If you run a small business, consider yourself a professional or entrepreneur chances are you’re on LinkedIn. Its been called the social media network for grown ups, and as such it’s important to maintain an active presence there.When the LinkedIn app first came out I wasn’t a big fan. It was more or less a rolodex. However, with the release of Version 4.0 we’re looking at a much more useful app. Right from the moment the app is fired up, you can tell from the UI (user interface) that LinkedIn put some thought into this.A navigation bar remains at the top with a share and search button that can be accessed throughout most of the app. The main screen is broken down into four sections: Updates, You, Inbox and Group & More.

The Updates section includes not only updates from people you’re connected with, but also includes the “LinkedIn Today” feature which, if you’ve configured it, acts as a news reader for topics of interest.  From the app itself you can read stories, share it with connections, email it  and post to Twitter. Functionality within the app also lets you add and remove topics as well as providing recommended topics. Besides being able to update your own status, the Updates section lets you view status, connection and profile updates from people you’re connected with.

The You section provides your profile details, recent activity, connections, summary, specialties – basically your entire profile. Hotlinks of people who gave you recommendations take you their profile. Unfortunately, you can’t edit your profile within the app, but I imagine that may come in a future update.

The Inbox section shows pending invitations of people who want to connect with you, and a list of people you may know. Remove or make the connection with one tap. Messages received can be read, archived, trashed, forwarded or replied to. Tap on any link and you’re taken to that page within the app or you can have it open in Safari. Archiving a message removes it from the Inbox and as far as I can tell makes it un-retrievable from within the app. It would be nice if messages could be flagged or starred for easier lookup.

Group & More features people you may know which was also listed in the Inbox section as well as Groups. Groups are alphabetically listed and show how many new discussions there are since last login. Tap on a discussion to bring up the original post any links associated with it, and all the comments. You can “like” the discussion or add your own comments. A feature I would like to see is the ability to edit the order in which they appear so I don’t have to scroll through 45 groups to get to my Zoology one.  :-)

What I also like about the app is that there are hotlinks for contact information. Click on a contact’s email address and the native email app launches with that person’s email address pre-populated. Click on a telephone number for one touch calling.

Overall, a big improvement by LinkedIn. You have to already have set up a LinkedIn account to log in. Available for free in the App Store.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn Corporation

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