Infographic: A History of Mobile Productivity

From the pager to the iPad, mobile devices have been enhancing our mobile productivity in one way or another for decades. In their early days, mobile devices were largely business-focused. Since then, they have become sleeker, more powerful, and even more appealing to consumers and business users alike. On today’s mobile devices, you can run your business or play Angry Birds – or both!

Read through the infographic below and take a walk through a history of mobile productivity. Discover the first portable handset. Learn how the groundwork for today’s app stores was laid in the 1990s. Reminisce over the earliest smartphones and tablets. Then, share with us where you think mobile productivity is headed next!

A History of Mobile Productivity

The United States of Mobile

Image Credit: JumptapWe regularly see reports that show Android is leading the mobile market, but this is the first time I’ve seen a state-by-state breakdown of popularity. Jumptap, a mobile ad network, released a report today showing Android, iOS, and BlackBerry popularity at the U.S. state level. The data is based on activity on Jumptap’s network, a network that reaches 83 million users.

Check out the image above to see where your state’s allegiance lies. Most interesting to us – in our home state of Oregon, BlackBerry reigns supreme. At least according to Jumptap’s data…

[via TechCrunch]

Sync The Motorola DROID 3 With Outlook & More

Motorola released the DROID 3 to the public today. With a 1GHz dual-core processor, high-density 4” qHD screen, an improved keyboard, and the latest version of Android, the DROID 3 is among the top-spec smartphones for 2011. The DROID 3 is available from Verizon for $199.

Image Credit: GadgetMania

Using CompanionLink, it’s possible to sync contacts, calendar, tasks and notes between the Motorola DROID 3 and PC software such as Microsoft Outlook, ACT! by Sage, Palm Desktop, Lotus Notes and more. You can sync direct via USB, via WiFi, via Secured Hosted Wireless sync, or via Google. Find more info, as well as a 14-day free trial, at www.companionlink.com/android/.

Want to sync the Motorola DROID 3 with Outlook?
Download a free trial of CompanionLink for Outlook today!

 Try CompanionLink for Outlook free!Buy CompanionLink today for $49.95!

CompanionLink now supports sync with SugarCRM

SugarCRM is an open-source CRM package that has quickly been rising in popularity due to its flexibility, availability, and community support. The company recently celebrated a year of tremendous growth – they claim that they are now the fastest-growing CRM solution available.

CompanionLink has had a long history of synchronizing with a wide range of popular CRM platforms, and we are pleased to announce that we now support sync with SugarCRM. CompanionLink can sync SugarCRM contacts, calendars, and tasks direct with Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and more. We can also sync SugarCRM with Google, or with other PC-based contact managers like Microsoft Outlook.

CompanionLink supports SugarCRM Professional, Corporate, Enterprise, Ultimate, and Community editions. For more information, and to download a free trial, visit www.companionlink.com/sugarcrm/

 

HP Introduces The First webOS Tablet: The HP TouchPad

ImageCredit: MobileToday

HP officially releases their first webOS tablet tomorrow, the HP TouchPad. HP has optimized the webOS platform, bringing its famous “card based” interface to the tablet. The TouchPad comes in two flavors: 16GB for $499 and 32GB for $599. Both models feature a 9.7” screen, dual-core 1.2GHz processor, front-facing camera, and much more. Check out all the tech specs here.

Of course, the most common question we’re getting about the TouchPad is “How can I sync the TouchPad with Outlook,” or any of the popular CRM tools, for that matter. At this point, we expect CompanionLink’s current webOS solution to work seamlessly with the TouchPad – that is, to sync via Google. Of course, we will be testing our software with the TouchPad once we are able to get one in the office.

I’ll be sure to post an update once we have tested syncing with the TouchPad! In the meantime, who’s planning on getting one?

Update: USB sync is now live for all webOS devices, including the TouchPad! Read about it here.

CompanionLink Ranks Among The Fastest-Growing Companies In Portland

Over 800 people gathered last Thursday for the Portland Business Journal’s 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies event, held at the Portland Art Museum. We were thrilled to be among them, knowing that CompanionLink had made the list, somewhere among the top 100 companies.

As the Portland Business Journal counted down from 100, we waited with anticipation to see where we ranked. As we listened for our name, more and more companies were recognized for their stellar year over year growth. The announcer finally arrived at CompanionLink Software – the 18th fastest-growing private company in Portland!

We are very grateful to have achieved this status, and we couldn’t have done it without you – our customers. Thank you for your support!

DejaOffice Flies Past 100,000 Active Installs

I’m happy to share that we’ve passed 100,000 active installs of DejaOffice! That means that amongst you, our customers, there are over 100,000 Android phones & tablets, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches all over the world currently being enhanced by DejaOffice’s business-class productivity features. All this in just a little over one year, too!

2011 has already been an exciting year for DejaOffice. We’ve added dozens of new features and enhancements, from widgets to global search to grouping, and much more. But we’re not stopping there. We have even more great features planned. While I can’t get into the details just yet, I can tell you that 2011 will continue to be a very exciting year for DejaOffice. Stay tuned!

 

Take Two: The HTC Sensation & The Samsung Exhibit 4G

Image Credit: BGR and PocketNow

Today I wanted to talk about two upcoming Android phones: the HTC Sensation and Samsung Exhibit 4G. They are two very different phones and at CompanionLink we’re excited to see them released to two very different reasons.

The HTC Sensation looks like it will be just that – a sensation. With 4G speeds, the latest version of HTC Sense, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 4.3” display, 8-mexapixel HD camera, and more, the Sensation is poised to be one of the top Android phones releasing this summer. And at $199 it is priced to compete. We have yet to try one out ourselves, but from everything we’ve seen this will be the phone to get for those looking for a powerful Android experience. Look for it in Walmart stores June 12th and T-Mobile locations by June 15th.

That said, not everyone wants to spend $199 on a new phone. That’s where Samsung Exhibit 4G comes in. Providing a solid Android experience atop a 1Ghz processor handset, the Exhibit 4G should prove to be a popular phone among those looking for an entry-level smartphone. While it may not be the most powerful Android phone available, it packs plenty of features to satisfy the casual user’s needs. And at just $79, it’s priced to move. T-Mobile has yet to provide a set release date, but has promised we will see the Exhibit 4G this June.

Whether you’re looking for the latest, powerful Android handset or are hunting for a feature-rich phone at a great price, you’re sure to find something you’ll love soon. And, of course, with DejaOffice and CompanionLink you’ll be as productive as ever on your new phone!

Once released, we’ll be testing these phones to ensure they work as expected with DejaOffice and CompanionLink, but at this point we don’t foresee any issues.

Is CompanionLink Part of the Google Tax?

Img Credit: The Globe And Mail

Does Google Apps come with “hidden fees?” That’s what Tom Rizzo of Microsoft indicates in a recent blog post about the hidden costs of Google Apps. In fact, he refers to the extra costs as the “Google Tax” – the costs one would incur if they started using Google Apps to manage email, contacts, calendar, tasks, desktop publishing, and document management.

It’s no secret that many people are searching for a replacement for Microsoft Office. What’s most interesting, perhaps, is that they aren’t actually switching. In fact, Microsoft’s findings show that 9 out of 10 people use Google Apps in conjunction with Microsoft Office; not as a replacement for Microsoft Office. The “Google Tax,” however, still applies. Microsoft mentions CompanionLink as an example of a third-party application that is required if two-way synchronization between Outlook and Google Apps is desired. CompanionLink is part of the Google tax, claims Microsoft in a white paper they published.

Under the scenario where Google Apps is used in conjunction with Microsoft Office, CompanionLink is, in fact, a key component of the Google Apps ecosystem. CompanionLink allows people to keep their Microsoft Outlook contacts and calendar in sync with Google Apps. In fact, CompanionLink supports any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account – paid or free.

Arguably, people using paid Google Apps services don’t need to use CompanionLink. Google offers a tool called Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook as part of any paid edition of Google Apps. If you’re on a free edition of Google Apps or using a free Google or Gmail account, you don’t have this option and need to look at 3rd party software like CompanionLink.

Even with Google’s tools, however, paying customers are offered forum-based support only. To some degree, this makes sense – they are a cloud-based company, after all. Phone or email support may not fit the cloud model.

This is where CompanionLink really shines.

In addition to numerous advance features, CompanionLink provides both email and US-based phone support. CompanionLink guarantees the synchronization between Google and Microsoft Outlook works on day one and day 365.

So, is CompanionLink a part of a “Google Tax?” Maybe. But we feel strongly that the ability to pick up the phone and talk to someone is, on its own, well worth the cost of admission (which, by the way, is a one-time license fee of $49.95).

Android Fragmentation: A Real Problem or A Hyped Non-Issue?

If there’s one topic surrounding the Android OS that comes up time and time again, it’s the issue of fragmentation. With so many devices and variations of the OS, developing for Android can be difficult. Before deciding if this is a real problem or simply a non-issue, let’s take a step back and define what we’re talking about.

Put simply, Google developed the core code for Android and has allowed device manufacturers such as Motorola, Samsung, and HTC to create custom variations of this code. Google likes this because it gets their OS on a wide variety of handsets. The device manufacturers like this because the bulk of the software work is done for them and they can focus on customizing the OS. End users like this because they have a plethora of choices, all with the same basic features that they’re looking for. Developers, on the other hand, aren’t as keen about the whole situation.

Back in October, the popular Twitter client, TweetDeck, shared some information regarding the variety of devices and OS’s that their app was currently running on.

Img Credit: TweetDeck

At first glance, there are quite a few OS versions to support. That said, looking at it differently you could conclude that a good 80% of users are on Android 2.1 and above. If you write an app to support OS 2.1 and higher, you can expect it to work on the majority of Android handsets with very little issue, right? Well, maybe. For some applications, this is entirely true.

For others, however, writing an application that works is far different than writing one that works properly. With all the custom variations of the OS, an application may not behave as expected. If you’re a developer writing for Android, guaranteeing that your app works on all Android device means buying dozens of devices to test it on. For most developers, this simply isn’t feasible.

I think we can all agree that fragmentation on the Android platform exists. So the question becomes “is it a problem?” In my opinion, almost. What I mean by this is that unless it’s addressed, it could spiral out of control to the point that it simply isn’t manageable. It may get to the point that certain apps only work on certain devices. Want to play Angry Birds? Get a Samsung phone.

That said, I don’t think it will get that far. In fact, Google has already released a tool to help curtail the issue, and they recently partnered with manufacturers to help ensure devices are kept up to date. Is it enough? Maybe for now, but it’s not a complete solution. So how does Google minimize the imminent fragmentation problem while maintaining the openness that many of us love about the Android platform? Well, that’s the big question, now isn’t it?