In May, a startup named Tracks debuted at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC offering a photo sharing app that enables users to turn their images into stories. As MG wrote in our profile of Tracks at the time, Tracks offers a similar photo cluster experience to Color’s first app (which has since fizzled out) — except “it’s much, much easier to understand”.
From pub crawls to family vacations, Tracks allows users to create photo albums on-the-go with the friends that are with them, who, by the way, have to be invited into the group. These on-the-fly albums are called “tracks”, which appear both in the app and on the Web and allow users to watch the path of their “track” in map view as it unfolds.
Tracks also offers physical photo books (like Postagram and Keepsy) to create an all-in-one photo solution that meshes together both online and real world photo viewing experiences.
The startup was off to a good start, but today the team is building out the Tracks experience in conjunction with the launch of iOS 5, launching an updated version of their iPhone app that, according to Tracks CEO Vic Singh “showcases the power of the experience graph”. As “tracks” themselves are really micro-social networks based on real world experiences, the startup is taking advantage of iOS 5’s new features to give its users a richer mobile experience.
Tracks users will now be able to filter their images automatically in realtime, stream their “tracks” to iOS 5 connected devices via Airplay, get news and updates through a feed that shows activity across users’ tracks and networks, and take advantage of photo origin data that will geo-tag uploaded pictures with the location in which the photo was taken — all shown on Tracks’ interactive map.
What’s more, users can now click a link through SMS or email and be taken directly to the track on the Web or their mobile device, or share entire tracks with non-users over email.
Other features of Tracks’ new iPhone app include a new dashboard which allows users to see a quick view of each track and its members all in one place, slideshow viewing, in-line commenting, and enhanced address book integration.
While Facebook and Instagram both let their users view photos uploaded to their respective photo repositories, the real difference here is that Tracks wants to allow people to tell a story with their photos, rather than just display a random, static album or stream of images. They’ve kept Facebook and Twitter integration out of the picture, too, because the team wants the Tracks experience to remain more private, where sharing happens between the people who were involved in the events the photos capture.
And with the app’s updated look and feel, allowing users to share via text, comment on tracks, write captions, and share over Airplay definitely adds to the context of these photo-stories and gives the app a more robust user experience. Plus, sharing (within its Path-like limited networks) now works far better and will no doubt entice users into further interaction.
For more on Tracks’ updates, check it out on the app store here.