Mike Isaac

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Path Builds a Proper iPad App

Private social network Path launched a new version of its iPad app on Thursday morning, rebuilding the software from the ground up to better complement the tablet medium.

“When people use Path on their phones, it’s always with them,” said Path VP of marketing Nate Johnson. “But the iPad data research we’ve collected shows a different use case. It’s really about coffee time and couch time.”

Now there’s a landscape mode that displays friend activity in a larger format, making better use of the iPad’s additional screen real estate. Users can also browse through daily friend activity, and view maps of all the locations those friends have visited throughout the day.

Johnson compared it favorably against other potential competitors in the space. “Flipboard, for example, presents you with tiles of content that aren’t fixed to time,” he said. “We look at your friend activity day by day.”

That said, Path isn’t quite in the same ballpark as a Facebook, or even a Flipboard, just yet. As of the last announced count, Path has somewhere in the neighborhood of three million active users. Flipboard, by comparison, has upward of 20 million, and Facebook just recently hit the one billion user mark.

Though to be fair, Path’s network is insular by design. As the private social network, it ultimately has a more difficult time spreading its user base far and fast.

The update is for iPad only and, for now, Path is focused on iOS on the tablet front. The updated app is available in the App Store now.

Update: An earlier version of this story misstated that the app for iPad was rebuilt. The original iPhone Path app was usable via the iPad, but not specifically built for it.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik