Best New iPad Apps: Network on LinkedIn, flick through emails & create stylish event invitations

October 25, 2013

LinkedIn reboots iPad app with better results

LinkedIn has a huge database of users (over 200 million now) but it hasn’t always got things right when it comes to design and the user experience. In fact, I’ve been particularly critical of the LinkedIn iPad app, which lacked a number of the iPhone features and which wasn’t even working consistently after I upgraded to iOS 7.

Fortunately, the company seems to have turned it around and has rebuilt the app from the ground up.  

Style was never an issue with the previous version but it nonetheless now sports a more visual design, and important sections like Profile, Groups and Jobs as well as new additions Channels and Influencers are no longer lost in the text but rather listed at the top of the home page. Tapping on any one of these takes you to a different screen which is shown as a kind of digital card.

There are other advantages too; you can now play video within a feed, expand images too and better like, share and comment on statuses. You still can’t apply for jobs though – with this feature still somewhat oddly limited to the separate iPhone edition.

The LinkedIn iPad app was always a good-looking thing but this latest update adds something that it was short of in the past; substance.

Cannonball is not just another new email app

There is a huge number of email apps for the iPad; Incredimail (now Molto), Mailbox, Gmail, Yahoo  and Mail Pilot among others.

Joining that extensive list is Cannonball, a new start-up from Cambridge, Masseusetus, which launched its own email app for Apple’s tablet on Tuesday.

It comes with the premise of making tablet email more productive and enjoyable and I have to say that the former was especially true.

No longer are you just endlessly scrolling through emails. Instead, emails are grouped by sender and the attached thumbnail gives you a quick and visual glance as to who has sent the email. Promotional emails, sent by the likes of Groupon, Quora and others, are displayed almost like ads on the right hand side.

Cannonball also speeds things up when it comes to sending and looking for emails too. When sending an email, the app displays thumbnail images of contacts you’ve spoken to recently, while search – which is a serious annoyance on the stock iPad email app and on Gmail – is better thanks to the fact that recent emails with attachments are highlighted for your attention.

I should note that Cannonball isn't perfect; the app crashed once and it does only support Gmail accounts at the moment (annoyingly it doesn't support company Google accounts though). The app is free to download from the Apple App Store.

Paperless Post is for sending out fancy invites

Here’s something a little leftfield for Best New iPad Apps this week – a new application which lets you create personalized event invitations or greeting cards.

The app comes from stationery company Paperless Post and lets you choose from the firm’s customizable designs. [The firm also has an iPhone app but that is geared up solely for managing events, RSVPs and general communication).

The app (free, iTunes) is free to download and lets you choose from 600 designs on the free version, or many more when you upgrade in-app. You can also select from 68 different fonts, 142 different colors and 86 custom backdrops, as well as tweak spacing and text alignment. If you want to insert your own photos from Camera Roll, that’s no problem too.

You can send these designs out via email. Event co-ordinators though can leverage Paperless Post to do even more. They’re able to track invitation responses, communicate with recipients and update guest lists as people arrive.


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