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.

A cheatsheet of iPhone 6 Plus features for business users

Here’s a list of iPhone 6 Plus features announced by Apple today that directly impacts or improves productivity for business users.

  • Bigger screens mean more readable content. The iPhone 6 Plus has 1920×1080 resolution to fit more lines of information. Apple offered a great side-by-side visual that shows how much more content is visible on iPhone 6 Plus compared to iPhone 6. [Image source: iphonehacks.com]
  • More battery life means fewer intra-day trips to the outlet. Traveling sales people are free to use their GPS without fear of their battery dying by mid day. The iPhone 6 Plus offers 12 hours of LTE browsing (2 more hours than iPhone 6) and 16 hours of standby (6 more hours than iPhone 6). Here’s a chart comparing battery capacity from the keynote. [Source: iphonehacks.com]
  • Wider keyboard layout with more keys means the iPhone 6 Plus will be a business user’s device of choice for an easier typing experience. (This does beg the question – does the iPhone 6 Plus cannibalize iPad mini sales?) The extra keys offered comprise of an important tap-saving group: cut and paste, highlight, undo, bold, and common punctuation; period, comma, question mark, and exclamation mark. These keys will save business users from tapping and dragging pins for copy/paste, and from long-pressing the Shift key to access punctuation and rich markup. [Image source: WCCFtech.com]
  • The iPhone 6 Plus’s dual-pane view for email, scheduling, and messaging is godsend. Email will undoubtedly be the biggest beneficiary as you will never have to swipe Back to see the email list.
  • Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE hold promise for mobile warriors who journey to areas with shaky cell connectivity. Hop in a cafe or restaurant that offers Wi-Fi and you are free to make calls. Of course, TBD is whether carriers need to update their towers to support this. (If anyone has more info about this, please chime in under the Comments section for everyone to benefit.) The consumer crowd really benefits by not requiring peak-hour cellular minutes to place/receive calls. I sense mobile carriers already dusting off their business plans to make daytime minutes unlimited.
  • NFC and Apple Pay will make carrying personal and business desirable and a breeze. Business people will no longer have to use their personal card and then remember to credit their business account. The NFC ecosystem looks like an infrastructure-intense endeavor and one that will take time for the world to adopt. However, Apple has added (significantly) more water to the NFC seeds already harvesting. We know how this story ends for the famed plastic rectangle we love so dearly.
  • Repeatedly mentioned during the keynote was the phrase “optimizations for one-hand use”. It appears Apple was bent on promoting the fact that they optimized their 5.5-inch offering for one-hand use. I must see this to believe it; but it sounds great! More details about this will arrive as people get their devices on September 19.

The real story behind today’s keynote is that Apple is heeding the call for larger screens by an audience (viz. business users) that is willing to pay for features that make their workday easier. While Apple is a consumer-driven organization, larger screens directly benefit business professionals in a way that is tangible to productivity.

Is the Fire Phone for business users?

This review focuses on business productivity with the Amazon Fire Phone.

TLDR Version: Fire Phone’s stock apps for Email, Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks are amateurish when compared to Galaxy S5. A shadow behind every text heading that changes dynamically with phone movements will annoy business users. The 3D Dynamic Perspective feature, while cool, distracts from flat-design principles the mobile industry is pivoting to.

One clever feature on Fire Phone is snippets on the homescreen. You can see 2-3 recent emails on the homescreen. This snippet area is app-specific, so useful snippets show on the homescreen for every app. Saves a lot of time.

Fire Phone packs new software and visuals but lacks the streamlined experience business users expect from $200 phones like Samsung or HTC. Future versions of Fire Phone will, undoubtedly, arrive more polished. Hat tip to Amazon for foraying into competitive territory and establishing their unique mark based on software.

Business category missing on Amazon Appstore

While the Appstore has categories, it fails to include a category for Business. Huh? Android historians will recall early versions of Android Market (now Google Play Store) also lacked a Business category. Perhaps this will come with time.Amazon Appstore has no Business category

 

Stock Calendar app

Fire Phone’s stock calendar app is sleek and mirrors the Galaxy S5. The one drawback in Month view is that you cannot determine how many appointments you have for a given day without tapping on the day and entering Day view. On GS5, each appointment comes with a snippet so you know at a glance how busy your day is.

Multiple appointments are hard to see on Fire Phone Calendar Month view

Adding a Calendar Event

Both devices have common appointment fields like Start/End times, Location, and Attendees. The GS5 lets you select Timezone, which might be important to travel warriors.

Also, the Location field on GS5 has a Google Maps icon that lets you use a map to pick a location. Fire Phone’s Location field is text entry.

Fire Phone stock calendar app missing Timezone

Email snippets on your home screen

Fire Phone has a clever homescreen snippets feature that shows your latest email messages. Because Fire Phone use a carousel theme on the homescreen, they use the space below the app icon to show you snippets related to your app. The carousel for Settings, for example, will show you popular settings.

Fire Phone shows email snippets on home screen

Fire Phone’s email app borrows font-styling from iOS and is better than most stock Samsung or HTC mail apps. I was able to set up my Outlook.com account in seconds. ActiveSync accounts are fully supported, as this BusinessInsider article confirms.

Fire Phone's email app uses text styling similar to iOS

Homescreen slider menu

Swipe on the left edge of the homescreen on Fire Phone and a convenient slider emerges. You can access popular features of your phone right from this menu. What kills the experience is the 3D texture behind the letters. As you can see from this image, it adds a subtle layer of “blur” around the text which may drive business users nuts.

Fire Phone homescreen slider menu

Mayday is responsive, as you would hope

Fire Phone’s personal help feature works. I was able to get “Steven” online with me in less than 30 seconds. During the wait, a message reassures me that Mayday only shares my screen and not anything through my forward-facing camera.

The reaction from the business community will be interesting to monitor. On one hand Mayday is a lifesaver for professionals who need to fix something immediately. On another hand, being one-click away from someone viewing what’s on your screen may be troubling. You decide.

Fire Phone Mayday is responsive

Final thoughts

Fire Phone v1 is naive for business users. If you like the latest technology and a new spin on software gimmicks, try it out. You might enjoy their fresh approach. If you want a mature Android phone, the Galaxy S5, HTC One, or a similar Android unit earns my $200.

How to Sync Samsung Galaxy S5 with Outlook

“Even though we’re doing the software business, we’re not as good as we are in hardware,” said Kwon Oh-hyun, vice chairman and chief executive of Samsung Electronics.

A big problem for Samsung is maintaining software that synchronizes with desktop Microsoft Outlook. Their KIES product ran into great trouble when it omitted sync for Outlook Contacts and Calendar. Those who have tried KIES are left demanding the “rest of their Outlook data” – like tasks, notes, alarms, and categories.

If you use Outlook, you’ll want an advanced Outlook app for GS5 that lets you access your full Outlook database. You’ll want a guarantee that when you update records on your phone, they also update MS Outlook on your PC.

Will the fifth incarnation of the Galaxy S device muster enough software wizardry to make Outlook sync easy? In the past, Samsung has been off the mark, as noted by Marc Saltzman in his review on USAToday.com. He turned to CompanionLink to solve his Android sync problems.

The components of reliable Outlook sync

One key driver of CompanionLink’s reliability is that we develop our own Android app to hold the Outlook data structures. Our app, DejaOffice for Outlook, lets us establish a one-to-one map with Outlook data fields. You can also integrate Outlook data stored DejaOffice with the Galaxy S5’s Contacts and S Planner if you have other apps that rely on these stock Android apps.

Galaxy S5 Outlook Sync

More than one way to sync Outlook with GS5

If you value data privacy and prefer not to host your client notes or address book in the cloud, CompanionLink offers the USB connected sync option. Simply dock the Galaxy S5 to your PC and synchronize in a cloud-free environment. Your data never leaves the wired connection between you PC and S5.

If you have multiple devices (GS5, Galaxy Note 3 tablet, Apple iPad, etc.) and wish to automate the sync across all devices, you can select the DejaCloud option that comes with CompanionLink paid licenses. The cloud ensures data is automatically updated on all PCs and devices using the same account.

If you want the convenience of hands-free sync with the security of a cloud-free system, chose the WiFi sync option. This setting automatically pairs your S5 with the PC running Outlook using your WiFi connection. Your phone and PC must be on the same WiFi network (like in your home or office).

More information about Galaxy S5 Outlook sync is available here.

Newkia can thrive by filling the business feature void on smartphones and tablets

Newkia, the new Singapore-based endeavor with plans to siphon Nokia’s Finnish talent to build Android devices, has its heart in the right place. Had Nokia heeded popular advice and supported Android OS, they would probably still be around as a company that builds phones. They chose to become the near-exclusive manufacturer of Windows Phone, a decision that earned Nokia’s C-brass a fortune in the Microsoft acquisition while thousands of employees and avid followers were stranded. Not to mention the hit on the economy in Finland (here’s another great article on that topic).

Smartphones are remarkably dumb with business functionality

CompanionLink has long championed the message for the need for a smartphone with business features. We even built our own business-focused mobile app because we saw this gap. Android and iPhone operate exceedingly well with video, social media, and web browsing. But they lack advanced functionality that business users relied on with legacy Palm Treo devices. For example: an address book that shows more than 8 contacts per screen; a notes app that intelligently links to people in the address book; a task manager that fits productivity philosophies like Getting Things Done and Franklin Covey; and full integration with PC apps like Microsoft Office and Lotus Notes where business people spend 50% of their day.

OPPORTUNITY ALERT FOR NEWKIA: build business productivity into the fabric of your product roadmap. If you need help with this when building your PIM applications, please call us. We’d love to help.

Business users held tremendous hope that Palm webOS would fill this void. The first Palm organization defined mobile productivity. When that failed, business people refocused their hopes on BlackBerry 10. Q3/2013 sales showed BlackBerry sold more legacy devices than phones running on the new OS 10 platform. Yikes!  The Address Book, Calendar and Apple-inspired Remember apps weren’t anything like what business users expected from their BlackBerry.

Newkia appears to have taken a giant leap in the right direction by acquiring a CEO,  Urpo Karjalainen, who understands the business of mobile business.  Mr. Karjalainen served as BlackBerry’s head of business operations for Asia and worked another 20 years at Nokia.

How to sync Samsung Galaxy Note3 with Microsoft Office Outlook

We’ll show you how easy it is to sync Samsung Galaxy Note3 with Microsoft Outlook. It takes less than 10 minutes to set up. Get your full Outlook data set to your Note 3; contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, categories, journal, alarms and reminders, and contact photos.

CompanionLink automates the sync process with three simple configuration steps.

How to sync Note 3 with Outlook

First, make sure our software is right for you. CompanionLink is right for you if you are looking for:

  1. Complete Outlook data. We sync Outlook contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, journal, categories, alarms and reminders, and contact photos.
  2. USB, WiFi, or Cloud sync. We let you choose how to sync Galaxy Note 3 with Outlook.  Some prefer the security of cloud-free USB or WiFi sync. Others prefer the convenience of Cloud sync. We let you choose.
  3. Plug-and-play experience. Just connect your Galaxy Note 3 to your computer. The sync should begin automatically once CompanionLink is configured.
  4. No drivers required. Our sync does not require downloading of messy ADB drivers, hard resets of your Note 3, duplications, switching to Mass Storage Mode, or lost data during the sync.
  5. Outlook-like experience on Note III. We offer a free app for Note 3 called DejaOffice.  It is designed to hold all Outlook data in one app (contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, alarms, reminders, categories, journal, and contact photos).  Our app encrypts this data so no one can access it even if your phone is lost.

Samsung devices ship with free software to sync Galaxy Note3 with Outlook. Many users report frustration with this option and problems with Outlook data corruption. If you don’t want to risk this with your data, CompanionLink is for you. We even offer free US-based phone support if you ever need help or have questions.

An additional level of security we offer for business customers is through our $49 RunStart package where our team of experts handle the setup for you. This is a wonderful service for people short on time or those unwillingly to risk losing many years worth of valuable data.

Steps for Outlook to Galaxy S3 sync:

  1. Install our CompanionLink for Outlook product to your PC. It is free to download and try for 14 days. Or, just buy it for a low one-time cost of $49.95 for uninterrupted sync. We offer a full money-back guarantee if you don’t like it.
  2. Download our free DejaOffice app for Outlook on your Note 3. It is available from the Google Play store. Our app holds the Outlook data that you synchronize.
  3. Synchronize using CompanionLink. Choose from Direct USB Sync, WiFi Sync, or our DejaCloud wireless sync with AES 256-bit encryption. All three sync options are secure.

That’s all there is to it! Yes, it’s really that simple to sync Microsoft Outlook to Galaxy Note 3. Give it a try and please share your feedback below.

CompanionLink supports the invasion of Samsung Galaxy S4 Devices

Samsung has announced or launched four Galaxy S4 devices in the past 60 days: Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S4 Zoom, and Galaxy S4 Active. While there is little or no common denominator from a design perspective, you can’t blame Samsung for trying to capitalize on their marketing dollars devoted to Galaxy S — the most popular Android brand. CompanionLink supports synchronization with the entire line of S4 devices. CompanionLink can synchronize one device to another, sync PC applications like Outlook with S4, or sync cloud applications like Salesforce CRM, Highrise, and Zoho CRM.

The Galaxy S4 is the flagship phone. Samsung markets it as a Life Companion to emote new fun features like Dual Shot for simultaneous front-and-back pictures, S Translator for spoken language translation, and Smart Pause for intelligent pausing of video when you look away.

The Galaxy S4 Mini is a smaller version of the Galaxy S4. It’s screen is 4.3-inch compared to the S4’s 5-inch screen size. Other specs on the S4 Mini are RAM also different than the S4. Here’s a full list of differences.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom sports a 16MP camera and optical zoom lens.

The Galaxy S4 Active is a certified water-resistant and dust-resistant device marketed as the perfect companion for the beach, pool, camping, or people on the go.

Samsung spent more on marketing their mobile devices than Apple last year, and they are reaping the benefits of extending

BlackBerry 10 wants you to manage Tasks with Priorities

Q: What’s a task list without priorities?
A: Just a list.

Let’s just say the late Dr. Stephen Covey might not approve of this.

BlackBerry 10 ships with an app called Remember that nicely organizes notes and tasks in one slick app. Think “Evernote meets [plug in any of the millions of Tasks apps available]”.

But the Remember app misses the mark on one key principle of any task management philosophy – prioritizing tasks!

The Remember app groups things into notebook icons. Each “notebook” can hold items like photos, lists, tasks, and web links. But the treatment for Tasks is like a plain text note – there are no task-focused features like priorities, recurring tasks, or task alerts.

Microsoft Outlook users will especially find this confusing because Outlook ships with task-focused features out-of-the-box. In fact, these features are what makes “task management” philosophies work because they require you to take a large set of things to do and organize them by priority.  Task management = prioritization.

If you want a Task Manager that works lock-step with your Outlook Tasks – including Task Priorities, Categories, and Alarms – download the free DejaOffice app for BlackBerry 10.

Sync Outlook with BlackBerry

One question which remains unanswered for many business professionals who use Outlook and have a BlackBerry Z10 is “How do I sync Outlook with BlackBerry?” For Exchange Server users, this process is greatly simplified via ActiveSync. Exchange allows calendar, contacts and email to be directly integrated, with no additional software required.

But what of business oriented BB10 users who utilize Outlook without Exchange?

Sync Outlook with BlackBerry via USB or Cloud

CompanionLink offers two solutions for this scenario, as detailed below– Direct synchronization, and synchronization utilizing web-based services such as Gmail or Outlook.com.

  1. Directly sync Outlook with BlackBerry contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, and categories:
    1. Install CompanionLink for Outlook onto your Windows PC.
    2. Set the sync method to either DejaCloud wireless sync or Direct USB.
    3. Configure email directly on the BB10 device, with POP3 or IMAP.
  2. Sync Outlook to Gmail or Outlook.com, and then set up your BB10 accounts:
    1. Install CompanionLink for Outlook.
    2. Set CompanionLink to sync with either Google or Outlook.com, depending on which service you plan to use.
    3. Set up your BB10 device with your Gmail or Outlook.com account (Settings > Accounts > Email, Contacts, Calendar).

Why Direct Sync Between Outlook and BlackBerry is Preferable

CompanionLink recommends direct sync (solution 1 above), as solution 2 has the following drawbacks:

  1. Your Outlook data will be hosted on Google, a company that makes money from targeted advertising.
  2. Your data will not map one-to-one with fields offered in Google’s interface, possibly leading to data corruption.
  3. Your data may be altered every time Google changes their web-based system.

Detailed information regarding sync options with BlackBerry 10 devices and Outlook is available on CompanionLink’s BB10 webpage.