The Lowdown meetings app for iOS is now free and improved

Lowdown (free) is an intriguing business app that provides briefings on participants and companies you are meeting with, helps you get to the meeting with location information, and tells you when others arrive.

When you start you can integrate the app to other services like Linkedin (it's required to use the app), and Twitter.

The app connects to your calendar, and lets you create invitations that include maps to the location of the meeting, profiles of the people attending and company info, both of which it draws from Linkedin. It then sends the invites out, using info from your address book

When people arrive at the meeting they can tap a button to let others know they have arrived. If you use Google for email, Lowdown also searches relevant emails relating to the meeting.

This is a clever idea that consolidates several functions all in one place. Lowdown used to charge a monthly subscription, but now it is free. The company says it will offer special enhanced pay services in the future.

The app was easy to set up, and I did set up a couple of dummy meetings as I had nothing really scheduled over the next week. Everything worked as expected, and I thought the design of the screens was very attractive. I was easily moved from function to function.

The only thing I didn't like was the absolute dependence on Linkedin. I understand the decision, but not everybody is on it, and some people detest it for all the junk mail and irrelevant material it bombards you with. It would be nice if the app could do some smart searches on Google to add to the information provided. Update: Although my tests didn't show any searches with Google, David Senior, CEO of Lowdown says the app does search Google, Crunchbase, Wikipedia, Facebook and other sources. More sources are coming in February, plus a meeting conformation system.

Still, Lowdown is going to be a very useful app for anyone who spends time setting up and attending meetings. At a price of free, it's certainly worth a look, and I recommend it for people in its target audience.

Lowdown requires iOS 7.1 or later. The app is not universal, but works fine on iPads. The app is optimized for the iPhone 5.