Developer: CanWe Studios
iOS Version: 5.0+
Retina Display: No
Expand your network using locations, interests and business credentials
LinkedIn is the premier online service for building business connections, and it has a proven track record in helping people to get to know others in similar industries, and for helping them build worthwhile business relationships.
However, the service is naturally limited in areas, and this can hinder the ability to build as many relationships as possible. In some ways it can feel like a database of contacts that feel somewhat anonymous, and this has transferred to the official iPhone and Android apps as well. A few of the main features are available in mobile form, but not every single one, and the mobile apps merely act as extensions to the main service.
CanWeNetwork has other intentions. It looks to build upon the positive features in LinkedIn and to make them much more suitable for the smartphone. On top of this, it adds some much needed features that are likely to help you build real relationships much quicker. The most obvious feature that stands out when you first use it is the matching algorithm that uses a number of datasets to calculate how good a match someone is to you. These come together to build a geographical and skills-based profile that works on many different levels to help you decide if it is worth making a connection with someone. This will not only save you a lot of time, but potentially help you build more fruitful relationships. LinkedIn is not a numbers game where the idea of having hundreds of connections is the main goal; it is all about quality relationships, and this is why this app is so useful. Once you have found a match, you can view the person’s complete profile and decide whether to connect or even block the user. The latter option is useful because the searching takes account of your location, so it may be that you do not want contacts too local to you.
The entire interface of CanWeNetwork is very different from the standards we see in iOS and Android apps, but in a good way. There is an element of professionalism involved, but the consistency throughout the design is what struck us the most. Everything from the matching graphs to the way maps are presented flow perfectly, and even the profiles for each individual look much cleaner than they do on the LinkedIn site or official app. It retains an air of friendliness while maintaining the professional intentions of the app and related service. Besides the clever matching feature and lovely presentation, you can manage your LinkedIn messages, check events and invite people from your contacts app or via the LinkedIn service directly. All of these options are available through a hidden bar that swooshes in from the side of the screen.
In the settings screen you can choose if you want messages pushed to you and if you require background updates to occur, as well as choosing an alias if you need to safeguard your privacy. Everything you need is included and some of the stand-out features truly shine in an area which is sometimes dominated by apps that merely do what they need to and little more. The only problems we noticed were the occasional crash that would require the app to be restarted, and in some screens performance would slow a little. Hopefully some quick fixes will be put in place because on every other level CanWeNetwork performed very well and offered us a whole new way to deal with LinkedIn on a daily basis. Indeed, it is now our favourite LinkedIn service of all.
A beautifully presented and innovative add-on with lots of potential uses.
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