The business-oriented social network LinkedIn has released a version of its app for the iPad, providing a streamlined, tablet-friendly user interface, and adding a new calendar-syncing feature. With support for the iPad's Retina display, the company says the app was designed as a sort of one-stop shop for interacting with other LinkedIn users, allowing you to track their employment history, what they've been up to, and what news they may be following. The app is also able to sync with the local calendar on your mobile device, providing context from a given individual's LinkedIn profile when you view your schedule for the week.
The iPad makes for an elegant digital resume
We gave the app a go, and we're fairly impressed: the iPad makes for a fairly elegant digital resume. The app's broken into three sections, each accessible from a home screen of sorts: "All Updates", "You", and "Inbox." The first is your LinkedIn news feed, turned into an Flipboard-like virtual publication, randomly interspersed with other updates from your account. As you flip through, you'll see which of your contacts recently got hired, the new connections they've made, and their status updates alongside links they share. You can filter the entire results of "Updates" by your groups, too, providing news and updates only from a particular subset of your professional network. "You" is your own profile, crisp and professional-looking, although there's one gigantic miss: there's no way to edit your resume on the tablet, which is rather frustrating — especially if you spot a mistake.
It's a heck of a lot easier to use than the iPhone app
As you'd expect, "Inbox" lets you access your invitations and messages, and it's a nice two-panel interface in landscape mode, where you can quickly reply, forward, or trash with dedicated buttons (though there doesn't seem to be a way to save draft messages if you want to work on them later). LinkedIn emphasizes pictures of your contacts throughout: each page is filled with headshots alongside names, and a touch on any person quickly brings you their page and resume, with another touch sending off a connect request. All told, it's a heck of a lot easier to use than the company's iPhone app, and aside from the missing features here and there, it actually makes handling messages and invitations easier and more interactive than LinkedIn's own website.
If you don't have an iPad and would like to test out the new calendar feature, don't fret: LinkedIn has rolled it out for both Android devices and the iPhone app as well (thankfully, LinkedIn opted for a universal app on iOS). Those without an Apple tablet aren't left out either, as the company has introduced a new tablet-centric version of its website. If you'd like to take a look at LinkedIn for iPad, it's available now.
Sean Hollister contributed to this report.