iOS, Android (I use it on my iPhone 4)
What it’s for:
Path is a “closed” social network, to stay connected with your close friends & family. It acts as a journal of your life, where you can post, where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, and include a photo or video. It also sports a section for sharing what music you’re listening to, what movie you’re watching, or what book you’re reading. For the athletes out there, you can also sync it with your Nike Fuelband to keep track of your running/jogging/walking milage. Your “path” is only accessible to those whom you’ve accepted as a friend. Unlike Twitter, where you’re encouraged to openly share with everyone, and Facebook where you feel obliged to be friends with your entire school’s student body, Path has a slightly more personal touch.
Besides posting things, you also have the ability to include a “reaction” of sorts, on to other people’s posts. You can include a little “emotion”, regarding how you feel about a specific post, as well as a regular comment. The last neat feature is a button to post when you’re going to sleep and when you’ve just woken up. At first, the notion of sharing this seems a little creepy, but I’ve found it to be a nice feature to keep track of my sleeping patterns. Upon “waking up” in Path, it gives you the current weather conditions and temperature, as well as a log of how many hours you slept.
Why I like it:
Although I use and enjoy both Twitter, and Facebook, Path offers a slightly more personal and intimate experience. With my entire immediate family on it, I’ve enjoyed things like seeing my brother post all sorts of checkins and photos on a vacation he took with his fiancé in Nova Scotia, or my Mom frowing at me when I eat fast food, or my Dad’s updates on his latest golf game.
It also sports a very clean, and easy to use interface, with lots of neat interactions. Admittedly, I occasionally spend too much time opening and closing the main menu, just to watch the animation toggle. Everything is pretty straightforward to use, and as a nice touch you can additionally push your posts to other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare.
What could be better:
First of all, Path only exists on mobile devices. The interface is sleek on the phones, but has a lot of potential for a different, web based layouts. When you share Path posts on other social networks, you get a look at that one post, but there’s no way to see all of you and your friend’s posts online in your browser. Although I suspect that it is partially my phones fault (the iPhone 4 is now almost two generations old, and I probably have too much stuff on it), but when I active the built-in camera in Path, it always takes a little longer than I like for it to fire up. Often, you’ll want a really quick snap of something to share, and I’ve missed a couple owing to the slowness of it. I’m interested to see how it is on an iPhone 4S, or on the soon to be released iPhone 5.
Who else might benefit from it:
Anyone who wants to share moments with only the people they want will love this app. On Path, it’s not how many people you are friends with, but the quality of people, and the moments you share with them. It’s especially great for travellers & vacationers who want to instantly share their trip’s ongoings with friends and family. However you use it, Path is a great app to stay connected with those who matter to you.