LinkedIn is one of the few social networks to have markedly divergent versions for desktop, phone, and tablet. The desktop version remains the most robust experience, but with nearly one third of its users interacting via mobile, LinkedIn will continue to evolve its mobile products.
Here is a rundown of the best features of each version, and best practices for using them. It is worth noting that all LinkedIn apps are free.
LinkedIn’s desktop version enables nearly all the features that the network provides. It is the only platform where users can:
Device (iPhone, Android phone, and Blackberry)
The upgraded LinkedIn app for iPhone and Android, released in April 2013, features a sleek design, intuitive interface, dynamic content feed, and nearly all the interactive features of the desktop version. Users can easily toggle between a menu of features and the dynamic, personalized stream. Features include:
- Companies you’re following
- Your groups
- Groups you administer
- LinkedIn News
- Profile updates
For Blackberry users, a more limited app will have to suffice. The latest release allows users to share their LinkedIn updates on their BlackBerry Messenger profile and follow company updates.
Best practice for devices: The combination of a synced, data-rich calendar with a dynamic content feed makes LinkedIn for iPhone and Android as addictive as Twitter and Tumblr, particularly if you’re already a fan of LinkedIn updates and news. Use it to keep track of your connections and the companies you follow. The clean, graphic layout, horizontal and vertical swipe navigation, and expanded features make this a “must have” app for iPhone and Android users.
Tablet (iPad, Android)
LinkedIn has shown little love for its tablet apps as of this writing. Unlike the redesigned device apps for iPhone and Android, the tablet apps have remained essentially unchanged since the spring of 2012. The tablet apps do feature the same calendar sync as the device apps.
Best practice for tablets: Do your intel on upcoming meetings by viewing the profiles of attendees on LinkedIn. Bring your tablet to the meeting, and use it for something more productive, like taking notes.