Has LinkedIn Abandoned CardMunch?

Earlier this year, I published a post about CardMunch, an app from LinkedIn that I called “the holy grail of business card apps.” Well, not anymore. It seems that many users, including me, are having trouble with the app consistently hanging and crashing, and no one at LinkedIn seems to be doing anything about it.

When it works, CardMunch acts like a business-card scanner, but with a twist. It uses real humans to read and transcribe the cards you upload. Use the app to snap a photo of a business card and upload. A little while later, you get the transcribed info sent back to your phone. You can manage these contacts within the CardMunch app or add them to your iPhone contacts, where you can sync them with Outlook or another contacts manager.

Lately, however, whenever I try to open a contact in CardMunch, the app just hangs. I get that spinning circle that tells me to wait, but no matter how long I wait, the contact never loads.

Recently, I used CardMunch to scan several business cards I’d collected. It accepted the uploads and returned the transcribed contacts to me quickly. However, I could not open any of them within the CardMunch app.

Fortunately, I discovered a workaround. Even though I could not open the contacts in CardMunch, I could still export them. Within CardMunch, I selected “edit” and checked the names on the list of contacts that I wanted to export. I then hit the button, “Save to iPhone,” and the contacts were all saved in my iPhone contacts.

While this is OK as a workaround, it is unacceptable for an app to not function as it should. I thought maybe the problem was mine alone, until I began searching for a solution. Many CardMunch users are reporting the same problem.

In LinkedIn’s help forums, only one person from LinkedIn has responded to numerous posts. That one person said that he happened to stumble on the thread of complaints, but did not work on Cardmunch and knew nothing about its status. He offered to look into it. A few days later, on Nov. 12, he said he hoped to have an answer by the end of the week. So far, he has posted nothing more and neither has anyone else at LinkedIn.

The CardMunch website shows a copyright date of 2011, suggesting that no one has updated it in two years. Meanwhile, there are still humans somewhere who are transcribing these cards. That suggests that someone must be in charge of CardMunch. Now if only someone there would pay attention to all these user complaints and fix whatever is wrong with the app.