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.

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.

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.

How to sync Outlook between two computers

Outlook to Outlook sync

DejaCloud is a private sync service offered by CompanionLink. It can keep data from Outlook PST files synchronized between two or more PCs.

If you work with multiple PCs, such as a work laptop and home desktop, you are acutely aware of the frustrations of keeping your Outlook information synchronized between computers. Short of the painful process of exporting and importing Outlook PST files (.pst), you have a couple of paid options that can automate the process. The time and headache you save, not to mention the luxury of working from any PC or Mac, may be worth your investment. Below, we discuss two convenient options that anyone can try. Both options reviewed have a trial period so you can set it up before you purchase.

Option 1 – $150/user per year for Office 365 Business Premium

Purchase an Office 365 subscription that offers Exchange ActiveSync (EAS). This is what Microsoft’s web page calls “Business class email, calendar, and contacts”. EAS keeps email, calendar, and contacts synchronized. Make sure your Outlook clients on both PCs are set up to use the same EAS account.

Option 2 – $60/user per year for CompanionLink

CompanionLink for Outlook is a PC app that does not require EAS technology. It installs on PCs running Outlook and is configured to sync data through a service called DejaCloud. It will keep contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, journal, and categories synchronized between Outlook on two PCs. CompanionLink does not handle email, which you can instead configure separately using your email provider’s IMAP settings. IMAP is a protocol to keep email synchronized across multiple PCs and devices.

CompanionLink’s app installs on both of your PCs and is configured to use a proprietary DejaCloud account to keep data synchronized. This allows you to see/edit appointments or add/update contacts right in the Outlook client of each PC. Changes are then automatically synchronized to the other PC by the DejaCloud service running silently in the background.

Outlook to Outlook sync configuration for CompanionLink

  1. Download the CompanionLink app on the two PCs you wish to sync. The free 14-day trial is available here.
  2. In CompanionLink Settings, choose the DejaCloud Sync option. You will create a DejaCloud account the first time you do this. Note the username and password.
  3. Configure CompanionLink on the second PC with the same DejaCloud account you created in Step 2.

The sync will start automatically in a few minutes. You can make changes to Outlook data on either computer and watch that change propagate to the other PC.

What about Outlook for Mac?

CompanionLink also includes a Mac product with every purchase. Called CompanionLink for Mac, you can install it on your Mac and keep Outlook for Mac 2011 and the recently announced Outlook for Mac 15 synchronized with Outlook on your PCs. This lets you set up mixed environment (ie – work uses a PC while you have a Mac at home) for the cost of just one subscription to CompanionLink’s DejaCloud service.

If you have any questions, you can email or call our support team or leave a comment below.

How to sync Outlook Color Categories to iPhone 6

Current iPhone Outlook sync options simply don’t work for business professionals using a PC. Apple ships iTunes and iCloud as two ways to sync Microsoft Outlook with iPhone and iPad. The problem is neither product supports sync of Outlook Categories.

Why are categories important on phones?

Business users who have hundreds of contact records, notes, and appointment details need a way to organize info for quick lookup. Organization is inherent in their PC Outlook database courtesy of the Color Categories feature. Each category has a name and color in Outlook. This offers quick sort and view options on the PC.

But what about the iPhone and iPad?

CompanionLink solves this problem by mapping Outlook Color Categories to iOS devices. This means business users can rely on color recognition to view data on their iPhone or iPad. They can sort and view the device’s contact list the same way they did on the PC. They can assign categories as they create new Notes or Tasks on the device. These new items will sync back to the correct Outlook Category on their PC.

CompanionLink supports Outlook Categories for Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, and Journal. Outlook calendar alarms, task alerts, and contact photos also sync to iPhone and iPad. Basically, you get everything iTunes and iCloud offers with support for additional Outlook data like Categories and Alarms. This is a perfect paid utility for business users who need to organize hundreds of Outlook records on their phone.

How Outlook categories on iPhone look

How Outlook Categories look on iPhone

You have two options to view Outlook categories on your iPhone: use our DejaOffice mobile app or use the phone’s Contacts app. There are pros/cons to each approach.

CompanionLink relies on our DejaOffice iPhone app to store Outlook data on the device. Our app is designed for a one-to-one map with Outlook fields, which is why we can handle more Outlook data than iPhone’s Contacts app.

If, however, you prefer to use iPhone’s Contact app, you have that option. Go to Settings > Sync > Sync to native iPhone Contacts. This will create and transfer DejaOffice Outlook Categories to the iPhone’s Contacts app as Groups. You can then use the Contacts app to view your rolodex by Group (which is Apple’s name for Category).

Click here for more information about Outlook iPhone sync.

iHotsync USB – direct sync with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

We’d like to introduce iHotsync USB, our newest direct sync technology for iOS devices. It synchronizes all the data iTunes and iCloud handles as well as Categories, Notes, Tasks, and Contact Photos. Our iHotsync USB works like the reliable utility with a similar name from the days of PalmPilot. You can sync PIM data from PC apps like Microsoft Outlook, Palm Desktop, Lotus Notes, Act!, and many others.

Security took priority when designing iHotsync.
1. Connect your iPhone to the PC using the Lightening USB cable.
2. Tap Sync in the DejaOffice iOS app that comes with CompanionLink.

A complete setup guide is available here. A list of fields and benefits that iHotsync supports beyond the fields supported by iTunes and iCloud is available here.

iHotsync does not require iTunes, nor does it transfer or store your data in iCloud.

CompanionLink cures Google Calendar Sync Error 2016

Multiple reports starting the afternoon of Monday, August 5 confirm the much-rumored demise of the Google Calendar Sync utility. People who were able to sync Monday morning report getting Error 2016 later in the day. It appears Google has left the building for MS Outlook Calendar sync for free Gmail accounts.

People are turning to 3rd-party apps to fill the void. The right app for you depends on which specifics you value and the total cost of ownership.

Some things to factor in your decision:

  • will one license purchase allow install on all of your PCs
    • CompanionLink allows install on 3 PCs
  • what are the support options (forum, email, phone, chat) in case you need help
    • CompanionLink offers phone and email support no cost
  • how long has the company been in business
    • CompanionLink has supported Google Calendar sync since 2006 and in business since 1988
  • is there a free trial
    • CompanionLink offers a free 14-day trial
  • is there a no-questions-asked refund policy
    • CompanionLink has a 90-day no-questions-asked policy
  • what is the software update policy
    • CompanionLink offers free software updates
  • what other fields are synced
    • CompanionLink sync Google calendar, categories, contacts, tasks, and contact photos
  • price
    • CompanionLink is $39.95 after discount code ALTGCS is applied

The most complete alternative to the sunset Google Calendar Sync utility

Multiple reports are in that Google Calendar Sync will become sunset on August 1, 2014. People are receiving an email from Google’s “The Calendar Team” as follows:

Important Announcement about Google Calendar Sync

Almost two years ago, we announced that we ended support for Google Calendar Sync. Starting on August 1, 2014, this app will no longer sync events between your Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook Calendar.

You can continue to access all of your Google Calendar events at calendar.google.com or on your mobile devices. Follow these instructions to uninstall Google Calendar Sync from your computer.

– The Calendar Team

Google’s notice appears to imply more than we are not going to support this product. It means the sync functionality may cease due to a change at the API level (programmatic). Google appears to be forcing a shut down of Calendar Event sync between Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar.

This gives existing users 20 days to scramble to find a solution. There are many on the market. Choose one that matches your needs for features, use on multiple PCs or in a household scenario, and technical support options. Don’t overlook the support options. Many business users don’t have time to post questions on forums and moderate answers. They want the ability to pick up the phone and talk to an expert to get answers and their Google integration working. Support is a valuable consideration to the business community.

CompanionLink for Google is our product that comes with free telephone support and handles two-way sync between Google Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Groups and Outlook contacts, calendar, tasks, and categories.  The product can also sync multiple Google Calendars to Outlook. Members of the same household can use one license, and business users can install the product on their home and work PCs. Updates are always free.

Gmail, Google, and all Google Apps accounts are supported. Outlook 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, and 2000 are supported. The product is available as a one-time license for $49.95. Enter ALTGCS on the order form and save $10 on your purchase. If you wish to purchase 20+ licenses for your organization, email us to get a volume purchase discount.

Here’s a full list of data CompanionLink synchronizes.

Calendar

  • Google Calendar syncs to Outlook Calendar
  • Full event details
  • Recurring and all-day events
  • Alarms/reminders
  • Accepted meeting invites (with attendee list)
  • Sync to multiple Outlook calendars (requires upgrade to CompanionLink Professional)

Contacts

  • Google Contacts syncs to Outlook Contacts
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses
  • Google Groups sync to Outlook Categories
  • Contact notes
  • Birthdays
  • Contact photos
  • Up to 9 custom fields in Outlook

Tasks

  • Outlook Tasks sync to Google Tasks or Google Calendar (you choose)
  • Task priorities
  • Recurring tasks
  • Due dates

Groups/Categories

  • Google Groups sync to Outlook Categories

How to synchronize Act! v16 and Office 365

Businesses who upgrade to Office 365 need a way to tie Act! CRM data with Office 365 cloud accounts. These cloud accounts are powered by Exchange ActiveSync technology that all mobile device manufacturers support. If you can sync Act! with Office 365, you can use the cloud to serve as an integration hub to phones, tablets and desktop email software with contacts and calendar storage. For example, people can store Act! contacts, activities, notes, and histories on Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and PCs and Macs with Outlook desktop clients.

Act! with Office 365

Office 365 serves as an Exchange ActiveSync connection to phones, tablets, PC, and Mac.

CompanionLink has both individual and server software that keeps Act! synchronized with Office 365 accounts. Data synchronizes automatically for a set-and-forget experience.

“Office 365 is here to stay and businesses want to make sure their CRM isn’t left behind,” says Rushang Shah, Director of Marketing for CompanionLink Software. “CompanionLink can extend Act! contacts, activities and client history to your Office 365 subscription.”

Alternatively, you can set CompanionLink to synchronize Act! securely and direct to Outlook 2013 desktop software that comes bundled with Office 365 subscriptions. This creates a secure cloud-free setup for people who choose not to host client data, notes, and history in the cloud. With a feature called DoubleLook Mode, CompanionLink automates the Outlook sync. Here is a convenient setup guide for using Outlook 2013 without the Office 365 cloud.

Visit www.companionlink.com/office365/act for more information about Act! to Office 365 integration.

For advanced Act! users who want an Act!-like app on their mobile device, we have a free app called DejaOffice CRM (Andriod, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry) with views for Act! fields like Notes, Histories, Linked Activities, and Groups (ID/Status). The app syncs direct to Act! using DejaCloud, USB, or Wi-Fi technology. More info here.