Path 2.1 integrates Nike+ GPS, adds Music Match

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Mobile social network Path released version 2.1 of its Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS application, concurrently unveiling the first version of the Path API to enable users to share stories and information across their other favorite apps.

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Path 2.1 enables users to connect with the Nike+ GPS application to share details of their running progress in real time.

Launched as an alternative to Facebook (where Path co-founder and CEO Dave Morin helped developed Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect), Path limits social networks to 150 contacts, a move to guarantee users are interacting solely with the people closest to them. With Path 2.1, the firm welcomes sports gear giant Nike, enabling users to connect with the Nike+ GPS application to share details of their running progress in real time--in addition, the completion of a workout automatically creates a Running Story in the Path digital journal, complete with a route map, mile markers, best pace highlights and time/distance data. Path adds that the coming weeks will bring integration with Nike+ FuelBand fitness tracker app.

Path 2.1 also introduces Music Match, a Shazam-like single button that records and identifies songs playing in the user's immediate vicinity. In addition, the Photos tool adds Pow, a comic book-inspired lens, as well as new features that separate focus and exposure points.

Path 2.1 follows weeks after the application came under fire for uploading user address books to its servers without explicit consent. Developer Arun Thampi first discovered the issue while observing various API calls made to Path's servers from its iPhone app: "Upon inspecting closer, I noticed that my entire address book (including full names, emails and phone numbers) was being sent as a plist to Path," Thampi wrote on his blog.

Path later apologized to its users and said it will allow them to opt out of its contacts database. "Over the last couple of days users brought to light an issue concerning how we handle your personal information on Path, specifically the transmission and storage of your phone contacts," Morin wrote on the Path blog. "Through the feedback we've received from all of you, we now understand that the way we had designed our 'Add Friends' feature was wrong... We've deleted the entire collection of user uploaded contact information from our servers. Your trust matters to us and we want you to feel completely in control of your information on Path."

In the wake of the Path furor, Apple announced it would upgrade its iOS platform so that developers can only access users' contact data after receiving explicit permission to do so. Last month, Apple, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon.com, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Hewlett Packard all agreed to improved privacy principles that bring the mobile ecosystem in line with the California Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires operators of commercial web sites and online services--including mobile apps--that collect personally identifiable consumer data to post a privacy policy.

For more:
- read this Path blog entry

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