Editors' Note: The download button opens the iTunes App Store, where you may continue the download process. You must have iTunes installed with an active iTunes account in order to download and install the software. This download may not be available in some countries.
At a time when Facebook seems to keep adding apps, curating news feeds, and pushing users to connect with as many other users as possible, Path, the blossoming social-sharing app for iOS and Android, is doing just the opposite. It's trying to keep things small and simple.
While the idea of social networking on a smaller scale may seem strange, it makes a lot more sense once you get to know Path. With no brand pages, groups, event invitations, or Bejeweled requests to clutter its experience, this young social network is all about sharing personal moments with loved ones. That's it. That's why it limits the number of connections you can have to 150 (a number that Path believes is the average number of true friends a person has in life).
As with any other social network, getting started on Path means creating an account and populating a profile. Your name, e-mail address, and a photo will do, but you can also add your phone number and birthday. Like Google Plus and Facebook, Path gives you a slot for a cover photo, where you can upload something a little artsier than your standard head shot.
Once you're all set up, the first thing you should notice is Path's interface, elegantly designed and head and shoulders above that of Facebook's mobile app. It's easy to zip around and share things, and the entire package just looks and feels...better. Tiny details like the emotion icons and the time stamp that appears as you scroll through updates make it a pleasure to keep tabs on friends, rather than an exhausting task, as it sometimes can be with other social-networking programs. Overall, it's a pleasantly intuitive experience.
The biggest thing that sets Path apart from other networks is the nature of the updates that get shared. While Facebook walls can be filled with posts about any number of things ("Come to my party!" "Support this cause!" "Check out my new Web site!"), Path is more about letting your friends and family know what you're up to throughout the day. Thus, its sharing options are distinctly personal. You can share photos, who you're with, where you are, the music you're listening to (with the help of a built-in Shazam-like tool), or your thoughts (essentially, through a status update). There's even an option to let your Path friends know when you're sleeping.
Granted, you can always share whatever you want, but after using Path, I can say there's a noticeable skew toward sharing personal moments, as opposed to, say, news articles or viral videos. In fact, there isn't even an easy way to share hyperlinks, which can be both a relief and a pain.
By default, your posts only go to your friends who are on Path. But if you'd like, you can easily share anything simultaneously on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Foursquare. This makes the Path app an attractive first option whenever you have something you want to share.
As impressive as Path is, though, there are still areas where it could improve. For one, it's only available via mobile app. There is no Web-based interface where you can read and post updates. Second, the photo sharing is weak. Neither the iPhone nor the Android version offers cropping, zooming, or other editing features. Also, as of now, only the iPhone version can post videos, which is baffling.
At this point, it seems to me like the biggest obstacle new Path users face is getting friends onto the network. Still relatively new in the social-app space, Path can be a tough sell to longtime Facebook devotees.
Overall, if you're looking for a simple app to keep you in the loop with only your closest friends and family, Path is the answer. It's beautiful, powerful, and at the moment seems to be growing very quickly.
Path is the trusted place for your personal life. It's where you can be yourself, stay close to the people who matter most, and share life instead of links. Path gives you complete control over what you share, and who you choose to share with. With its beautiful design and simple experience, Path maintains a 5 star rating and is loved by millions of people and its ad-free.- "Simply put, my family's lives have become better because of Path. It warms my heart just seeing that they have 'seen' what I've been up to, and being able to share special moments together as a family, no matter how far apart we may be. " - Ben Welland, Canada- "Path is known for its design - the company has worked hard to create a strong feeling in the app through attention to detail and careful consideration of all elements. From the shading on the buttons to the way certain features fade out when you look at a photo, its the way that small things come together that makes Path an attractive app." - Eliza Kern, GigaOMShare life as you live it, with the people care about most, in a beautiful place that you control. Welcome to Path!Features:- Messaging: The fast, fun, and private way to message your family and friends one-to-one or in small groups. Use text, audio, media, stickers, your location, and more!- Journal: Capture your thoughts, photos, videos, places, music, movies, books, and even your sleep. All in one place. Your Path is your life.- Share: Share your life with family and friends in a trusted environment that you control.- Filter & Edit: Make your photos and videos better with premium filters and editing tools made for mobile.- Get Feedback: Get more than just a like. Friends and family can react to your posts with emotions (smiles, laughs, gasps, frowns, and loves), stickers, comments and more.- Search: Quickly and easily search all of your memories, and your friends' memories, by keyword, season, weather, dates, people, places, and more.- Cross-Post: Post everywhere, all-in-one app: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, and even Wordpress. - Privacy: Control everything. Every friend. Every post.-- Friend Requests: Control who can see your Path with simple friend requests. -- Inner Circle: Choose a single list of people to unlock special privacy functionality: Filter your feed, filter your notifications, and most importantly share your most intimate moments only with your Inner Circle.--- Private Sharing: Control who can see any post on a post-by-post basis.- Shop: Personalize your Path experience with premium stickers and premium filters.- Premium: Take your Path experience to the next level. Upgrade to Path Premium and get exclusive benefits including unlimited sticker packs, unlimited filters, and early access to new Shop items. Plus, youll be joining the movement to keep our personal lives private and ad-free.
What's new in this version:
Path for iOS7 is here! We're excited to share an updated design and performance improvements.