Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Business as unusual. iPhone gets LinkedIn.

Let me explain: while all bloggers (including myself) have praised iPhone’s app ecosystem to the skies there hasn’t been a business app that really made you go – Wow! Now with the launch of LinkedIn’s very own native iPhone app, that may have changed. (Disclosure: I work at LinkedIn)

As my colleague, Jerry Luk, says on our company blog; this is a substantive upgrade over our previous iPhone web app. However, in this post, I’d like to give you a quick rundown of my three favorite features of the LinkedIn’s native iPhone app:

LinkedIn iPhone app’s 3 killer features: 

1. Rolodex to go

Those contacts that you find invaluable. Those contacts that you gather at every event and networking opportunity you attend. They’re now at your finger tips (literally) via your iPhone. Whether or not business cards are relevant is a religious discussion (hear my colleague, Jim’s thoughts on that topic here), but I’ve stopped carrying business cards when I travel.

Why? I consolidate all my contacts on LinkedIn and use my iPhone (or any other phone you carry) to be the single repository of all those business contacts. This iPhone app just makes it so much easier to store and search for them – when you’re on the move.

Store and Search your LinkedIn contacts on your iPhone

Store and Search your LinkedIn contacts on your iPhone

The best part of this app is that it allows you to invite people to your network right at the point of contact, when you meet folks at a conference or an event. You don’t have to collect business cards anymore and better still it gives you the control.

Professional Networking just got easier

Professional Networking just got easier

2. Communicate when traveling

What’s the use of adding all those contacts when you can’t communicate with them, especially when you’re on the move. As most LinkedIn users probably know, you can message the folks in your LinkedIn network directly on LinkedIn.

The iPhone app extends that functionality by allowing you to either send a message or call them. All you’ve to do is launch the connections tab and then click through to any contact you’d like to communicate with.

Contact your LinkedIn network via iPhone

Contact your LinkedIn network via iPhone

Alright, let’s say you don’t want to ping a contact, but would rather like to broadcast your travel plans to your entire LinkedIn network. Try LinkedIn Status.

LinkedIn Status for business traveling

LinkedIn Status for business traveling

3. Consolidate your contacts

Now, for those of you who hate using the iPhone when you’re not on Wi-fi zones but still would like to have a consolidated list of contacts on your iPhone. No worries. All you’ve to do is add them to your iPhone contacts. Again, this feature can be launched from the individual profile you click through via the “Connections” tab.

Add contacts to iPhone from your LinkedIn Network

Add contacts to iPhone from your LinkedIn Network

Well, networking and business travel will never be the same again, at least for me and for my fellow iPhone users. And, for those of you who are not on an iPhone you can still access LinkedIn’s mobile version (m.linkedin.com). I think Sarah Perez (Read Write Web) said it best:

The LinkedIn app holds universal appeal for anyone anyone who works for a living, but more importantly, we hope that, through its adoption, developers will see the potential for building iPhone apps for business as well.

Read my other iPhone app posts:

1. Top 10 Free iPhone 2.0 Apps
2. Top 15 iPhone Productivity Apps
3. Only 3 iPhone app reviews you’ll ever need to read

What is your favorite iPhone business app?

Filed under: Miscellaneous

3 Responses

  1. Does the iPhone UI allow you to search within your connections for people that work at specific company? I can’t figure out how to do this in the normal web UI. I see filter by location, and filter by industry, but not filter by company, yet that is the thing I want to do most often! I’ve never once wanted to filter by location or industry, but all the time I wish I could search my contacts for a specific company. For example “Who was that women I met at E2.0 that worked at Acme Corp”, or “I know I have a connection who works at so-and-so bank”. Am I just missing an obvious way to do this?

    Like

  2. Mario Sundar says:

    @Alan,

    Yes, you can search for individuals within a company. Let me know if you’re having difficulty with it and I can help.

    Actually, you can also try doing the same within the iPhone contacts database! 🙂

    Like

  3. Neat app, although I’m not sure of its usefulness. LinkedIn isn’t (and shouldn’t be) as dynamic as Facebook, so I’m not sure I need 24/7 from-my-pocket access.

    Also, it seems incongruous that on the one hand LinkedIn advocates only connecting with people that you really know, trust and can recommend — and on the other hand you release an app that allows instant connection to near strangers that you meet at conferences. Which is it, then?

    Like

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