplay, but failed fetch The Uprising and Tell Me What It’s Worth. Overall, I like the interface of this new music feature; I hope more databases will be added in the future.
Path 2.1 also comes with improvements to existing lenses and a new one, called Pow. I have never liked Path’s approach to filters and custom lenses, but I’ll admit the ones in this new version look better. What I do like is the new control for exposure and focus, which, unlike many apps, makes it extremely clear what you are moving on screen.
Path 2.1 is a good update — here’s to hoping Path will stick around long enough to get more friends of mine to use it. You can get version 2.1 here.
Mark Parker talking to Steve Jobs over the phone, shortly after becoming CEO of Nike:
“Do you have any advice?” Parker asked Jobs. “Well, just one thing,” said Jobs. “Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.” Parker said Jobs paused and Parker filled the quiet with a chuckle. But Jobs didn’t laugh. He was serious. “He was absolutely right,” said Parker. “We had to edit.”
Keeping focus is one of the most important things you can do for your brand. Sure you can sell twenty different models of the same thing over and over again, but when you really narrow down your product line to only the best available, the only things you have to sell are good products. It’s more desirable for both companies and consumers when effort is only expelled on the things that count.
“Can anyone innovate like Apple?” The simple answer: While anyone can learn the principles that drive Apple’s innovation, few businesses have the courage to do so. It takes courage to reduce the number of products a company offers from 350 to 10, as Jobs did in 1998. It takes courage to remove a keyboard from the face of a smartphone and replace those buttons with a giant screen, as Jobs did with the iPhone.”\
Carmine Gallo couldn’t have said it any better. While all of what I’ve said might be true, it takes courage. I recommend reading the rest over at Forbes via the read-more link below.
Apple & Nike already deliver the Nike + app to iPhone and iPod owners, and they consistently collaborate in improving the experience with a sports sensor and connectivity to cardio equipment. As Apple penetrates the gym with the iPod touch and iPod nano, Apple may take the gym experience a step further by offering a Fitness Center App. Focused on building relationships at the gym (to actually get you off your butt and go have fun), the health culture Apple wants to curate will revolve around being able find local fitness centers, finding classes that are right for you, joining friends, and getting motivated to keep up the hard work.