Android’s growth

AdMob recently published a chart that shows the rapid  of Android-based phones.  The data is based on their advertising network (which serves ads to mobile devices).

Source: AdMob

CompanionLink has supported two-way sync with Android-based phones since day one.  More recently, CompanionLink released USB synchronization with Android devices.  This method of sync does not required data to be hosted in the cloud (such as Google).

How to use Google to get free wireless sync between PC and phone

Google is no longer just a web-based email service.  It’s an enabler of data; it’s a mobilizer of data.  Harness its power, and you’ll get a suite of free tools and mobile services.  Business users can leverage the tools to mobile their PC data to any smartphone.

If you use PC software to organize your contacts, calendar, tasks, and notes, you can leverage the power of Google to mobilize this data to your phone.  All you need is a way to link you PC software to Google.  The rest is history (and free).

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Get a free Google or Gmail account.

2. Download a 14-day evaluation version of CompanionLink.  This software will link your PC data to your Google account.  CompanionLink supports Outlook, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Palm Desktop, ACT!, and GoldMine data.

3. If you have an iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, or Symbian S60 phone, enable Google Sync to work with your phone.  This will sync your Google data with your phone.  If you have a Google Android-based phone or Palm webOS phone, do nothing.  Those phones automatically sync with your Google account.

That’s it.  You’ll never pay any monthly charges for wireless sync.  Your only software purchase is for CompanionLink, which is a one-time cost from $39.95 to $99.95 depending on what PC software you’re synchronizing.

Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook works with Premier and Education editions only

Google offers a free plug-in for Google Apps Premier and Google Apps Education users.  The former requires you to pay an annual fee for the Google service.  The latter is for schools, universities, and other educational institutions.

What do users with free Google or Gmail accounts use to sync their data with Outlook?

If you’re looking to sync just your default calendar, Google offers a free solution called Google Calendar Sync.  If you’re looking to sync calendar and contacts, CompanionLink has a solution called CompanionLink for Google.  It also supports multiple calendars, sync to separate Outlook categories, and the ability to exclude personal data from syncing with business data.

Here’s a video on how to configure CompanionLink for Google to sync Outlook with Google in less than 4 minutes.

Direct USB sync with Android-based phones

CompanionLink releases a direct two-way USB sync solution for Android-based phones.  Directly sync PC contacts, calendar, tasks, and notes from desktop software like Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, etc. with phones like the Motorola DROID.  Direct sync avoids having to host or transfer your sensitive data via the Google cloud.

2 ways to sync ACT! with Droid and other Android-based phones

Got a Droid, or any other Android-based device?  With CompanionLink, you have two options to sync ACT! data with your Android-based phone.

1. Wireless sync with Android-based phones

One of the features of CompanionLink is its ability to sync ACT! data with Google, which automatically feeds the address book and calendar apps on Android-based phones.  Customers can use CompanionLink Express or CompanionLink Professional to sync their ACT! contacts, calendar activities, notes, and history data.

2. Wired (USB) sync with Android-based phones

CompanionLink will launch a direct USB sync solution between ACT! and Android-based phones by January 1, 2010.  The PC solution will work with a free Android app on the device that will include a custom calendar, tasks and notes/memos apps that support categories, priorities, and search.

This direct USB sync solution will avoid the need to sync through Google or host sensitive ACT! data on Google.  Because the sync occurs locally via the USB cable that shipped with the Android-based phone, data is transmitted through a secure and closed connection between PC and phone.

Update 12/21/2009: This direct USB sync solution is now available here.

Notes and Tasks apps (with categories) for the Droid, HTC Hero, and other Android-based phones

A few weeks ago, CompanionLink announced their upcoming USB sync solution for the Droid, HTC Hero, and other Android-based phones.  The solution will sync PC software (like Outlook and Lotus Notes) with phones running Android OS using the USB cable that ships with the device.

The solution will also include a free Android app that will run on the phone.  The app will contain custom calendar, notes and tasks modules that include advanced features such as categories and priorities.

Here are two screenshots that show CompanionLink’s apps in development.  The first screenshot shows the Notes app with the ability to use categories to sort and view notes.  The second screenshot shows the Tasks app which categories and priorities.

Memos app with categories for Android-based phones like Droid

Tasks app with categories for Android-based phones like Droid

Search tasks and memos on Palm webOS phones

Search tasks and memos on Palm webOS phones using CL USB Sync

CL USB Sync is a Palm webOS app that has  custom tasks and memos modules.  The app allows users to sync data from their PC to their Palm webOS phone using the USB cable that came with the device.

The app also has a  feature that allow users to quickly search their tasks and memos.  Simply type in a word or phrase in the search bar and the results will list all the tasks or memos that contain that search term.

Users who rely on memos and tasks on Palm phones or in their PC software (like Palm Desktop or Microsoft Outlook) thrive on this search feature to quickly find what they need.

2 ways to do wireless sync between ACT! and iPhone

Here are 2 ways to sync ACT! data to your iPhone:

1. Sync using CompanionLink’s wireless sync service
2. Sync using Google and Google Sync

ACT! to iPhone sync using CompanionLink’s wireless sync service

For $9.95/month, you can use CompanionLink’s wireless sync service to sync data two-ways between ACT! and iPhone.  Sync ACT! contacts, calendar activities, to-dos, opportunities, notes and histories with iPhone.

Contacts and their associated notes and histories sync to the built-in address book on the iPhone.  Calendar activities, to-dos, and opportunities sync to an iPhone app (available for free from iTunes) called iClink.  The iClink app adds a custom calendar and tasks/to-do list with enhanced business features such as linked contacts and priorities.

You’ll need CompanionLink Professional installed on your PC, and iClink on your iPhone.  CompanionLink does not host your ACT! data; they simply mediate the transfer of data.

Total one-time cost: $99.95
Monthly service charge: $9.95

More info here.

ACT! to iPhone sync

ACT! to iPhone sync using Google and Google Sync

You can use a Google account and the free Google Sync service to sync ACT! data to iPhone.  CompanionLink will sync ACT! data to your Google account. Then, you can set up the Google Sync service to sync your Google data to the built-in address book and calendar on your iPhone, over-the-air.

Contacts, calendar activities, notes and histories sync to the iPhone and are  editable on the device.

You’ll need either CompanionLink Express or CompanionLink Professional installed on your PC.  The Professional version has everything the Express version has, plus the Auto Synchronization feature which lets you set a timer to automatically sync ACT! with Google in the background.

Google will host your data.  That’s required for Google Sync to work.  If this is a security issue for you or your client, use CompanionLink’s wireless sync service.

Total one-time cost: $49.95 (Express) or $99.95 (Professional)

More info here.

ACT to Google to iPhone sync

Update: Fix for Google Calendar sync service outage

CompanionLink has a fix to the synchronization service outage with Google Calendar.  If you sync calendar data from your PC to your Google Calendar, you will need to install this update.

You can download the free update software here. Install this update on your PC.  Make sure to download the software update for the product you currently have.  If you don’t know which product you have, here’s how to find out.

Details about the sync service outage with Google Calendar

On November 24, 2009, Google made a critical change to a core field in Google Calendar.  We don’t know if Google intended this change, or knows that it affects software that uses the published Google API.  It may be the case that Google will allow the software to work again in due time.  The change by Google to their published APIs made it unable for CompanionLink’s software to Add or Change Calendar information from PC to Google.  Google Contacts is not affected.  Sync Google Calendar works fine from Google to PC.

CompanionLink has created a software update that complies with Google’s changes.  CompanionLink products with build 3082 and higher will contain this change and can be used to update data from PC to Google.

Service outage when syncing with Google Calendar

CompanionLink has been getting reports from users that as of today morning, their PC calendar has stopped synchronizing with their Google Calendar.  CompanionLink was able to reproduce this problem with our in-house tests.  We are working on a solution.

Follow the CompanionLink Twitter feed for the latest updates.