Hey, Google+ and Facebook, pay attention! LinkedIn, after 3 versions (and countless sub-versions) of the most useless app in the history of Mobile Apps, including the “I Am Rich” app, finally released LinkedIn 4.0 – the latest edition of their Mobile App (link is at the end of this article).
Instant review? IT’S AMAZING! It’s everything an app should be. It’s quick, it’s user friendly, and finally, it makes LinkedIn somewhat useful.
Ok, I shouldn’t bash LinkedIn that much, I do use it frequently – but I do NOT use it everyday… until today.
The problem with the earlier releases of the LinkedIn app was that it only really let you check up on your connections. Which is great, if you’re into stalking your business connections. But LinkedIn was always so much more than just your connections – sure you could build a fantastic network of professionals, like yourself, and you could job hunt on the fly, and you could prove, using online channels, that you were a worthy candidate by skipping the hiring coordinator, the HR Director, and the board by jumping right to the CEO and “Connecting” with him or her. It’s great for talking yourself up beside the virtual water-cooler.
LinkedIn’s best feature is the groups – a way to connect with other, like-minded individuals. You could build your network by proving your worth in the groups. By talking about something relevant like the War in Afghanistan or the latest trends in Social Media Marketing. Your content wasn’t lost in the stream (as it so easily does on Twitter and Google+) and it wasn’t directed to your old High School pals (as it so easily becomes on Facebook).
But for the longest time, there was no way to access the groups feature directly from your smartphone… you always had to go and log into the web browser in order to get anything done.
Let’s break down the app a little, shall we?
The Home Screen:
Things are finally simplified on the Home Screen. Instead of having 9 (relatively useless) icons with much the same content, we now have FOUR streamlined boxes. “Updates”; “You”; “Inbox” and “Groups & More”.
Bringing up “Updates” you can see all of the most recent updates your connections have. Including the feature that shows when your connections have new connections. But this screen shows all of your LinkedIn Connections’ status updates and the fun stuff they share.
Under updates, we also get the “LinkedIn Today” news feed – showing us all of the hot news articles of the day – stuff that is relevant to you. I really like the hot news articles that LinkedIn deems is important to me – because it IS. It’s MUCH better than those paper.li news aggregators I never read. I can open the article right in the app, share it, and even get statistics as to where it is being shared the most.
Clicking on “You” will bring up your profile and give you the option to share a new update with all of your connections. This is one of the places that I see the app being very useful. You may find that you start sharing more and more relevant insights to your connections on whatever your topic of expertise is. It has become MUCH easier to share information with your connections – you no longer have to go through a timely experience to do so.
Sadly there is no option to change your profile, only read it. I’m not sure why you’d want to read that much about yourself but… my ego isn’t as big as others’ it seems.
As I said before, status updates are made VERY simple and the UI is just gorgeous:
The Inbox is what an Inbox should look like but the UI is absolutely phenomenal. The UX is streamlined, seamless, gorgeous. Everything is where it should be and your message windows are capped off in little boxes. It’s MUCH better looking (and better laid out) than the Mail App for iPhone. I’m not going to put in a screen grab of my Inbox for privacy purposes. Download it yourself and check it out. Just phenomenal.
Moving on to “Groups & More” – my app shows two separate menus, “People You May Know” and “Groups”. Under “People You May Know” (or as it is on the screen, PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW – why the caps??) I have a list of recommended connections. It’s very easy to add people to my network, simply by clicking the little blue “+” sign. It automatically sends an invite to them. Almost too easy… I almost wish there was an “are you sure” button in case I had a slip of the thumb. Either way – it’s pretty great.
And here’s where things get juicy… GROUPS!
You can dive right into the groups, read posts, add comments, like posts and more! It’s absolutely incredible and the entire UI/UX is just seamless. I can’t find any gaps. I can get opinions on the fly, bring up discussions and more. The whole thing is just gorgeous and it FINALLY makes LinkedIn useful for people on the go!
Overall the entire app is just fantastically thought out, it’s animated and it’s a lot of fun! Compare that now to Facebook and Google+… Google+ was just released and the UI is just so incredibly boring. Everything about the app is just lame and slow. LinkedIn, bravo. I’m giving you a 9/10 for this one.
Have you tried the LinkedIn app? What are your thoughts? Are you an Android of BlackBerry user? What are you finding are interesting features of your version of the LinkedIn Mobile Application? Comment Below!
To download the new LinkedIn App, click one of the following: