Is Privacy a Luxury Good?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently opined that “privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services” (NYT – May 7 2019). This bears a look at whether privacy is free, or something to be paid.

Read the comments of the article to see through the statement. Google claims to respect privacy, at the same time as working hard to undermine it. No one is fooled when it comes to Google and Privacy; if you use their free services, you have no right to stop them from monetizing that service by selling your data.

Pay for Cloud, Pay for Privacy

At CompanionLink we offer DejaCloud as a paid service. As a paid service, our sole source of income on DejaCloud is the money that is paid. We also offer Software as a paid service. And our only source of income is what people pay to us.

The has come an expectation from some people that software should be free. Vendors like Google and Facebook push free service as a model. But they would not be corporations if they had no income, so you need to watch carefully where that income is coming from.

Apple and Microsoft are not far removed from the fray. Although Apple charges for their phones, they offer free iCloud service. There are serveral reports that Apple monetizes iCloud service by sharing your data with Google. Microsoft has also spoken clearly about monetizing Windows 10 by tracking your purchases.

At CompanionLink we have a simple love for how software used to work. You buy it, you own it. No one should have ulterior motives in selling your data. We make upgrades available and send marketing to our customers as a way to keep our revenue stream steady and provide needed support to our customers. When they get a new PC or new phone, they may not need to pay at that time for an upgrade. But the average of all upgrades has to be there for our team to be able to provide the needed products and services.

At least with CompanionLink and DejaCloud, your data is secure, and not being sold to the highest bidder. We hope through our basic product revenue to stay that way for the future.

How to Securely Sync Your Phone Calendar and Contacts

Smartphones: Indispensable tools but beware of data loss

Our phones have become more like e-wallets or, let’s say, e-storage devices, akin to a vault where we have an ocean of all our important as well as ‘not-so-important’ data stored. In face of such a scenario, could you imagine losing either your phone or your data? That would be nothing short of a nightmare, wouldn’t it? Well, not anymore! With the option to synchronize all your data across devices, the potential loss of valuable data is increasingly becoming a prospect least likely. But wait, that’s not reason enough to snub the possibility of losing your precious data because syncing usually requires a third-party tool and that’s what the catch is. Not all third-party tools and software available out there for syncing your phone data and contacts do what they claim to. What you therefore need is a reliable tool that can sync your data across devices with entirety.

Sync Android with Outlook without sharing your data with Google, iCloud or Microsoft.

CompanionLink: Providing trusted syncing solutions for a range of devices

With a swarm of third-party tools available for syncing data, finding out the best one could be a major hassle. The hassle magnifies if you are looking to sync your outlook data and contacts wherein you need to use Exchange in order to send your valuable contacts’ data and calendar data securely to your phone. What then is the solution? Well, CompanionLink Software Inc. is a US based software firm that aims to bridge all gaps that exist between third-party sync tools and a seamless data syncing experience. CompanionLink’s Android sync software is perhaps the best tool out there to sync outlook contacts with android and the best part of the story is that with CompanionLink’s software, you do not have to use Exchange when you sync outlook contacts with android; just USB or WiFi or Bluetooth or DejaCloud is all that you need as CompanionLink offers direct sync using these options. Now that’s what is called ‘delivering what is promised’.

Secure syncing: That’s what CompanionLink stands for

Whether you are an iPhone an Android lover, what ought to concern you is the fact that you are constantly sharing your data with either Apple or Google or Microsoft. Does that ring a bell in your mind regarding the security of your data? If it does, you have another strong reason to try CompanionLink as it offers fast and secure sync from your PC to your Phone. Another problem faced by users of licensed tools for effectively syncing data over devices is that the license of the tool belongs to the PC. When one buys a new computer, a new license of the tool needs to be purchased. Thankfully, that’s not the case with CompanionLink. The license for any of CompanionLink’s tools is for you and not for your PC. CompanionLink uses your email address to register the software on a new computer. Now that’s pretty smart, isn’t it?

So, that brings us to the conclusion that in order to do away with a multitude of hassles associated with third party sync software, CompanionLink is the answer. With CompanionLink and the seamless experience it offers, you no longer have to depend on just any untrusted application to sync outlook contacts with android.

CompanionLink for Outlook
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.86 out of 5 based on 538 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $14.95 3-Mo Subs - $49.95 One-time License.

How to Sync Outlook Contacts with Your Brand New Google Pixel 3a/3aXL

DejaOffice App on the Pixel works like Outlook on the PC

To sync Outlook to Pixel 3a, and have Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes all one one spot, you can use the DejaOffice App.

  1. From Google Play Store, install DejaOffice on your Pixel 3a or Pixel 3a XL
  2. On your PC, download CompanionLink for Outlook on your PC.
  3. Configure both for DejaCloud Sync
  4. Watch your Outlook Contacts and Calendar appear on your phone.

DejaOffice is Free.  CompanionLink runs on a two-week trial.

Samsung Pixel 3a is the latest flagship from the world leader of Smartphones. There’s nothing faster or more effective.  Here I have an argument with Apple.  With iPhone there is no Widgets, and Widgets are so useful, you’ll never catch me using a phone without them.

What is a widget?  A widget shows App information on the phone desktop.  A widget allows me to quickly see my day view, and my contact list – without opening an app.  I can quickly tap on the location and get to my next appointment.  No search, no scroll.  Just one tap and I’m in maps.  One tap and I can call or sms.  Automatically updated all day.

Special features of DejaOffice:

  • Time zone management, so when you land your Calendar doesn’t go wonky
  • Calendar Colors that match Outlook
  • Templates that save time entering new Appointments and Tasks
  • Persistent alarms to be sure I don’t miss anything.
  • Recurring tasks compatible with Outlook
  • Optional:  Franklin Covey task priorities  A1, B2, C99
  • Works same on Android and iPhone, Phones and Tablets.

How to Sync Outlook Contacts with Android: Use CompanionLink for easy and secure sync from Outlook to your Pixel 3a phone. This is a better system than Google, who sells your data, or Microsoft who hosts your data on their exchange server. Here are some setup guides for CompanionLink sync:

CompanionLink for Outlook
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.86 out of 5 based on 538 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $14.95 3-Mo Subs - $49.95 One-time License.

Case Study: Android Outlook USB Sync causing Windows Sockets Error

A customer contacted us this week who had been using a competing Android Outlook Sync product. A Windows Update caused the sync to fail with a Windows Sockets error.

We recommended CompanionLink for Outlook, which can synchronize directly from Outlook to Android using a USB Cable. There are a number of Outlook Android sync products, but only a few companies will handle it like old Palm Hotsync from PC to Phone using a USB cable.

The customer was in a hurry, having already spent hours on the problem. So we recommended our RunStart service. With this service a technician logs into the computer to set up the software. The sync needs to match up the Contacts and Calendar items that are already on the phone, so it is helpful for an experienced technician to watch for any problems with duplicate data.

It is not uncommon to see duplicate data when switching from one sync product to another. The reason is that your data is already on both sides of the sync. So if there is any formatting changes, a computer product may not recognize similar contact and calendar data. CompanionLink 8 contains a dedupe utility that can quickly clear duplicates from Outlook and your Phone. There is no extra charge for this function.

CompanionLink offers a competitive upgrade for anyone who has purchased a product from one of our competitors. You can purchase the “Upgrade” price, even if you are buying from CompanionLink for the first time. Here is a link for a Competitive Upgrade to CompanionLink for Outlook.

Here is a link with added RunStart service, and an additional $10 off your purchase – total $78.95. With this service, you will be on a fresh new solution in just a few minutes, and ready to carry on your normal day’s business.

CompanionLink for Outlook
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.86 out of 5 based on 538 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $14.95 3-Mo Subs - $49.95 One-time License.

WSJ Shockingly Good Phone article features Nokia 7.1

The Wall Street Journal published a great article this week called: Shockingly Good Smartphones You Can Get for $350 or Less (WSJ -Paywall).

It makes a point that we tend to think of first-run phones as being $1000. But that there is a variety of Mid-Priced phones that are pretty effective.

The main recommendation is Nokia 7.1 which happens to be one of my favorite phones. As the Article points out, it is a good modern phone running Android Oreo 8.1, with a nice screen, good camera and is pretty free of the bloatware that comes on Android devices.

The other featured phones in the article are the Lenovo Moto G7, and the Xiaomi Pocophone F1.

For all the mid-range phones, you can download DejaOffice from the Android App Store, and easily set up CompanionLink for Outlook to synchronize Outlook to the phone. DejaOffice for Android features widgets for the Android home screen to show your calendar, Category colors on Calendar, and integrated Tasks and Contacts so your whole work desktop is in one place on your phone.

It’s great to see Nokia is back to making great main stream phones again!

CompanionLink for Outlook
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.86 out of 5 based on 538 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $14.95 3-Mo Subs - $49.95 One-time License.

Case Study: Migrate from Microsoft BCM to DejaOffice PC CRM for Outlook

Recently we were approached by a customer who used to use BCM, and wanted a solution that worked with Office 365.

The customer had used Microsoft Business Contact Manager from 2013 to 2018. They had Contacts, Accounts and Communication History. This customer had tried a migration tool to move BCM contacts to Office 365 contacts. This tool was not successful. (CompanionLink Professional can move BCM Contacts to Outlook contacts using a folder-to-folder sync.)

At the time the customer contacted us, they had not used BCM for many months. So the BCM database was out of date.

Our new product DejaOffice PC CRM for Outlook adds certain CRM functions to Office 365 Outlook (Outlook 2019). Among these functions are History Also, DejaOffice can import from older CRM systems like Microsoft BCM which was discontinued in 2016.

The customer also purchased Premium Support, which is a service where our technician could log into his computer and set everything up.

What we did was Sync the old BCM database to DejaCloud. We moved the Accounts, Contacts and Communication History. Then on the new computer, the customer installed DejaOffice PC CRM for Outlook. In addition, the customer uses a Mobile Phone and DejaOffice has the complete database there also.

The entire operation of moving the old database to DejaCloud, and sync to the new PC took our technician about 30 minutes. Most of this time was checking the data each step of the way. The actual sync time was about five minutes for both sync phases.

Now, the customer can make a new contact from an Outlook email. When they look up a Contacts, they an see the communications history imported from the old PC. And they have Caller ID and History on their Phone.

Here is a link to order this same service – DejaOffice PC CRM for Outlook along with Premium installation and one year of support. Give us a call at (503)243-3400 to schedule an installation or talk about your needs.

DejaOffice PC CRM Standalone
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.86 out of 5 based on 538 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $49.95



DejaOffice responds to Google Disruption

The high tech keyword for our century is Disruption.  Investors seek disruptive partners.

Disruption means an innovative company enters a stable market environment, generally with a low cost service, and knocks the current players out of the market by providing lower prices and better service. In this sense, Google has been disruptive to the Search Engine industry by providing a fast effective tool without visible advertising.  They have also disrupted the Cell Phone OS market, the Internet Browser market, and the Online News market. They have captured a firm lead in all these areas.

There is a second aspect to disruption that investors seek.  Once a company gains ascendancy over the competition, the disruptive company raises their prices to consumers so that the disruptive company becomes highly profitable. Consumers end up being worse off than they were before.

With Google, the profit motive appears to increasingly be made by isolated Silicon Valley based executives, with little feel for how they play out in the real world.  It is a sad truth that where Google once stood for innovation and low cost development tools, now they are nearly a constant headache to fend off their mistaken motivations and increasing prices.

Google Calendar API – Batch Endpoints Change

In March 2018, Google Announced that their Batch Endpoint for many API commands was changing.  The current API URL is to be deprecated March 25th 2019.  Somehow, Google figures that every customer with an API dependent software tool created before March 2018 will update their tool within this year grace period.  Clearly Google Management has no idea how long software cycles are.  We still have customers using Windows XP!  No one likes to change software versions.  More information is available here: https://www.companionlink.com/support/google-batch-endpoint-advisory.html

Google Geocoding API – Whopping Price Increase

In June 2018, Google announced that their website Geocode API was going to increase their pricing.  Geocoding is what is used when we look up an address, and replace it with a Logitude/Latitude value for map purposes.  Google Geocoding also includes location pictures and mini-map.  We use this in DejaOffice for iPhone, DejaOffice for Android and DejaOffice on the PC.

The price for a basic lookup changed from $0.005 per lookup to $0.02 per lookup.  What this means for DejaOffice is that our service in map lookups changed from being under $100, to suddenly becoming a $2000 per month bill.  This is for a free APP on the App store!  We quickly changed our Android and IPhone map lookups to the new Mobile Maps API, which was suggested by Google as an alternative. Customers saw this change go into place in November, and it seems to be a good drop-in replacement.

Google Geocoding API – Whopping Price Increase – Redux

So in February, Google announces that they “improved” the Mobile Maps API.  We have a six month window to switch to the improved version.  The improved version will change $0.02 per lookup.  Just Wow!

First we have a required App change, and second, we get our $2000 bill back.

So in DejaOffice you can count on mapping changes again in the next four months.  It is likely we will add an in-app tool to add funds for people who use a lot of mapping features.  Also we will be adding more location info to our sync, so once you map a contact or calendar event, you do not have to look it up again, thus avoiding a chargeable item.  Isn’t Disruption fun!

Google READ_SMS and READ_CALL_LOG Permissions

In November 2018, Google informed us that they would be removing all apps that used READ_SMS permission on Android.  In DejaOffice, we use these to add SMS text to Contact History.  We also use READ_CALL_LOG to add call followup information, and DejaOffice Caller ID.

Google’s handling of this issue is largely machine based, and heavy handed.  We have requested an exception.  However, DejaOffice does not fit into their set list of apps that are allowed these permissions.  They will remove DejaOffice from the App store if we do not remove these capabilities from the App.  We have applied twice, but can’t get by their machine blocker (probably named HAL – Open the Bay Door, Hal!)

So in February 2019, we have been forced to remove a number of DejaOffice features from our Android product:

  1. Read SMS Text to Contact History
  2. Identify incoming calls using DejaOffice Contact list
  3. Follow up on inbound calls to add a Contact History item

We are seeking another external tool, maybe Whatsapp, which may allow us to restore this functionality through that tool.  But obviously, Google Android is wanting to limit our access, and cannot be flexible because an innovative product does not fit their rigid expectations.

Google is a great technology partner.  But these moves show they clearly are going the path of IBM, then Microsoft, then Apple, then Google.  An innovative Disruptor, upon market dominance, becomes an intractable barrier to innovation.

An Ode to Ecco Pro

As we begin the rollout of DejaOffice PC CRM, some of the pioneers of small business Contact managers are on my mind.

A caller this week mentioned Ecco Pro, which was a very popular program back in the mid 1990s.

Ecco Pro as I recall was built on a foundation of an outline manager. Originally it was only an outliner. As it grew, there was a Contacts, Calendar, Task and Notes application. Originally published by Arabesque software, the company got purchased by NetManage in Seattle.

I don’t recall that it was very expensive at the time. Maybe $99 or $59 or something like that. I never used it. At the time we were working primarily with TeleMagic (DOS) and GoldMine (DOS). Both TeleMagic and GoldMine used dBase II format files, an so it was easy to make add-on products. Ecco had a proprietary file format.

By 1997 Ecco Pro had about a million users. Inexplicably, NetManage closed down the entire program. There were rumors for years that someone would buy it, but no on ever did. Ecco died a corporate death; sold to a company that did not know what they had.

Douglas P. Rice has a great writeup about being hired by NetManage just before the big fccollapse.  We don’t often think about how software was sold before the internet was commonly used, and it’s funny to read that they did not ship product updates online.

More resources:

James Kendrick – Memory Lane – Ecco Pro

Wikipedia – Ecco Pro

EccoMAGIC – EccoMagic Forums

A decade after Ecco went off the market, the Ecco User’s Group approached CompanionLink to write a sync to Phones at that time (BlackBerry, Pocket PC).  I was staunchly against it. First, there is no API. Second, the user base could not grow; only shrink. The CompanionLink Meme is to provide free telephone technical support to our customers. Some call this foolish, but I feel that many people need the help from time to time. But I don’t want to get caught getting unlimited phone calls for an unsupported product.

For those that wanted Ecco Pro to be a Contact Manager, we finally have a new product for you. DejaOffice PC CRM Standalone will handle Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes, and synchronize them easily to Android and iPhone. At $49.95 we hope it can be a worthy successor to this industry pioneer.

DejaOffice PC CRM Standalone
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.86 out of 5 based on 538 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $49.95

DejaOffice PC CRM – Beta Released!

Having spent nearly 6 months developing this, it is a great moment for us.  The first time we can show what we have been working on!

Download to try it out yourself:  https://www.companionlink.com/downloads/download-dpc.php

Setup guide:  https://www.companionlink.com/support/kb/DejaOffice_PC_CRM_Sync_Setup_Guide

This is a 14 day demo but we are happy to extend the demo.  We are looking for feedback and ideas.

Tech Support:  (503)243-5200 hours – 7am-3:30pm
or Email:  support@companionlink.com

Sales (503)243-3400 – sales@companionlink.com

Forums:  https://www.dejaoffice.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?36-DejaOffice-PC-CRM-(DPC)-for-Windows

Video:

 

Thank you all for your support!

 

DejaOffice PC CRM Standalone
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.86 out of 5 based on 538 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $49.95

The Best Way to Synchronize Samsung Galaxy Note 9 to Outlook without using Exchange

Why does the Outlook App not work like Outlook?

CompanionLink provides an Android App called DejaOffice CRM with PC Sync.  It is better than the Outlook App in many ways.  Click here for a comparison of DejaOffice App vs Outlook App on Android.

To sync Outlook to Galaxy Note9 without needing an Office 365 subscription.

  1. From Google Play Store, install DejaOffice on your Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+
  2. On your PC, download CompanionLink for Outlook on your PC.
  3. Configure both for DejaCloud Sync
  4. Watch your Outlook Contacts and Calendar appear on your phone.

DejaOffice is Free.  CompanionLink runs on a two-week trial.

Click here for more information on Using Microsoft Office without a Subscription.

Samsung Galaxy Note9 is the latest flagship from the world leader of Smartphones. There’s nothing faster or more effective.  Here I have an argument with Apple.  With iPhone there is no Widgets, and Widgets are so useful, you’ll never catch me using a phone without them.

What is a widget?  A widget shows App information on the phone desktop.  A widget allows me to quickly see my day view, and my contact list – without opening an app.  I can quickly tap on the location and get to my next appointment.  No search, no scroll.  Just one tap and I’m in maps.  One tap and I can call or sms.  Automatically updated all day.

Special features of DejaOffice:

  • Time zone management, so when you land your Calendar doesn’t go wonky
  • Calendar Colors that match Outlook
  • Templates that save time entering new Appointments and Tasks
  • Persistent alarms to be sure I don’t miss anything.
  • Recurring tasks compatible with Outlook
  • Optional:  Franklin Covey task priorities  A1, B2, C99
  • Works same on Android and iPhone, Phones and Tablets.

Check out https://www.dejaoffice.com for more information.

CompanionLink for Outlook
Average User Rating:
Average rating: 4.86 out of 5 based on 538 reviews.
Free 14 day trial. Price $14.95 3-Mo Subs - $49.95 One-time License.

Galaxy Note 9, Outlook, Outlook 2019, Office 365