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Android 30|30 - Link Shrink Pro

Android 30|30 is a new series on Tech & Coffee that aims to highlight 30 awesomely useful Android apps in just 30 days. Just click the app name in the heading below to be taken to the Android Market.

Link Shrink Pro by Jake Basile

Having your own custom short URL used to be a far reaching goal for the standard closet geek. Then bitly went and made the process both free and relatively pain-free. I signed up for a free bitly account and purchased the 'ldlw.me' domain name from Hover (great domain registrar, by the way). Once I went through the step by step setup process, I had a custom URL shortener.

I noticed that I was often sharing links to news articles, blog posts, tweets, etc. from my phone. I found the original version of Link Shrink, which then did a major revamp under the new name Link Shrink Pro. Link Shrink Pro is great because of how simple it makes to both shorten and share links using your own custom URL. You open the app, add your bitly credentials (username and API key), and then you really never have to open the Link Shrink Pro app again. The magic happens when you call up the Share options via any other app on Android for things like links, pictures and pretty much anything else. Two new options appear in the 'Share via' list; Link Shrink + Copy and Link Shrink + Share. The first option is great if you want to shorten a link within the same app you plan to use the custom short URL. The second is intended for shortening the URL, and then re-displaying the 'Share via' menu choices so that you can then send the shortened link to another app for sharing. A work flow example where this comes in extremely handy goes something like this. I'm reading a great blog post in the Browser app that I want to send to my followers on Twitter. I long-press the URL in the Browser, choose Share via, select 'Link Shrink + Share', , choose Plume (or Twitter app of choice) from the new Share via menu that has automatically popped up after the magic and finally my custom shortened URL is ready to be tweeted out in the Plume app with whatever text I'd like to add to the body of the tweet.

You can also use Link Shrink Pro to simply shorten URLs with the standard bit.ly link format, or the Google short URL (goo.gl). It is a special kind of pride that comes with sending someone a link that looks like an abbreviated version of my last name, but it is pride nonetheless. Grab Link Shrink Pro from the Android Market and start making those URLs fit into smaller and smaller bits and bytes all over the web.

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