Linkedin iPhone App v4 review

The leading social network for professionals, Linkedin, has just updated their iOS app to version 4.0 with a brand new interface that is more design/visual lead than earlier versions.

Linkedin iPhone app v 4.0

Gone are the 12 icons on the homescreen giving you quick access to the main services. They have been replaced by 4 choices; updates, you, inbox, and groups/more. While i like the more visual lead look and feel of the home screen, some functionality has become more difficult to locate, including where to go to find your contacts (under the You section).

The main navigation now sits at the top of the screen, using the logo as a menu icon alongside a quick search functionality and a quick post link, which gets replaced with a back button as you start to navigate deeper into content. Based on first impression and use the navigation feels natural and easy to use, but there are still issues around functionality as you start to dig deeper into the content.

Let me start with the ‘recent updates’ section. For those familiar with the website, they have recreated the top stories section just beneath the main nav, with updates from your network following on, including breaks with information about which of your contacts have made new connections and who has recently updated their profiles. Overall the functionality and ease of navigation through this section is good, but one area for improvement is when you click on a news story you first get a very short summary that you can choose to share on your profile, add comments to, or send as a message to contacts on Linkedin, and if you want to read the full story you have to click on the link again, which then opens the story in a frame inside the app. The last part i don’t really have an issue with, but i often like to email myself articles that i think are interesting and would like to read later, so in my opinion it would make sense to add email function on the summary tab, given that there is already sharing functionality with your linkedin network.

Connections in general has room for improvement. In the app you can’t sync your Linkedin contacts with your contact list on your iPhone, or access your iPhone contact list from within the app (or at least i could not figure out how yet). This feels like such a basic functionality to miss out on, and hopefully one that will be corrected in coming updates/releases. Also, did i mention that you have to go through the ‘You’ section to get to your contacts!

In the ‘You’ section you still can’t edit  your profile, but i like the overview it gives, although when you have work or education experience listed, you can’t click on each element to get more in-depth information or to for example see contacts associated with the same role.

In the groups and more tab it looks like they have left room for adding future services, perhaps the next version will include a jobs section, a feature that is sorely missed in the current version. Overall the groups and people you may know section is easy to operate and visually easy to navigate.

The good

Overall i like the more visual feel of the new app and i have the feeling they are trying to line the experience up with their new web app as well for a more seamless overall experience. Navigation is largely intuitive and easy to follow.

The bad

There is definitely room for improvement in this latest Linkedin app in the areas of natural and intuitive functionality in sections such as sharing, but my main issues is the lack of integration with device contact lists and accessing contacts from home screen. I would also like to see their job search functionality added to the app.

Price & download

You can download the new Linkedin App for iPhone and iPod Touch from iTunes App Store for Free – Download


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