Theresa and I are often asked about the applications we use on our computers, tablets, and mobile devices, so we decided to write a monthly blog post about hot (and cold) new apps we discovered. Found a golden app yourself? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll review it!
Application Description (from cardmunch.com)
Cardmunch is a free iPhone app that turns business cards into contacts. It’s easy and smart. Take a picture with the app and a business card is converted to a contact automatically. We’ll also show you LinkedIn profile information and connections you have in common.
Key Features (from cardmunch on the app store)
- Convert business cards to address book contacts, and then add them as connections on LinkedIn.
- View relevant LinkedIn profile info, connections in common, work history, and more, for the cards you scan.
- Improved card capture experience for faster and easier card scanning.
- Manual transcription ensures high accuracy for scanned cards.
- Newly revamped user interface and visual experience.
Linkedin is becoming quite the social hangout for professionals! I’ve personally been a member since 2004 (the service launched in 2002) and clearly remember the long days where I only had 5-10 contacts. Recently, I’ve received an influx of invites from previous classmates, co-workers, and friends that lead me to believe Linkedin is becoming even more popular. Data from the Linkedin folks state the same with their 2011 data of increasing site visitors by 67%. For this month we will review Linkedin’s newest purchase, Cardmunch, which turns out to be a solid app for professionals wether or not you are a frequent Linkedin user.
Cardmunch was purchased by Linkedin in 2011 and quickly rebranded as their own app. However, the functionality has remained pretty much the same. The premise of the app is pretty much straight forward… users scan a business card using the iPhone camera and shortly after that data is transformed into a digital file within the app. After the information is added, the user can then add the digital information to their contacts while keeping the scanned card and data on the app.
What I like the most about Cardmunch is the ability to batch scan multiple cards after a conference. For those who attend conferences or other networking events on a regular basis this app is a must have. I also enjoy the ability to keep all my professional contacts on a separate app from my phone contacts. I often meet numerous new faces at conferences, but just because we shared a quick chat doesn’t mean I want to add yet another contact to my main address book. Others might see this as an advantage—when it works (see improvements below). Another positive aspect is that Cardmunch will grab the Linkedin data of cards scanned if they are already members. This is an excellent tool for Linkedin power users. However, I’ve found that 90% of the cards I scanned are not on Linkedin yet, but maybe they are just slow to adopt a new social networking platform.
This leads me to what can be improved in future releases. After a recent update in December, 2011, many reviewers have noted their ability to transfer information to their address book has failed. I’ve personally had no problem as I imported new contacts after a recent conference in January, 2012. While this isn’t my largest gripe I can see how not having this functionality would easily lead one to quickly delete it. Another issue is with non-latin based scripts. I often network with Chinese and Japanese colleagues and having their character-based name is important (mostly because the Romanization is not always phonetically correct). After each non-latin card is scanned I find myself having to edit it afterward.
Overall, I find I use this app more than the official Linkedin app on iOS. In the future Linkedin notes it will better integrate the app with their services and like many others I am excited to see where they take Cardmunch.
- Easy to Use
- Integration with Linkedin
- Fast way to add new contacts
- No iPad Support
- Some users report new scans can not import to address book
- No support for non-latin based languages