An official client for the LinkedIn professional social network has been a long time coming, but it looks like the third-party stopgaps will soon be relieved of duty. LinkedIn for Android is now available in an open beta if you sign up for the group. All of the core functions are there, like viewing updates from your professional contacts, browsing profiles, handling invitations, and searching for particular people.
If you’ve never signed up, LinkedIn is a social network specifically for professional identities; you can show your work history, ask for recommendations, and try to get references to connect with folks outside of your usual sphere. LinkedIn exists pretty separately from Facebook, though there’s definitely a lot of overlapping users.
Only Android 2.1 devices and up are supported for the new mobile client, and since it’s in beta and not in the Market yet, you’ll need to be able to install non-market apps. If you’re packing a BlackBerry, you can find it in App World, or for iPhone, hit up the widget below.