LinkedIn for iPad Finally Arrives

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LinkedIn is now available for the iPad. Finally.

The latest update for the LinkedIn iOS app adds calendar integration, and includes a redesigned Updates view to make it easier to keep up with updates to your contacts’ profiles, or new posts to the Groups you follow. The biggest news of the new update, though, is that LinkedIn now has an iPad version--and it’s optimized for the Retina display.

It’s nice to some extent that an iPhone app will work--in the technical sense--on an iPad. However, apps developed for the iPhone only occupy a space the size of an iPhone in the middle of the iPad display. iOS provides a button at the bottom right that magnifies the iPhone app to fit the iPad display, but that just makes the whole thing pixelated and doesn’t change the fact that the app isn’t designed to take full advantage of the iPad.

The new app makes LinkedIn a much better experience on the iPad.
The iPad version has three thumbnails to choose from on the home page: You, Inbox, and All Updates. Tapping on “You” lets you see who has viewed your LinkedIn profile, and suggests other people you may want to add to your LinkedIn network. You can swipe the page to view your own profile, and there is a button at the top to forward the profile to a LinkedIn connection, or email a link to it for those not in your network.

The Inbox lets you see any invitations you’ve received from others who would like to connect on LinkedIn. It also displays your LinkedIn Messages and lets you reply to or forward them to other LinkedIn contacts. At the top there is a button that enables you to start a new message or invite someone to connect on LinkedIn.

The All Updates section is what really makes the iPad app worthwhile, though. All Updates provides a sort of Flipboard like experience that lets you view your LinkedIn network and Groups in a much more engaging manner. It displays LinkedIn information such as LinkedIn contacts who have take on new roles, or updated their profiles, as well as status updates and posts shared in your LinkedIn network in a magazine style fashion that lets you swipe through to see what’s new.

If you enable the calendar integration in the LinkedIn app settings, the main page of All Updates is split into two columns. The left column shows your calendar. It highlights the current day, but also shows the day before and after and provides buttons to surf through past and future days as well. At the top of the calendar column LinkedIn shows the current Dow Jones data, and local weather.

It was literally just a few days ago that I absent-mindedly tapped the LinkedIn icon on my iPad and was reminded by the iPhone-sized box in the middle of the display that LinkedIn wasn’t actually very functional from the iPad. Now it is.

Now, if Path, Pinterest, and Google+ would catch up and launch iPad versions of their iOS apps, the social networking experience from the iPad will be complete.

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