A personal assistant in your pocket is one way of thinking about LinkedIn’s new and third standalone app, LinkedIn Contacts, which launched today.
LinkedIn is figuring quickly that the omnipresence of a mobile app can offer far more to professionals than the Web can. And for busy business-types that don’t already have an assistant, it’s always nice to have a sidekick to tell you what meeting you should be at or how you know the person you’re about to meet.
Of course, LinkedIn Contacts isn’t exactly Siri – this isn’t an AI-powered app that you can chat with that you can ask questions of; it’s more an address book with networking capabilities. LinkedIn Contacts pulls your contacts from your address book, email accounts, and calendars, and acts as a manager for all of this information. Other sources that LinkedIn pulls from include CardMunch, LinkedIn’s standalone business scanning app, Evernote, TripIt, Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, and of course LinkedIn.
This is part of the more active approach LinkedIn has recently been taking. By making moves in becoming a mobile platform for managing your contacts, there is no doubt that time spent on the app is bound to grow.
Once you’ve synced up your contacts, on the desktop version of the app, your email, mobile, Evernote, or whatever platform you use to save your contact’s information, everything is stored on LinkedIn. The neat thing about LinkedIn is that all of these contacts show up in one place, and the app offers a powerful filter to sort through your growing little black book. On the mobile app you can even jot down notes about them and how you met. On top of this, there’s a tab partitioned for all notes that you’ve added to your To-Do list, and another for the calendar. These tabs aren’t available on the desktop app, however.
What’s particularly useful about the app is the availability of a timeline that lists important interactions with each contact on both desktop and mobile. You’ll even find a list of the most recent emails that you can tap open inside of LinkedIn. It’s a clever reminder about how you met that person, and you don’t even have to lift a finger since the details about your relationship are aggregated automatically.
LinkedIn Contacts has a ways to go before it’ll be accepted for its intended use as a personal assistant, but it’s an interesting first step into the arena.