Windows 10, Misery and Magic

Having been in this business 27 years gives me some experience.  But nothing in my experience matches what Microsoft is attempting; a free OS update for more than 500 million computers.

Do I have a prediction?  Can Microsoft handle the server load?  Will everyone be impressed but the support?  I don’t say so.  However, I will predict that whether Microsoft is successful or unsuccessful, we will all remember August 1, 2015 as the date that Windows changed the World, for better or worse.

What I’m anticipating is a combination of people successful in the Windows 10 transition, looking for help with the new OS and how to do things.  I also predict a certain percentage of failed updates.  Even a 1% failure rate means 5 million computers that no longer boot.  So I would predict that more PC hardware will be shipped in August 2015 than in any month of the last four years.

So many people, reinstalling apps, looking up licenses, switching to newer versions.

We also look with some interest at Microsoft’s “Phone Companion” software, which will “magically” keep everything in sync.  Since Windows 10 preview is out, and Phone Companion is not in it, I definitely think magic is what they need now.   I think it will be good for CompanionLink (thank you Microsoft for naming your feature) to continue to do what we do – simple and dependable phone sync.   There’s nothing they will introduce in two weeks that can match the features and dependability of CompanionLink and DejaOffice.

The Samsung Smart Switch equivalent for business users

Samsung has a useful app called Smart Switch that allows quick transfer of key data between two Android devices. It helps people who buy a new phone, like Samsung Galaxy S6, to move music, photos, contacts, calendar, and settings from an older phone.

The 4-star reviews of the app shows that Smart Switch works well for basic data. The 50,000+ reviews also show that transferring information between devices is a big problem that many people are looking to solve.

Where is the Smart Switch for business CRM data?

Business and advanced users need something similar to Smart Switch that can handle their complete data set. The most important data for business professionals is their address book, notes about their dealings with clients, and their calendar management system.

Productivity seekers will also need to transfer their task management system like Franklin Covey or Getting Things Done. Advanced users have a system to store all this information on a desktop productivity suite like Microsoft Office Outlook or a CRM system like Act!, GoldMine, Business Contact Manager, or Salesforce.com. They prefer to store this info on the desktop because of the innate security with local storage and quick UI. These tools are designed to hold all business data in one integrated database.

Smart Switch isn’t going to work with these productivity suites, nor will it sync the advanced data that businesses need. For example, Contact Categories, Tasks Priorities, Task Alerts, Notes, and Client History are all advanced CRM data fields that most consumers don’t care about, but business people depend on.

CompanionLink has a Smart Switch equivalent for Outlook and CRM systems

CompanionLink has developed a suite of utilities that work with legacy and modern versions of Microsoft Outlook and other popular PC and Cloud CRM systems. The apps are the #1 downloaded utility for CRM data because of our reputation to stay ahead of device announcements. This guarantees synchronziation always works with cutting-edge phones like Galaxy S6 from day one of public availability.

Find more information about the data CompanionLink supports by selecting the business productivity system you use from the list below. CompanionLink is designed to be an on-going sync and not just transfer. This means updates on the device will automatically sync back to the CRM system.

Microsoft Outlook
Act!
Palm Desktop
Lotus Notes
GroupWise
GoldMine
Time & Chaos
Salesforce CRM

Demystifying the versions of Office Outlook for PCs, Phones, and Tablets

Microsoft is unleashing a bevy of names and editions of the next version of Microsoft Office Outlook. It’s hard to understand which version of Outlook you will need on PC, Mac, phones, and tablets.

Here are a list of known platforms on which the next version of Outlook will be available.

PC – desktops and laptops running Windows 10
Phones – iPhone, Android, Windows-based phones
Tablets – iPad, Android tablets
Special Tablets – Surface tablets, other tablets running Windows OS 10

Next, let’s list every brand name that Microsoft has used so far to describe the next version of Office Outlook.

Outlook 2016
Outlook for Mac 15
Outlook Mail for Windows 10
Mail for Windows 10
Windows 10 Mail app
Outlook for iOS
Outlook for Android
Outlook Web App for Office 365

Outlook 2016

This comes as part of the conventional Office productivity desktop suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) that we have used in the past. Outlook 2016 has a refreshed UI, tight OneDrive integration for cloud document management, and a machine-learning algorithm that learns how to “de-clutter” your inbox.

This suite is for people who want the full Outlook experience (Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, and Categories working seamlessly together) on their desktops and laptops like in years past. Pricing tiers are unannounced. Availability is Fall 2015 with no specific date yet.

Outlook for Mac 15 (aka: Outlook for Mac 2015, New Outlook for Mac)

This is the Office productivity suite for Mac users. It is designed to take advantage of Retina displays and Full Screen views available in modern Macs. Microsoft is promoting this version as a convergence in feature-set with the PC Office 2016. The prior version (Office for Mac 2011) took a public beating because it failed to do things that its PC counterpart could do.

Availability is scheduled for the second half of 2015.

Outlook Mail for Windows 10 (aka: Mail for Windows 10, Windows 10 Mail app)

This is a basic and feature-lite version of Outlook. It comes pre-installed on phones and tablets running Windows 10. These are Microsoft’s phones, Surface tablets, and other small tablets designed by other manufacturers that will support Windows 10. This lite version of Outlook gives you Mail and Calendar functionality. There are no Contacts, Tasks, or Notes in this feature-lite version. Support for Categories is unknown. The UI is streamlined when compared to Outlook 2016 for desktops. You can connect to EAS, Office 365, Gmail, and Yahoo accounts.

Here’s a video that shows the app.

Outlook for iOS (iPhone and iPad)

This app is available from iTunes App Store for free. It handles Mail, People (ie – contacts), and Calendar. People is limited to view-only data. This means you can search and view contact details of people in your address book, but you cannot add, edit, or delete records. There are no Categories or sort options.

Outlook for Android

This app is available from Google Play Store for free. Like its sibling iOS app, it handles Mail, People, and Calendar. People is view-only, no Categories, and no sort.

Outlook Web App (aka: OWA, OWA for Office 365)

This is the online version of Outlook that can be accessed from any desktop or mobile browser. If you have Office 365, you navigate to a web page to log in. If your organization used Exchange, they would provide you with a URL and credentials to log in to the Exchange Server.

The web interface handles Mail, Calendar, People, and Tasks. Categories and Notes do not work.

Microsoft also released native apps for iOS and Android called Outlook Web App. This was Microsoft’s recommended method to access Outlook on mobile devices prior to their recent native Outlook apps for iOS and Android. Page This ZDNet article claims Microsoft is planning to sunset these OWA apps in favor of the new Outlook apps for iOS and Android.

“…Microsoft plans to “sunset” Outlook Web Apps and the Outlook.com app for iOS and Android by summer, officials said.” (Source)

If you have heard of any other names used to describe the next Office Outlook, please share that with us in the Comments section.

Kies replacement for Galaxy S6

We tested Kies with our new Galaxy S6. I can confirm reports by other bloggers that Kies no longer works with Galaxy S6. If you are looking to simply move data from another phone to S6, Samsung recommends their Smart Switch app. It uses their cloud to move Contacts, Calendar, Call Logs, Wallpapers, WiFi settings, and other information between two phones. It works wells for a one-time transfer of data.

Kies replacement for Galaxy S6 Outlook sync

Unfortunately, moving information between phones doesn’t solve one of the main features of Kies – two-way Microsoft Outlook synchronization. People who want to connect their desktop Outlook data with the new Galaxy S6 are left in the dark without Kies. Those who manage business clients, calendar meetings, and notes need a Kies alternative so they can continue getting productivity from their new S6.

CompanionLink is offering the only Kies replacement for Galaxy S6 that will sync via USB, WiFi, or Cloud. The options may get overwhelming, so we offer free telephone technical support so that you can call and speak to an expert. CompanionLink has been downloaded more than 1.2 million times and has earned the trust of writers for USAToday.com and a 4.9-star review on our Google page.

How to sync Galaxy S6 with Outlook

  1. Download the 14-day trial of CompanionLink for Outlook
  2. In Settings, choose Android.
  3. Select the sync protocol from the options (Direct USB, Local WiFi, or DejaCloud).
  4. Download our free DejaOffice app on the Galaxy S6. You can find it in the Play Store on the device.
  5. During the DejaOffice setup wizard, select the same sync protocol you chose in Step 3 above.

Resources for how to set up Galaxy S6 Outlook sync

Setup Guides

Contact us if you have any questions or need further help. Our support staff is in-house and available by phone (+1 503-243-5200) and by email support.

The case for data security and a commitment to Galaxy and PC connectivity

We see things as a hierarchy. No one wants to lose what they had before. While the cloud is great, we don’t want to force people to use it when they are comfortable with traditional options that gave them and their data a secure path

So for us, USB sync is fundamental because it is a foundation technology that many business professionals rely on to secure their data between their PC and phones.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth build on that because they are local, although both are OTA technologies which could be captured by local listening.

We also have our own cloud service, DejaCloud, that offers an automatic connection between your Galaxy S6 and PC Outlook. A change made in either Outlook or the S6 will automatically trigger an update to the other location. DejaCloud handles multiple devices (ie – iPad and Galaxy S6) like a champion. It’s designed to be real-time so you are guaranteed to always have access to the most current data.

Our commitment remains to all these technologies on as many phones as we can, including the exciting new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.

CompanionLink Solves Galaxy S6 Kies Sync Problems

I got the Galaxy S6 and it is AMAZING.  We put it side-by-side with an iPhone 6.  It is immediately apparent that the screen is a lot bigger.  The Samsung phone is thinner.  And it it lighter. I think we’ve seen the end of tiny phone screens.  The Galaxy S6 screen is large and easy to work with, but the overall phone is lighter than anything I’ve ever carried, and easy to hold and talk with.

CompanionLink Sync provides Outlook sync to Galaxy S6.  It works great!  You can download today and have your Outlook data on your phone in minutes.  CompanionLink has a two week trial period so you can try for free.  If you buy it, we have a 90 day money back guarantee and we really do give your money back; no questions asked so don’t worry about that!

A lot of other sync products, like Samsung Kies, seem to break with every new phone.  Sometimes they fix it if you wait.  But with CompanionLink, there’s never a need to wait.  We’ve been spot-on compatible with every Android OS update, and every new phone, since the dawn of Android (and iPhone, and more).

CompanionLink is a great Kies alternative because it synchronizes more Outlook fields like Outlook Notes, Tasks, Journal, Birthdays, and Meeting Invites, and supports Outlook Categories with matching colors. You can also work with multiple Outlook Calendar and Contacts Folders.

CompanionLink is backed by US-based telephone support at no cost. CompanionLink never pushes updates on their customers, so the software you purchase is guaranteed to be the same unless you change it.

If you really want some quick help, order Runstart or Premium support.  Our tech will log into your computer and set everything up for you.  Hand’s free setup with a minimum of time.

Read our special quick guide for specific instructions on how two switch from Kies 3 to CompanionLink for Outlook on your Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge phone.

http://www.companionlink.com/support/kb/How_to_Switch_From_Samsung_Kies_2_or_Kies_3_to_Companionlink_for_Outlook

Read more about CompanionLink for Outlook here. A full license costs $49.95, one-time. We really have sympathy for people switching over from Keys.  Here’s a special $10 off just for reading this page.  Enter code K3ALT in the Affinity Code field on our order form to save $10.  And Happy S6′ing.

 

 

Galaxy S6 pricing for US Carriers

The major carriers released their pricing plans for the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. CNET has a great article with the pricing. Our article is consolidating facts and figures so it is easier to understand.

AT&T’s Pricing for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Galaxy S6 32GB
Next Plan (24-month installment): $22.84 per month
Traditional 2-year contract: $199

Galaxy S6 Edge
Next Plan (24-month installment): $27.17 per month
Traditional 2-year contract: $299

T-Mobile’s Pricing for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Galaxy S6 32GB
24-month installment plan: $28.33 per month
Off contract: $679.92

Galaxy S6 Edge
24-month installment plan: $32.49 per month
Off contract: $799.76

Sprint’s Pricing for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Sprint is bundling the device and service fees into a lease. Customers can turn in their device at any time and pay nothing else again to terminate the lease. If you wish to terminate the lease and keep the device, you must pay the remaining balance to keep the device. The off-contract price (ie – full balance) of the phone is rumored to be $650.

Galaxy S6 32GB – $80 per month lease
Galaxy S6 Edge 32GB – $85 per month lease

Galaxy S6 64GB – $85 per month lease
Galaxy S6 Edge 64GB – $90 per month lease

Galaxy S6 128GB – $90 per month lease
Galaxy S6 Edge 128GB – $95 per month lease

US Cellular’s Pricing for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Galaxy S6 32GB with 2-year contract – $199
Galaxy S6 Edge 32GB with 2-year contract – $299

Verizon’s Pricing for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Galaxy S6 32GB
24-month installment: $24.99 per month
Traditional 2-year contract: $200 after $50 mail-in rebate
Off contract: $600

Galaxy S6 Edge
24-month installment: $29.16 per month
Traditional 2-year contract: $300 after $50 mail-in rebate
Off contract: $700

The most complete Outlook app for HTC One M9

Yesterday, HTC published a number of productivity apps to Google Play Store in anticipation of the HTC One M9 release. Making its first appearance is a tasks app, called HTC Tasks, that integrates with Exchange and Google. It does a good job by handling key details like Task Priorities and Reminders; elements that heavy task managers require.

There is one problem, though, for people who rely on Outlook to manage their schedules, contacts, and notes. They do not want separate apps on the phone to do this. Outlook on the PC thrives because it is an all-in-one manager for email, contact info, scheduling, task management, and notes. One example of this is how PC Outlook lets you create categories can been used across different data (i.e. – contacts, tasks, notes). So a business users would know that the Blue Category called Business is for all data that is business-related while the Yellow Category called Personal is for all personal contacts, meetings, etc.

A true Outlook experience on HTC One

DejaOffice stores all key Outlook data – contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, categories, contact photos, and journal entries – in a single app on the HTC One. There is no other app, including Microsoft’s new Outlook app for Android, that stores all your Outlook data.

The benefit to DejaOffice’s approach is that a user can cross-pollinate data to do things like assign Contacts to Tasks or Notes, create appointments with people in the contact list, or look up a contact and see all the associated events or documents. These details enable the one thing people are looking for on their mobile – a true Outlook-like experience that mirrors how they use Outlook on their PCs. It’s key for the data relationships between fields in Outlook to exist on the mobile. DejaOffice enables this, starting from Categories all the way down to Journal.

Data security of your Outlook information

Many business users prefer not to host their Outlook data in the cloud. Many reasons validate this concern. The DejaOffice app has options to sync to the PC in a connected and cloud-free manner. People are not required to use an Office 365 cloud account, Exchange hosted account, or a Google account just to manage data between PC and phone.

To do this, the CompanionLink product must be installed on the PC.

USB Sync uses the traditional USB cable that comes with HTC One M9 to exchange data between PC Outlook. At no time is your data sent to the cloud in this setup.

Wi-Fi Sync is a variation on USB Sync where it also ensures no data is sent to the cloud. Instead of a USB cable, Wi-Fi uses your local network to exchange data. Both your PC and phone must be on the same IP (ie – in your home or office) for this to work.

Setup Guides

HTC One with a Mac and Outlook for Mac

Mac users are in luck. CompanionLink recently released a Mac app that keeps Android phones like HTC One synchronized with Outlook for Mac. With CompanionLink for Mac, you can sync direct so your data is never in Microsoft or Google’s cloud.

Uh Oh Protection for Outlook

HTC announced a new phone replacement initiative called the Uh Oh Protection. If your phone is damaged within he first year, HTC will replace it at no cost.

Think of CompanionLink and DejaOffice as the Uh Oh coverage for your Outlook data. If you ever run into trouble integrating your PC with your HTC One M9, simply call CompanionLink’s support hotline and an expert will help.

How to sync Samsung Galaxy S6 to Outlook

The Galaxy S6 is poised to be a departure from the past few generations of the iconic Samsung flagship GALAXY brand. BGR has a breakdown of Galaxy S6 specs that point to a Samsung-powered CPU (abandoning the Qualcomm Snapdragon), Quad HD display, mobile payments supporting magnetic and NFC terminals, and a premium metal body to further drive a wedge between the Galaxy brand and other plastic Android knock-offs. A built-in wireless charging mechanism is also an inspiring reveal that will have people wanting to buy this device for new wireless technology and vehicles that support this.

Will this be the year that Samsung also heeds the demands of the business community that focuses on PC productivity with tools like Microsoft Outlook? Microsoft has made a strong push in recent days to make up ground for PC users of Outlook. They have purchased Acompli’s IP and released an Outlook email app. They quickly followed the encore by purchasing the Sunrise calendar app.

Reports of the limitations of Kies are not greatly exaggerated

People have waxed poetic (here, here, and many others) about the challenges with Samsung Kies when attempting to sync Galaxy with Outlook. A USAToday.com columnist also shared his frustration with inadequate support for the core Outlook fields.

For those who need complete Outlook integration to justify their Galaxy S6 purchase as a business tool, our PC and mobile app suite is the one-stop solution. A $50 one-time purchase gets you the #1 Outlook to Galaxy S6 sync suite for calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, and categories. You are not locked in to a particular sync protocol that compromises the security of your data. Instead, you have the freedom to choose the sync protocol.

Secure, connect, and cloud sync options for Galaxy S6 to Outlook Sync

Our CompanionLink suite syncs the following Outlook data:

  • Outlook Contacts
  • Outlook Calendar
  • Outlook Tasks
  • Outlook Notes
  • Outlook Categories

The configuration wizard lets you choose from four sync options. Each option has its pros and cons.

  • USB Sync allows a connected approach to data sync. Your Outlook data is not hosted in the cloud.
  • WiFi Sync allows a connected and wireless approach. Your Outlook data is synchronized using your home/office WiFi network. It is not stored in the cloud.
  • DejaCloud is our private business cloud service that will keep Outlook and Galaxy S6 synchronized at all times. It is designed for multi-device setups where you have a phone, tablet, and a P. Data is stored in our private cloud, making the task of adding/removing devices and PCs as simple as configuring your DejaCloud username and password. The sync is instant and automatic.
  • Sync to Google is an option that uses your Google account to keep Outlook synchronized with Galaxy S6. CompanionLink connects Outlook on your PC with your Google account. Google takes over from there to integrate that data with the pre-installed Contacts and Calendar apps on your Galaxy S6.

For a more thorough list of pros and cons of each option, please visit www.companionlink.com/gettingstarted.

Setup Guide for Galaxy S6 Outlook sync

You will need an app on both your PC and Galaxy S6. Both apps will communicate to keep data synchronized.

  1. Install CompanionLink on your PC. Click here to download it.
  2. On your Galaxy S6, launch the Google Play Store app. Search for DejaOffice and install it.
  3. Configure CompanionLink. Your configuration steps will depend on the sync option listed above that you choose.
    1. Setup guide: Galaxy S6 to Outlook USB sync
    2. Setup guide: Galaxy S6 to Outlook WiFi sync
    3. Setup guide: Galaxy S6 to Outlook DejaCloud sync (automatic)
    4. Setup guide: Galaxy S6 to Outlook using a Google account
    5. If you select DejaCloud sync, the synchronization will begin automatically within a few minutes. If you selected USB, WiFi, or sync to Google, you need to click on the Sync button in CompanionLink on your PC to start the first sync.

Further help for Galaxy S6 to Outlook sync

Call us at 503-243-3400 if you need further help. Support is free to everyone with a Galaxy S6 phone, regardless of whether you do or do not own a license to CompanionLink . You can also access our setup guides online. If you want an advanced configuration help, we offer a $49 RunStart package where our experts will log in to your PC and Galaxy S6 to configure the sync for you. This gives you the peace of mind that your Galaxy S6 to PC sync is fine-tuned to match your needs.

2 strategies for Samsung Galaxy S6 to differentiate by focusing on business users

Samsung is driving uphill to maintain their lead in the consumer mobile market. Cheaper phones from Xaomi, Huawei, and other manufactures are driving the price of Android devices to $0 while gouging Samsung’s market share. And this is just from their fellow Android manufactures. Holiday sales of Apple iPhone showed resurgence due to iPhone’s bigger screen size.

Why pay 2x as much for a Galaxy device compared to other Android devices that offer the same features?

Why pay 2x as much for a Galaxy device compared to other Android devices that offer the same features? (Phone image credit to phonearena.com)

One area where Samsung has yet to capitalize (and can do so rather easily) is to focus on a more premium and sophisticated buyer – business users. This approach lets Samsung justify a higher price for their devices, differentiate by features and apps, and allow Samsung marketing to focus on a customer willing to open their pocket books for perceived value in an era of zero-cost smartphones.

Strategy 1: Curated pre-installed business apps on Galaxy S6

Pre-install a curated a list of business apps on the Galaxy S6. Business users are pressed for time. Unlike consumers who actually browse mobile app stores, business users will not. Recommendations and reviews are the catalysts for professionals to download apps.

Samsung can lend a hand and establish instant biz cred by partnering with app developers who already have a business following. Ship the Galaxy S6 with select partner apps pre-installed in a separate Recommended Apps section on the phone. Emphasis on the word “separate”. Do not make the same mistake Dell did/does with PCs by bloating the phone with third-party apps that one must painstakingly delete should they not want them. The second-worst thing to happen with a new phone purchase is starting your phone and finding bloatware. The worst thing to happen is paying a premium price for a phone with bloatware.

Strategy 2: Tight integration with PC software that businesses use

What software do business people spend the majority of their day using on their PC? Email, browsing, CRM, scheduling, and task management are some common functions most professionals engage, regardless of the business they are in. Samsung should identify leading app developers in each of these business functions. Co-market or co-promote their apps. Rekindle the great Galaxy vs. iPhone commercials of the recent past (the ads were actually quite entertaining!) to create separation between Samsung Galaxy and the bevy of other Android phones in the market.

The best marketing is education. As part of their training regimen with retail outlets that carry Samsung devices, focus on the business application of Samsung phones and tablets. Make sure carrier store reps are versed in how Samsung devices work with leading business apps so professionals can extend functions from their physical office onto their virtual office on their devices. The goal is to educate people on how to get business done on mobile without skipping a beat or missing your physical office. When a person walks into a carrier store to ask about an Android device, all things business should only point to one direction on the rack – Samsung.

That’s value that business professionals will pay a premium to be associated with.  Pivot the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 phone and Galaxy brand to be the business tool that professionals must choose instead of the cheaper no-frills phones that consumers are swallowing in droves. Samsung needs to make the act of showing up to business meetings with a non-Galaxy phone to be perceived as a credibility issue. Remember early last decade when you weren’t a real business professional unless you had a BlackBerry?

Microsoft Outlook is the leading PC business productivity system

Outlook is included with Office, and Outlook is remarkably robust for 80% of everyday business needs. These two factors have given it the #1 Who’s Who rank in desktop business software. Outlook is ubiquitous because it’s bundled with every business version of Microsoft Office.

CompanionLink’s 20-year history with developing Outlook add-on software makes us privy to the choices and desires of the PC business audience. They use the Outlook to manage many aspects of their day. It is first-class software for email, calendar scheduling, task management, and contact management. We see behavioral patterns that Samsung can take advantage of.

Business Outlook users…

…manage both business and personal schedules using Outlook
…care about maintaining their client list with updated information
…rely on Outlook’s robust scheduling system to have an efficient day
…have a system to manage Outlook tasks to prioritize goals
…often use a task management productivity system (ie – Franklin Covey, Getting Things Done, Take Back Your Life)
…use email as a task list
…need to create or assign tasks from their email
…have years worth of client notes stored in Outlook
…have an intricate folder management system for emails that they can’t afford to break or lose
…are very concerned about data security and enjoy that Outlook data is stored locally
…prefer not to paying for a subscription to MS Office when they have been getting Office as a one-time purchase since its inception
…often rely on a shared system of calendars and tasks between their colleagues and/or assistants

How the Galaxy S6 can work tighter with Outlook

  1. Update the Galaxy S6 email app to work more like K9 or Microsoft’s new Outlook app. Email must be a pleasure to manage. It is likely the first app business professionals engage every day.
  2. Pre-install the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps.
  3. Pre-install the DejaOffice app to integrate with and hold Outlook Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, and Notes on the Galaxy S6.
  4. Pre-install the Dropbox app for file management.

These simple steps will allow the Galaxy brand to begin differentiating from other Android phones. Apple has notably been the platform that people spend more money on apps for. Why is this? Is it because they attract a more affluent buyer or because they attract a business buyer? Likely, it’s a combination of both.

Samsung Kies is free software that handles rudimentary Outlook integration as an after-thought. The core functions of the software are to transfer video and photos to the PC, apply device software updates, and back up contacts and text messages to the PC. Samsung should take this to the next level by supporting deeper integration with Outlook fields. What Samsung really lacks is a mobile app that is capable of holding all of the rich Outlook data. The Galaxy’s built-in contacts and calendar apps don’t map well with Outlook. Our own app, DejaOffice, on the other hand, offers a one-to-one map with advanced Outlook fields and data like Categories, Notes, recurring reminders, and sort options that match the desktop such as the File-As option in Outlook. This is really what business users are looking for instead of the novice contacts and calendar apps that ship with devices.

Samsung needs the business buyer in order to differentiate and validate a price greater than free for its phones. They need this buyer in order to survive the attack from both ends – cheap no-frills Android phones and Apple’s premium iPhone.

Samsung can start on March 1 with the Galaxy S6.

New Outlook app is great for email, but not the full “Outlook” experience yet

This is a live document and we will update as we learn more about the new Outlook app.

Summary; TLDR

  • Hit: supports popular cloud email services and file storage
  • Hit: beautiful email UI for email, customizable swipe settings
  • Hit: intelligent “snooze” feature on email
  • Miss: does not support all business IMAP accounts like desktop Outlook does
    • February 16 app update adds support for generic IMAP accounts
  • Miss: no support for Outlook Contacts, Tasks, Notes
  • Miss: no Category support for PIM organization
  • Miss: major security hole by storing email credentials and data in a temporary server

The new Outlook app, a fruition of Microsoft’s acquisition of Acompli, brings renewed hope for Outlook users. The fresh UI and robust compatibility with the popular email services rightfully warrants the 4-star review Microsoft is currently earning. Contrast that to the 2.5-star showing of Microsoft’s prior horse in the race, the app regrettably known as OWA for iPhone.

However, the “Outlook” portion of the name of the app is a bit over-reaching. There are two main reasons for this.

  1. Outlook on the desktop does email, contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, and categories.  The Outlook app does email and calendar. Perhaps the rest is coming in short order.
  2. Outlook on the desktop allows you set up any IMAP or POP account. The Outlook app only allows EAS, Outlook.com, Google, Yahoo, and iCloud accounts. The rest of the business world that uses a private email provider with their desktop Outlook isn’t invited to the dance hosted by the new Outlook app. (Update 2/2015: an app update now allows you to add generic IMAP email accounts.)

no-imap2

outlook-no-imap

Hits

Email never felt this good. Acompli’s reputation prior to their acquisition was for a sexy email client that could blend all of your popular emails services into one app. Multi-account support works beautifully, and their Focused vs. All filters to put an emphasis on email productivity by showing important email and hiding newsletters and other repetitive communications for later viewing. Also, the ability to swipe to Schedule an email to reappear in the Inbox in a few hours or a time of your choosing lets you quickly consolidate your morning inbox so you address only important emails. A very nifty feature!

Misses

Security is the big hole for the Outlook app, as discovered by Rene Winkelmeyer. The hole has always existed when the code base was owned by Acompli. The ire is that people expected Microsoft to fix this security hole before releasing under the Outlook brand.

In short, email account credentials and data are stored on Microsoft’s servers for a “temporary” time frame. This allows the Outlook app to do fancy things like snooze email. However, it also means your email and potentially other PIM information like appointments and recent contacts are privy to Microsoft. I sense an ulcer developing for folks who care about corporate security, HIPAA, and other initiatives aimed at protecting our data.

The app also doesn’t match features found in desktop Outlook.

Contacts make a guest appearance through the limited functionality of the People section in the app. Instead of a real contact list, you are given a list of recently used email addresses. There is no contact manager that holds your records, and you cannot add/update contacts, address, and phone numbers from your device. This is likely due to the fact that email services like Google and Yahoo are not EAS servers. They rely on IMAP, whose protocol isn’t fundamentally designed to handle PIM info like Contact details. EAS, on the other hand, was designed for this. It’s surprising that even EAS accounts in the new Outlook app doesn’t handle Contacts.

Outlook Tasks do not exist. Many business users rely on a task list to coordinate their priorities or implement productivity systems like Getting Things Done or Franklin Covey. Without a task list, users of this Outlook app cannot manage their priorities on the go.

Outlook Notes also don’t make an appearance.

The must-have Outlook Category feature does not exist. Desktop Outlook users rely on categories to organize their daily agenda by appointment type. Without this, business and personal appointments are indistinguishable in the calendar view.