As if the world needed yet another location and activity check-in app, Path swaggers into the room – with its sexy and attractive UI – and just might be worthy of your attention.
Similar to other popular GPS-enabled check-in services like FourSquare or Gowalla, that track where you are – and GetGlue that tracks what you are doing – Path is the bastardized offspring of the best that all three of these services have to offer.
Path allows users to easily share what they’re doing, who they are with and where they are with a select group of friends without broadcasting it to the world (however, should you prefer, you can opt to publicly share to social media sites).
Therefore, your check-in to Starbucks or the bookstore is not seen by every other person who also checks in to that same location (nor does it attract “randoms” to send you follow invites), but only by your friends that you have invited (and vise versa) to “follow your Path.”
What makes Path stand out is its attractive UI. After a recent update (the screenshots above are from the previous version), the user interface feels similar to Facebook’s timeline – including a personalized “cover” image – wherein you are able to easily see and interact with your friend’s most recent activity or “paths.” Therefore, whether you want to comment on a song that a friend is currently listening to, add an emoticon to their activity (i.e. “like”) to display your approval / disapproval or perhaps recommend your favorite dish at a restaurant or cafe that they just checked into – Path makes it easy and intuitive to do so in a very nice and clean fashion.
The (self-proclaimed) purpose of Path is as a “smart journal” to share your life with loved ones and close friends. Therefore there are no badges, points or stickers gained for your activity. It is basically its own self-contained social media app.
Within the app you are able to:
- Post a photo, including taking one and posting it directly from your phone’s camera or gallery
- Tag a friend that you are with and what you are doing
- Check-in to any location
- Share the awesome new song that you are listening to
- Post a comment (i.e. “status”), which friends can also respond to
- Indicate that you have gone to bed or have awoken for the day
- Invite friends (via Facebook or your address book) to “follow your Path”
Although this doesn’t sound very different from similar apps (and to be honest, it isn’t), what Path offers is a more private and personalized experience that is well executed. Your friends are able to easily view, comment or respond to any of your activities and the app combines it all into one seamless timeline that also include’s your friend’s activities.
Plus, it’s just really pretty to look at!
As I mentioned earlier, Path is a more personal combination of Facebook, Foursquare and GetGlue. It doesn’t necessarily “specialize” in anything in particular (i.e. just checking in or just posting a comment), but rather gives you the (truncated) “best of 3 worlds.”
In future updates, I would like to see them to add more options in terms of sharing what you are doing; for example – instead of just being able to share an individual song that you are listening to – I wouldn’t mind being able to share the entire album or what book I am reading, movie I am watching or game that I might be playing.
But as a (relatively) new addition to the location & activity based check-in apps, Path is one that I would recommend that you try out and see for yourself.
As someone who lives his life “out loud” due to the podcast and other social media channels that I manage, I like that Path allows me to have a much more “condensed” and personal way of sharing the activities that I may not always want to make public (don’t worry…(mostly) no freaky stuff!), by sharing them with those that I consider to be in my much smaller “inner circle.” <--- After typing that, it occurs to me that I might as well add Google+ to the mix of similar apps.
However, as I referenced previously, you can choose to share your activity to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and even Foursquare. Thanks to this – and with future updates and added features – I can see Path becoming my primary check-in app and doing away with Foursquare, Gowalla and GetGlue altogether.
App Score: B+
By: Dana Sciandra