Free LinkedIn for BlackBerry App Now Available

Storm and Pearl users out of luck

Early this morning, business-oriented social-networking service LinkedIn took the wraps off its much-anticipated LinkedIn for BlackBerry mobile application.

The free application lets BlackBerry users access core LinkedIn functionality while on the go via BlackBerry smartphone. For example, LinkedIn for BlackBerry users can update their statuses and view contacts' recent status updates; search for specific LinkedIn contacts and other LinkedIn users they're not yet connected with; view LinkedIn contact-lists, along with contacts' profiles; send contacts LinkedIn and/or e-mail messages, where available; accept new contact invites; and get recommendations on other LinkedIn users you may want to connect with.

The app also reportedly integrates with the native BlackBerry contacts, calendar and "mail" (messaging?) applications.

The LinkedIn app has been in the works for some time--I even penned an open letter to LinkedIn more than a year and a half ago, asking for a BlackBerry-specific app. And BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) promoted it back in November at its second annual BlackBerry Developer Conference.

Unfortunately, it looks as though the LinkedIn BlackBerry app cannot be closed. In other words, it's always running in the background on your device, regardless of whether or not you're using it, if you've attempted to exit it or even if you're logged out. This isn't ideal, as the app could be using BlackBerry resources while open and/or draining valuable battery life. (Check out my BlackBerry battery best practices for tips on extending your battery life.)

LinkedIn for BlackBerry is currently available for BlackBerry Curve, Tour and Bold models running OS v4.3.0 or higher, according to the company--BlackBerry Storm and Pearl users appear to be out of luck for the time being.

Find additional information and download LinkedIn for BlackBerry at LinkedIn.com/BlackBerry.

In related news, popular mobile travel application WorldMate also recently added LinkedIn features to its BlackBerry app, allowing travelers who are connected on LinkedIn to share location information and travel plans so they can meet up whenever they're in close proximity to each other.

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