Find your way on the beaten path

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - J.R. Book­wal­ter

$0.99 From Nick Zmachyn­ski Made For iPhone, Ap­ple Watch Needs iOS 11.0 or later

If turn-by-turn di­rec­tions on nav­i­ga­tion apps like Ap­ple Maps seem over­stuffed with data, here’s one that’s about as min­i­mal­ist as they come. Pathit, from the maker of TV show track­ing app TVGraph, en­ables you to es­tab­lish a route us­ing map in­for­ma­tion pow­ered by Google on your iPhone, then au­to­mat­i­cally sync it to your Ap­ple Watch for use while on the go.

There’s not a whole lot more to Pathit, but the ad­van­tage of the Watch app is that you can leave the iPhone at home and still be able to fol­low the cur­rent route from Ap­ple Watch — even if there’s no cel­lu­lar con­nec­tiv­ity built-in. Al­though auto and bike route guid­ance is avail­able on iPhone, the Watch app is re­ally de­signed to be used while walk­ing with an Ap­ple Watch strapped to your wrist.

One thing that sig­nif­i­cantly damp­ens this ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever, is how Pathit au­to­mat­i­cally de­ter­mines what it con­sid­ers to be the “best” route for your walk. In our case, that meant it di­rected us to walk up to the main road to get to the near­est Star­bucks, even though there’s a con­ve­nient short­cut through the walk­ing trail that runs along our neigh­bor­hood.

The app does al­low you to tap and set way­points af­ter the ini­tial route has been es­tab­lished, but those also strictly ad­here to known roads, mak­ing this fea­ture a lit­tle less use­ful for those of us in the sub­urbs. Pathit does get ex­tra points for be­ing iPhone X ready, but the help and re­set but­tons at the top are a lit­tle off as a re­sult — tap­ping just above those but­tons on that shiny new de­vice will pro­duce the de­sired re­sult.

The bot­tom line. A more min­i­mal­is­tic nav­i­ga­tion ex­pe­ri­ence, to be sure, but also a re­stric­tive one for any­one who prefers walk­ing off the beaten path.

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