LinkedIn has launched a new application for iOS users (iPhone, iPod). I downloaded to my iPod touch, and it does seem like a useful piece of software: LinkedIn Contacts, developed by LinkedIn (rather than by a third-party developer).
LinkedIn Contacts easily synchronized to my GMail contacts and my LinkedIn contacts. By toggling through the options at the bottom of the screen, I can access (a) a list of contacts, (b) "to do" (which displays recent updates from my contacts on LinkedIn, as far as I can tell from a cursory review), and (c) my calendar.
The benefits of this app, as far as I can tell from a quick once-through:
- I no longer have to access the LinkedIn website or iOS app (each of which has slightly different interfaces);
- I can get to my Google calendar without having to switch apps (Outlook calendar and contacts are also supported);
- I can dial from within the app (if I have an iPhone, which I don't);
- I can keep up with current private messages sent through LinkedIn;
- My Gmail and LinkedIn contacts (as well as iOS contacts, if I were an iPhone user) appear in a single location; and
- There may be more robust or more useful filtering abilities than either the existing app or the website (I haven't tried them out extensively).
I suspect that apps for iPad and Android will be forthcoming. There may be more functions coming on this app, as it apparently has just been rolled out. In fact, the website for the new app (the second link at the top of this page) says I am "waitlisted" to try the new app, but I was able to install it from Apple's app store. It is free.
What if you don't have an iPhone? Well, the takeaway is that LinkedIn continues to expand as "Facebook for Grownups." It's worth signing up and cultivating a list of contacts and endorsements.