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LinkedIn for Android ships as Google updates Apps for security

Apr 8, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

LinkedIn released the final LinkedIn for Android 1.0 app to help professionals view and manage LinkedIn connections. In other enterprise-related Android news, Google upgraded its security and device management programs for Android with three Google Apps updates, including a Device Policy update, a Google Apps Lookup app, and a Honeycomb tablet encryption feature.

The LinkedIn for Android 1.0 mobile application was released April 7, allowing users of the professional social networking site to search and connect with over 100 million members while on the go. LinkedIn launched the beta for its Android app in December, culling plenty of feedback and bug reports for the highly-anticipated app.

LinkedIn for Android 1.0

Just like LinkedIn's Blackberry, iPhone and Windows Mobile apps, LinkedIn for Android lets users view and manage LinkedIn connections, access updates from a professional network, and respond to invitations. These features are all lumped into modules, with a unified search tool that helps users across their direct connections and those available across the entire LinkedIn network. Users will be able to access any of their connections and send them a message immediately from their LinkedIn Inbox.

"Now, you can walk into any interview, any customer engagement or client meeting with the ability to look up the details on over 100 million professionals worldwide, in real-time," stated Chad Whitney, senior product manager at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has made its app available for download both in Google's Android Market or from LinkedIn's website. We were able to download it from the Android Market in a few seconds, so the app is definitely easy to grab, much easier than the beta. (LinkedIn created something of a barrier to download the LinkedIn for Android beta by requiring that Android phone users be a member of the LinkedIn Mobile parent group and then join the new LinkedIn for Android subgroup.)

Fortunately, that's not the case for the finished app, which launches in the wake of LinkedIn filing for IPO, and the roll-out of its LinkedIn Today news application.

Google updates Android security, management features

Google moved to fortify security and management for Android smartphones and tablets used in businesses, with three new software updates designed to improve productivity for workers using Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education.

While Research In Motion Blackberry smartphones have dominated the enterprise for the last decade, more businesses are allowing employees to bring their personal Android and iPhone devices into the workplace. This has forced IT administrators to adapt to workers' device preferences and figure out ways to manage them. Good Technology, Sybase, Mobile Iron, and Zenprise are all offering solutions to help these businesses, but Google offers its own management apps for Google Apps collaboration software.

My Devices website, available via updated Google Apps Device Policy

Google April 7 launched a new version of the Google Apps Device Policy app, which will let employees secure a lost or stolen Android device. The app will locate an Android smartphone on a map, ring the device, and reset the device PIN or password remotely through the new My Devices website. The app runs on Android 2.2 and later devices. We downloaded it directly to a Motorola Droid X in seconds via this Android Market Webstore page.

Second, Google issued a new corporate contacts application called Google Apps Lookup that makes it easier for employees to contact people in their business. Users can type or speak the name or email address of a coworker, and then tap to call, email, instant message, or send a text message.

Google Apps Lookup

Because Lookup pulls information from the Google Apps directory, admins must first enable the "Shared Contacts" option in the control panel. The app is said to support Android 2.1 and later devices.

Google also offers a new perk to help Google Apps administrators manage Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") tablets. Admins can now use an option in their Apps control panel to encrypt data on Honeycomb tablets, including a requirement for encrypted storage. Honeycomb slates will need version 2.0 of the Google Apps Device Policy app to make this work.

The new Android enterprise perks come more than five months after the last batch of upgrades for business devices. Google Oct. 28 added enterprise management and sync support for Google Apps on its Android 2.2 mobile platform. That upgrade let Apps admins remotely wipe all data from lost or stolen mobile devices; lock idle devices after a period of inactivity; require a device password on each phone; set minimum lengths to boost password security; and require alphanumeric passwords.

Clint Boulton is a writer for eWEEK.

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