LinkedIn is an invaluable social network for business. Just last week, I landed a new gig by simply congratulating a former client on his new position via LinkedIn.
To help facilitate such communication, LinkedIn released a new free iOS app, called Connected. The app’s goals are to make it easy to stay in touch with your LinkedIn contacts, get a quick view of your past LinkedIn communications and learn more about people you’re scheduled to meet with.
Each day when you open the app, Connected presents you with "cards" that inform you of work anniversaries, birthdays, new jobs and other news from your LinkedIn contacts. You just swipe to navigate through the cards. Swiping up on a card lets you send a message or call a contact.
Once you’re done with the day’s updates, Connected shows you other LinkedIn members you may know, assuming you've given the app access to your iOS contacts. I find this feature to be tedious, though, as the app presents a seemingly endless list of people to connect with.
In my initial tests, the calendar component — in which Connected provides background on other LinkedIn members you’ll be meeting with — didn’t work well at all.
To test the feature, I created a few fake calendar appointments for later the same afternoon with LinkedIn members using the iOS Calendar app. But after an hour had passed, Connected didn’t provide the promised "prompt" screen composed of background info on my LinkedIn friends, even after I closed and restarted the app several times.
LinkedIn Connected could use some better navigation as well. For example, swiping down in the app gives you three menu options: "Keep in touch," "Find a contact" and "Accounts and settings." The Find a contact feature is useful — it not only shows how to contact someone, but it also displays your LinkedIn messaging history with that person. Navigating back to the start screen, however, isn’t intuitive. (You have to swipe down again and tap Keep in touch.)
If you’re a LinkedIn power user, or you're looking for a quick way to see what’s up with your LinkedIn contacts, Connected is worth a download. Otherwise, I’d stick with the main LinkedIn apps (for Android and iOS), which, unlike Connected, show your contacts’ status updates, among other features.