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LinkedIn Beta for Android provides social tools for business

by Ian Black

Harken back to the days when companies took their time to create products and services of quality before releasing them to the public. In the app frenzy currently going on, such care in product development is rare. Fortunately, LinkedIn thinks quality is important and is carefully crafting its LinkedIn Android app for maximum impact.

LinkedIn, for the unenlightened, provides social networking tools for business. It takes some effort to get your hands on its LinkedIn app for Android Beta. You won't find it in the Android marketplace. First you must sign up for the Android Beta group on the LinkedIn web site, then set your phone for downloading apps from an Unknown Source (in settings), then select the download link — at m.linkedin.com/Android — over your phone's browser. Warning: Some Android phones won't allow you to select Unknown Source for applications. This effort allows Linkedin to gather useful feedback on its app before publishing in the market.

Once installed, Linkedin for Android delivers a great user experience. You can view your own profile or browse through your connections. Profiles show all the details, including photos, recommendations, web sites and connections you have in common. You can send messages to people just like you do over LinkedIn's web site, view and accept invitations, or gather the latest updates from everyone in your network.

In about 20 minutes of testing and use, I couldn't find any bugs in this app. If you use LinkedIn, or are looking for work, downloading this Beta is worth the trouble. I predict it will soon be available via the Android market.