Support Haiti by taking an ACT! training session

Click to support The American Red Cross Relief FundHere’s a chance to gain valuable new skills in ACT! while supporting the Red Cross Haitian Relief Fund.

A six week series of ACT! Training Sessions is being offered by Certified ACT! Consultants with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross for their Haiti relief & recovery efforts. Would you like to make a difference for the survivors of the Haiti earthquake? The fees you’ll pay for this training will help to provide food, shelter and medical care for a nation in dire need.

These six sessions will help you boost your skills around sales, marketing, and ACT! software at an incredible price for an excellent cause. The first session kicks off on February 18th in an online seminar led by expert consultants from across North America.

Click on the banner for more info.

Ford SYNC for contact and calendar management

Ford SYNC contact and calendar management in vehicles

Credit: Ford Motor and CNet.com

Ford announced widespread availability of their Ford SYNC technology in vehicles in 2010 and beyond.  The innovation puts contact management, multimedia, and apps on the dashboard of vehicles.  Voice-activated commands ensure your hands aren’t distracted while driving.

Included in the Ford SYNC suite of software is a phone book.  At the moment, it’s not clear if other productivity apps like calendar, tasks and notes will be included.  However, Ford is giving access to their API to 3rd-party developers to create custom apps in vehicles that have Ford SYNC.  For example, CompanionLink could use the APIs to build a business-like suite of office productivity tools that includes custom calendar, tasks, and notes modules.  Using the voice-activated features of Ford SYNC, users could then dictate calendar events, tasks and notes.

Another neat feature of Ford SYNC is its built in Wi-Fi and hot-spot capabilities.  Passengers can use Wi-Fi to access the internet when the car is parked.

Using this built-in Wi-Fi capability, CompanionLink will be able to synchronize data between office PC software (like Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, etc.) and the in-vehicle dashboard.  For example, if a new contact or calendar event is created on the office PC, CompanionLink could transfer that data to the phone book or calendar app in the vehicle.  And vice-versa.

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).

Google Phone coming in 2010

Sync options for Google PhoneSource: CNET and Corey O’Brien via Twitter

Google will launch their branded phone sometime in 2010.  The device will be sold directly to customers as an unlocked GSM device.  This means any SIM card, from any wireless carrier, should work with the phone.  Details of the type of data plan the phones will support on each network are still unclear.

Here’s the CNET article, which links to a number of other sources.

CompanionLink will support two-way sync between PC and Google Phone if the device – like all other Google Android-based phones – runs on the Android OS platform.  CompanionLink will offer both wireless and wired sync.

Outlook wireless sync with Palm Pixi

google-illus400

CompanionLink for Google is software that does a two-way ync between Outlook and Google, which automatically syncs with Palm Pixi using Palm Synergy.  Contacts, calendar, and tasks from Outlook sync to Google and Pixi, and they and can be edited on either the PC or on the phone.

With CompanionLink, no additional configuration of your router or home network is required.  As long as your PC has an internet connection, data will sync two-ways between PC and Google.  Pixi will sync any changes you make.

CompanionLink for Google has an “auto sync” feature that automates the entire process.  You can set how often the sync between PC and Google should occur, and let CompanionLink run in the system tray on your PC.

More info about Outlook sync with Google and Palm Pixi.

Smartphone sales continue to grow despite recession

Smartphone vendors shipped a record number of units in Q3/2009, up nearly 5% from the previous year.  Nokia led the pack, followed closely by RIM (BlackBerry) and Apple.

Worldwide demand for smartphones is expected to continue as the economy gets better.  Sales for smartphones is expected to continue to outpace sales of regular phones (without browsing, email, and social media functionality).

Read the full report on CNET.

iPhone catching RIM/BlackBerry on sales

rim_apple_palm_currentSource: CNET and ChangeWave Research

From CNET:

“ChangeWave Research on Tuesday released the results of its week-long September survey of 4,255 consumers, which showed that RIM retains its lead in smartphone ownership with 40 percent market share. That’s actually a dip of 1 percentage point since the last survey in June, and the lowest share RIM has registered in two years.”

Here’s the full article.

CompanionLink has custom apps for the iPhone and Palm webOS platforms.  These custom apps add business functionality above and beyond what the native apps on those platforms offer.

CompanionLink’s iPhone app (called iClink) adds a custom Calendar and Tasks module to the iPhone.  The custom Calendar allows business users to link their contacts to their calendar events.  It’s important for business users to not only see when a meeting or call is scheduled, but to also quickly read past notes about the person with whom the event is with.

CompanionLink’s Palm webOS app (called CL USB Sync) allows USB sync between the PC and Palm device.  It also adds a custom Tasks and Memos app that allows categories, priorities, and sort features.  These features cater to users who extensively use Tasks and Memos, and need a robust way to categorize them for quicker access and viewing.