LinkedIn is shutting down CardMunch, a free iPhone app for converting business cards into digital address book contacts. The service disappeared from the App Store today and will be discontinued on July 11.

To plug the gap, the company is forming an extended partnership with Evernote. The note-taking service is already tied to LinkedIn; Premium users have been able to scan business cards with Evernote’s iOS app since December, and then instantly pull in contact information from LinkedIn. Back in March, the feature was updated so users could seamlessly connect with the person on LinkedIn without ever leaving the Evernote app.

CardMunch users will now be transitioned to the Evernote app and benefit from two years of free business card scanning – no Premium subscription required. Furthermore,all Evernote users will receive a year of free business card scanning, starting today. To connect your account, simply take a photo of a business card using Evernote’s in-app camera; the company will then automatically prompt you to log in and  link your existing Linkedin account.

If you’re a CardMunch user, LinkedIn will also give you the option to export your data before adopting Evernote’s services.

Yesterday, Evernote quietly pushed out an update to iOS app in preparation for today’s announcement. You’ll no longer need to tap the screen to capture a business card – simply point your iPhone or iPad and the shutter will fire as soon as the business card is aligned properly. Frustratingly, Evernote’s Android app still doesn’t support card scanning though – the company promises it’s “coming soon,” but is yet to give a firm release date.

LinkedIn has shuttered a number of features and services recently in an attempt to refocus its business. A few weeks ago it announced plans to close Polls in Groups, following a similar move for its Intro and Slideshare services in February. LinkedIn acquired CardMunch in 2011, but has allowed the iOS app to languish in recent times. The service was never updated for iOS 7, or to support the larger display of the Phone 5/5c/5s.

For CardMunch, it seems the writing has been on the wall for some time. It’ll be interesting to see whether its fans take up Evernote’s offer, or choose to look elsewhere for an alternative.

Headline image via Ben Scholzen / Flickr