PSA: Secure Your Mobile Devices

Think about all the data you have on your phone. These days, that’s more than just a list of phone numbers. We have email accounts, social networking profiles, mobile banking, private notes and documents, and so much more. If our phones were lost and consequently found by someone with less than honest intentions, the list of potentially compromised information would be daunting.

But just how bad could losing your phone be? Symantec recently decided to find out. They intentionally “lost” 50 Android smartphones across various large cities in the US and Canada. Each device was loaded with what appeared to be private data and fitted with special software that allowed Symantec to track what happened. The results? Well, they’re not promising.

Over 95% of the time, those who found the lost device made an attempt to access data such as email or online banking information. 

Let that sink in for a minute. Based on the results of this study, it is safe to assume that if you lose your phone, someone will be poking through all your private and personal data. On a slightly happier note, some sort of attempt was made to return the phone about half the time. But even in those cases most people went snooping around first. Some even directly admitted to doing so, apologizing after the fact. Check out the full report here [PDF].

The moral of the story? Ensure your data is secure! Whether this is through a passcode or gesture based lock, remote wipe capabilities, encrypted data, private records (in the case of DejaOffice), or some combination of these. Your phone simply contains too much personal data to remain unsecured in some way.

CompanionLink Supports Syncing the Lumia 710 with Outlook

Don’t let its simple design and unassuming price fool you – the Lumia packs a lot of bang for your buck. It really is a nice phone for the money.

Featuring a 1.4GHz processor, 3.7” display, and 8GB of storage, the Lumia 710 is a nice, mid-level device when it comes to the specs. And at the low price of free on contract from T-Mobile, it’s easily one of the best buys for those who want a great smartphone, but don’t need something with the power (or price) of the Galaxy Nexus or DROID RAZR, for example.

Image Credit: TechForwards.comThe Lumia 710 runs the latest version of Windows Phone – 7.5, or “Mango” as it’s often referred to. Combined with the great price, the unique tile-based interface of the Windows Phone platform has made the Lumia 710 one of the more popular devices on T-Mobile.

Just like its older brother, the Lumia 800, CompanionLink supports syncing the Lumia 710 with Outlook. In fact, we offers two methods to sync Outlook contacts, calendar and tasks with the Lumia 710 – syncing through Google or via Window Live Hotmail. For Outlook users who aren’t on an Exchange server, these sync options make getting your data onto your phone fast and easy.

For more info on our Windows Phone sync options, check out www.companionlink.com/windowsphone/.

Apple Unveils Their Latest iPad

Apple announced the latest update to their iPad line today, dubbed simply “the iPad.” It would seem that Apple is moving away from the numbered naming system. Don’t let the name fool you, however, the new iPad is a significant improvement on the iPad 2 in many ways.

Image Credit: Apple

Apple's new iPad

Perhaps the most notable difference is the new 2048×1536 pixel Retina display. The hi-res screen makes images and videos pop with unparalleled clarity. Add in the optional 4G LTE speeds, quad core graphics processor, enhanced camera, and built-in dictation features, and you get the most powerful iPad yet, and perhaps the most powerful consumer tablet currently available. Learn all about the new iPad over at Apple’s site: https://www.apple.com/ipad.

And if you need to sync the new iPad with Outlook & more, CompanionLink and DejaOffice will work right out of the box! The core operating system is the same, and we’re already testing iOS 5.1 – the update version that the new iPad will ship with – on our current iPads. Watch this blog for any updates on that.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the new iPad. Will you be buying one?

What Does Google’s New Privacy Policy Mean To You?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Google is changing their privacy policy. Some people don’t really care; others are up in arms. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

If you don’t have an answer to that, I strongly recommend you take the time to read and understand Google’s new policies. Knowing how they intend to use your data is important to your personal and professional lives. How it affects you is ultimately for you to decide.

But you should decide.

So what are Google’s new policies? In brief, they’re consolidating. Sixty privacy policies are now becoming one. One that uses simpler language and terms. One that allows Google to share data between their services, such as Gmail and Google Maps. One that goes into effect March 1, 2012. Read all the details.

For many of us, the convenience of having our data hosted and accessible anywhere is well worth agreeing to Google’s new terms. Others – largely business professionals – may not be able to afford that luxury.

Many professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, cannot allow their customers’ data to be stored in an online environment like Google’s.

Sync options like our own Direct USB or Local WiFi are perfect for these professionals. They allow access to customer data while mobile without storing it online. It’s simple, fast, and convenient.

For the rest of us currently storing our data on Google’s servers, however, knowing just what we’re agreeing to is important. So, again, ask yourself the question, “What does Google’s new privacy policy mean to me?”

Maybe it adds a new level of convenience for you. Maybe it will cause you to look for a new sync solution. Maybe it elicits an entirely different response. Either way, I think finding out for yourself is important.

Over 25 New Smartphones and Tablets Unveiled At CES 2012

The 2012 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas may be winding down, but things are just getting started at CompanionLink. By my count, over 25 new smartphones and tablets were announced at CES this year. They range from high-end smartphones to budget-friendly tablets, and from Android to Windows Phone.

As these devices are released over the next few months, we’ll be taking a closer look at them and testing them to ensure compatibility with CompanionLink and DejaOffice. It is our intention to support all of these new devices announced at CES. Stay tuned to the blog for updates on this!

And for those interested in what was announced at CES, but haven’t had time to parse through the countless articles, here’s a short list of just some of what you can look forward to over the next few months:

The Galaxy Note

The Galaxy Note from Samsung has been around internationally for a few months, but is finally coming to those of us in the US. Described as a “phablet” by some, this phone features a beautiful 5.3” screen and a stylus. It’s great for productivity buffs and creative types alike.

The Galaxy Nexus on Sprint

Another bit of good news from Samsung – the Galaxy Nexus is expanding its userbase to Sprint customers. No longer a Verizon exclusive, the Galaxy Nexus will be landing on Sprint’s new LTE network sometime in the next few months. With top-of-the-line specs and Android 4.0, it’s sure to be a popular phone among Sprint customers!

The Lumia 900 and Titan II

Not to be overshadowed by a host of Android announcements, the Windows Phone platform is gaining two great new devices. The Lumia 900 from Nokia improves upon the already quite popular Lumia 800. With a bigger screen, more cameras, a better battery life, and more, the Lumia 900 is sure to be a big hit.

HTC has put out a Windows Phone sequel of its own, as well. The Titan II may look similar to last year’s model, but it packs some exciting features of its own. Chief among them are 4G data and a 16-megapixel (yes, you read that right!) camera. Yet another Windows Phone device that is sure to do quite well!

The Eee Pad MeMO

While its name may sound a bit unassuming, the Eee Pad MeMO is a serious tablet. ASUS has worked a bit of magic on this one, you could say. It features a 7” screen, Android 4.0, and a quad-core processor (read: fast!) all for just $249. For those keeping score, that’s just $50 more than a Kindle Fire and the same prices as the Nook Tablet. If this tablet lives up to its specs, it will likely be quite difficult to keep on the shelves!

The Year In Review

2011 was a big year for CompanionLink. We added numerous new features to our mobile CRM app, DejaOffice, while surpassing 100,000 active installations globally. We rebuilt our website from the ground up to make it even easier to find the sync solution you need. We released CompanionLink 5 with new features and a refreshed interface. And we’ve released new software, as well – CompanionLink for Windows Live.

But 2011 wasn’t just a big year for us – it was a big year for mobile technology! All year long, we worked hard to support some of the best phones and tablets yet: from the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S to the DROID Bionic, DROID Razr, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Nexus to name just a few!

While the past year has certainly kept us busy, we’re not taking a break anytime soon! In fact, 2012 is already shaping up to be our biggest year yet. What can you expect from us in the coming year? A completely revised look for DejaOffice, an entirely new cloud sync service, support for even more great phones and tablets (think the rumored DROID 4 and iPad 3), and CompanionLink 6! We can’t go into the details on these things just yet, so be sure to watch the blog for updates!

All of us at CompanionLink want to thank you for helping make 2011 a great year. As you head out this weekend to ring in 2012, we wish you a safe and happy New Year. See you in 2012!

An Update On the Galaxy Nexus (With Video!)

In anticipation of Verizon’s upcoming release of the Galaxy Nexus, I wanted to post a quick update. We actually got our hands on the UK model for testing and have had some time to play around with it. Check out our thoughts in the video below!

As for syncing the Galaxy Nexus – the situation is as we expected. Local WiFi, CompanionLink Secure Hosted, and Sync via Google all work as intended. The Galaxy Nexus does not have an external SD card slot, which means that USB sync will not work with DejaOffice on this device. That said, we’re already working on a fix, so stay tuned. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the video we’ve made.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Sony Shutting Down The Sony Ericsson Sync Service

Image Credit: WikipediaSony recently announced that it is shutting down its in-house Sony Ericsson sync service at the end of the year. In their announcement, they suggest exporting your contacts and importing them into Google for future use. Google works with all Android devices, which is where Sony devices seem to be headed.

While this option should work well for some users, we recognize that not all of Sony’s customers will want to store their data on Google’s servers. For those people, CompanionLink has another option.

CompanionLink is able to sync contacts, calendars, tasks, and memos to your Sony device. We support popular contact managers like Microsoft Outlook, Palm Desktop, Lotus Notes, and many others.  And we offer a variety of sync methods, as well as our free Android app, DejaOffice, for managing your data on the go. CompanionLink also offers free phone support. If you ever get stuck with your sync, just give us a call – we’re here to help!

The latest version of CompanionLink currently supports all Sony phones and tablets running the Android OS, and we intend to continue supporting new Android-based Sony devices as they are released. Should you ever upgrade to a new phone that doesn’t happen to be a Sony, rest assured your data will come with you. We sync with Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and more.

If you’d like to try CompanionLink as an alternative to Google Sync, head over to www.companionlink.com/android and download a 14-day free trial!

How to sync the Nokia Lumia 800 with Outlook

Nokia’s recent shift toward the Windows Phone platform had many wondering if the iconic manufacturer would be able to continue its track record of success. Early reports are indicating that sales of the Lumia 800, Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone device, have been overwhelmingly positive. This is good news for Nokia fans and Windows Phone fans alike. Nokia has always had delivered excellent hardware design, and the Windows Phone platform gets backing from a major hardware manufacturer.

One of the big questions users have when they pick up the device is how to sync the Nokia Lumia 800 with Outlook. Out of the box, the Lumia can sync with Exchange, but standalone Outlook users must look for another solution. CompanionLink offers two methods to sync Outlook contacts, calendar and tasks with the Lumia 800 – syncing through Google or via Window Live Hotmail.

CompanionLink works by syncing Outlook data to a Google account or Windows Live Hotmail account. From there the Lumia can be configured to automatically sync with either account over its wireless data connection (note: Google does not sync tasks with Winodws Phone devices – CompanionLink recommends syncing via Windows Live Hotmail).

For more information on how CompanionLink syncs Windows Phone devices like the Lumia 800, visit www.companionlink.com/windowsphone/. We’re excited to see what Nokia has in store for us next!

Give the Kindle Fire a Productivity Boost with DejaOffice!

Image credit: AmazonWe just finished putting the Kindle Fire through its paces, testing both CompanionLink and DejaOffice on the affordable new tablet from Amazon. The results? DejaOffice runs well, and sync with the Kindle Fire works perfectly!

In fact, everything is working as we expected, with the exception of USB sync, which requires a small, but simple workaround. The Kindle Fire automatically mounts its SD card. You must Disconnect from USB Storage, then open DejaOffice and hit sync. We’re looking into a fix to eliminate this step, however.

After testing the Kindle Fire, I think it is important to remember that it’s first and foremost a Kindle – great for consuming media. But with a few easily downloaded apps like DejaOffice, you’ll have transformed your Kindle Fire into a business machine, filled with your contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, and more.