This week, two mobile apps have pushed UI (user interface) design to a whole new level on the iPhone. Those apps – Path and Flipboard. If you're not familiar with Path, it bills itself as "the smart journal that helps you share your life with the ones you love." Basically, it's a gorgeous app that looks like it could've been Facebook if Facebook debuted on mobile. Flipboard is a customized news reader that has been iPad-only for quite some time and finally made its way to iPhone & iPod Touch.
Path is not a new app, but it feels like it after the recent 2.0 release. Path has always been a very beautiful app, but that's all it had going for it. You could only share with a small number of people and the number of friends I had using it I could could on one hand. Path 2.0 takes sharing to a whole new level and ups the game in user interface design by doing so.
The first thing you see when you launch Path is your home feed. It comes pre-installed with a beautiful stock photo, but it can easily be customized to anything you like.
Path also has a fantastic pop-out menu for sharing new content: photos, videos, music you are listening to, location, text, people & sleep/wake.
I always wondered how Flipboard was going to bring its magazine-style format to the iPhone screen and still have it feel like the Flipboard I knew and loved. To my surprise, they pulled it off wonderfully.
The app revolves mainly around upward-swiping gestures to navigate through individual stories. It also has a wonderful "Cover Stories" feature that attempts to highlight the content most important to you. Similar to Zite, this is supposed to get smarter the more you use it.
As you drill down into each tile, you get news, photos and other content that can easily be shared or bookmarked for later reading. This is all formatted in the same magazine-style format found on the iPad but perfectly tailored for the iPhone's 3.5" screen.
As you can clearly see, Path and Flipboard are really upping the game when it comes to UI design. I'm really anxious to see how other apps follow suit. The recent updates to the iPhone Twitter app area also a step forward in design aesthetic, it's just unfortunate that it comes at the expense of user experience.
What other apps have you seen that have exceptional design? Let me know in the comments.