How to Sync Windows Phone 7 with Outlook


A number of years ago, Windows Mobile 6.5 was released to the public. Though it had its quirks, the Windows Mobile platform gathered a small but loyal following of business professionals and productivity enthusiasts. Perhaps the biggest reason for this following was just how easy the platform made it to sync with Microsoft Outlook.

When Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 last year, they completely revamped the interface to make it much easier to interact with. Some would even say they’ve made it pretty. At this time, many existing Windows Mobile owners assumed that Outlook sync would work the same way it had before. It didn’t. Disappointed, confused, and upset are only a few of the words that would describe the general reaction to the situation. Amazingly, Microsoft offers no method to sync Windows Phone 7 to Outlook directly via USB.

What are Windows Phone 7 owners supposed to do? Microsoft offers two official solutions: Sync via a hosted Exchange server or use the Outlook Hotmail Connector. Exchange setup is fairly straightforward – if you have an Exchange server, that is. For those who don’t, the Outlook Hotmail Connecter is the only other option from Microsoft. This option requires you to sync your Outlook data to Windows Live/Hotmail, which then wirelessly syncs to your phone. Both options limit you to syncing contacts and calendars only.

While current Windows Phone 7 API’s prevent CompanionLink from providing a direct sync option, we can sync Outlook to Windows Phone 7 devices via Google. This option offers advanced wireless sync of contacts and calendars, as well as tasks and categories. We sync your Outlook tasks to the calendar as untimed entries, and we sync Outlook contact categories as Google Groups. Once CompanionLink syncs your data to your Google account, it is automatically synced to your phone, courtesy of Google. This happens through your phone’s wireless data connection. Two-way sync is fully supported too, so you can make changes from anywhere.

To get started, simply download CompanionLink for Outlook and configure it with your Google username and password. Detailed setup instructions can be found on our support page. Next, set up your Windows Phone 7 device to sync with your Google account and you’ll be done. It’s that simple!

We’ll be keeping an eye on the Windows Phone platform. With any luck, perhaps a future update will allow developers such as ourselves to implement a more robust sync solution.

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments.

DejaOffice for Android v1.11 Adds Powerful New Grouping Feature

DejaOffice for Android v1.11 is now in beta, and available for direct download at dejaoffice.com/androidapp. The newest  DejaOffice update includes a powerful new grouping feature that allows you to group your data by a variety of fields. For example, you can now group your contacts by category, company name, or city.

Group Contacts by Category Group Contacts by City Group Contacts by Company

This is an incredibly robust feature that is sure to save time and help you organize better. I’ve spoken to sales guys who travel around the country, and they’ve often said that it would be helpful to be able to fly into a city (say Denver) and pull up a list of contacts from that city. Easy. Or imagine that you want to quickly view all your contacts that work at Intel. Done.

We’re pretty excited about the new grouping feature. To download the latest beta of DejaOffice, point your Android browser at dejaoffice.com/androidapp. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

Support Update: CompanionLink Build 4036 Now Available

CompanionLink build 4036 is now available on our updates page. This update addresses a USB sync error that affects a small number of devices when syncing with the latest version of DejaOffice for Android. If you have experienced the following, please update now:

– USB drive mounts to the PC properly and the user is able to read/write data to it, but CompanionLink never starts a sync
– Previously able to sync with build 4033 and earlier
– Only the very first USB sync works after deleting the companionlink.db file and starting over

AES-256 Security: Now Standard in CompanionLink & DejaOffice


Whether it’s a company requirement, an industry standard practice, or a personal preference, many users find their wireless sync options limited by the lack of secure solutions available to them. Most cloud-based systems are not an option as user data is stored on an outside server. Even local Wi-Fi can be an issue if the data is not securely transferred.

At CompanionLink, we take data security very seriously. Keeping your data in sync is our end goal, but keeping it safe in the process is extremely important as well. That’s why we’re now using AES-256 Security in the latest versions of CompanionLink and DejaOffice for Android (and iOS soon). So just how secure is AES-256 Security? Let’s take a look.

AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard, and the number 256 refers to the number of bits in the key size. Bits? Keys? I know, it sounds technical – and it is! If you’d like to read up on all the specifics of AES-256 Security, I’ll refer you to other online sources. With that said, let’s get back to explaining just how safe your data is under this security protocol. I’d like to refer to a quote from the Computer Security Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology stating:

“The design and strength of all key lengths of the AES algorithm (i.e., 128, 192 and 256) are sufficient to protect classified information up to the SECRET level. TOP SECRET information will require use of either the 192 or 256 key lengths.”

In a nutshell, the NSA considers AES-256 secure enough to protect TOP SECRET classified information. Data doesn’t get much more secure than that. With AES-256 Security built in, you can rest assured knowing that your data is secure with CompanionLink and DejaOffice!

DejaTasks Now Supports Recurring Tasks (DejaOffice 1.10, part 4)

Welcome to the final installment in our series of posts explaining in greater detail some of the new features in DejaOffice 1.10.6 for Android. Find the other parts of this series here: part 1 (widgets), part 2 (global search), part 3 (DejaCal).

We are pleased to announce support for recurring tasks in DejaOffice! I’m sure this is a very welcome feature among many of our users. Whether you need a reminder to send out a weekly report, to schedule a monthly meeting, or to ensure you send out a birthday card to an important client every year, the new recurring tasks feature is sure to save you time.

     

To schedule a recurring task, simply open DejaTasks and create a new task. You’ll notice a new “Recurrence” option, which allows you to set the task to recur daily, weekly, monthly by day or date, and yearly by day or date. You can then choose if (and when) you’d like the recurrence to end. Finish adding the details to your task, tap save, and you’re done! Should you need to edit a recurring task, tap the edit button on a task as you normally would and change the “Recurrence” field. It’s that simple!

DejaOffice 1.10.6 was a major release for our Android app. This recent series of blog posts has highlighted some of the main features we’ve added, and has hopefully given you a better understanding of how to use the new features. If you have any further questions on how the new features work, let us know!

Of course, we’re hard at work to add even more. Do you have a feature you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments or head over to our DejaOffice forums!

DejaCal Receives a New UI and Date Picker (DejaOffice 1.10, part 3)

Welcome to part 3 of 4 in our mini-series that explains in greater detail some of the new features in DejaOffice 1.10.6 for Android. Be sure to read part 1 (widgets) and part 2 (global search) as well!

If you’ve been a longtime user of DejaOffice, you’re bound to appreciate the improvements we’ve made on the look and feel of DejaCal. With a refreshed UI, we feel the calendar is more efficient and better looking than ever! The look and feel is not the only change we’ve brought to DejaCal, however. We have also introduced a PalmOS style date picker.

          

The new PalmOS style date picker is sure to be a hit. While Android has many great features, allowing you to quickly pick the date and time for an event is not its strongest one. That’s why we rebuilt the date picker for DejaOffice. If you’ve used a PalmOS device in the past, you’ll find this looks familiar. With this new format, you’re able to quickly select a date and time and move on. When it comes to mobile productivity, accomplishing something in the fewest possible steps is important. We think the newly designed date picker goes a long way in doing just that!

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up this series of updates with a post on how we’ve implemented recurring tasks, and how you can best use them!

DejaOffice Gains Global Search on Android (DejaOffice 1.10, part 2)

Today’s post is part 2 of a 4 part series that explains in greater detail some of the new features in DejaOffice 1.10.6 for Android. To read part 1, which discusses the new widgets, click here.

Global search is a very useful feature in Android. It allows you to search through items on your phone, as well as online. Many applications support global search, allowing you to easily search through their data from the main search bar. This is an extremely convenient feature to have, especially when you have a lot of data that you’d like to access quickly. As such, we’ve added support for global search to DejaOffice!

To get started, you’ll need to make sure DejaOffice data is included in search results. To do so, simply tap the search key on your phone. Next, click the Google icon in the top left corner. This will display what types of information you are currently searching for when you use global search. To add DejaOffice to this list, tap the settings icon on the right side of this screen. Scroll to DejaOffice in the resulting list and tap the checkbox to enable it. Now, a simple tap on the search key is all it takes to quickly jump to a contact, task, or calendar event! To have the search single out DejaOffice data, simply tap the Google icon in the top left, then select the DejaOffice icon.

Be sure to check back in tomorrow to learn about the major UI improvements we’ve made to DejaCal. I have a feeling you’re going to love our new date picker!

Introducing DejaToday Widgets for Android (DejaOffice 1.10, part 1)

DejaOffice 1.10 for Android is a significant update. We’ve added a number of major new features and, as such, wanted to take the time to go through a few of them in greater detail. Over the next few days, I’ll be highlighting the following new features: Widgets, Global Search, Calendar Improvements, and Recurring Tasks.

Today, I want to focus on widgets. Widgets are a great way to add “at-a-glance” information to your Android’s home screens. They come in many varieties, from clocks to weather to e-mail and much more. So what do our widgets do? They display your DejaToday information. Today’s calendar events and tasks, as well as any contacts related to these activities, are displayed on either a 4×1 “marquee” style widget or a large, 4×4 overview widget.  We designed these widgets to help you be even more productive on the go. A quick glance at your home screen is all it takes for you to keep tabs on your schedule! Additional details regarding any of the activities displayed in the widget are only a touch away.

     

To add a DejaOffice widget, simply tap and hold on any empty spot on your home screen, select “widgets” from the popup, and choose either the “DejaToday 4×1” or “DejaToday 4×4” widget. Then, sit back and enjoy have easy access to all your important information!

We hope you find these new widgets as useful as we do! If you have any questions on how they work, or have feature suggestions for future updates, please let us know! And be sure to check back tomorrow to learn about the new Global Search feature in DejaOffice 1.10!

DejaOffice 1.10.6 Now Available In The Android Marketplace

We are happy to announce the release of DejaOffice v1.10.6 for Android. This update follows a series of beta releases and brings numerous additions, improvements, and bug fixes to DejaOffice. Major features introduced in DejaOffice v1.10 include:

  • Added DejaToday widgets
  • Added support for recurring tasks
  • Added Global search
  • Added DejaExpense mini-app
  • New PalmOS style date picker
  • Major calendar UI improvements

Of course, there are even more great features, improvements, and bug fixes included in 1.10.6. Over the next week or so, we’ll be highlighting some of these features in blog posts, explaining how to get the most out of each new feature. In the meantime, be sure to go download the latest version today!

New Online Knowledge Base Makes Using CompanionLink Easier Than Ever

CompanionLink is pleased to announce the launch of our new support knowledge base (KB). Our goal to make public the sync and configuration expertise that we have in-house. We’ll be sharing setup guides, tips & tricks, productivity tweaks, and more. Over time, the KB will grow, adding additional setup guides for existing devices, as well as guides for new devices as they are released.

Currently, the KB features easy-to-use setup guides for Apple and Android devices. Learn how to sync your new Nexus S to Outlook. Or, learn how to sync ACT! data to the Verizon iPhone. Whatever your setup is, we’ll show you how to get everything up and running. Just visit www.companionlink.com/support/kb. Then, simply choose your device and sync method and you’ll be directed through detailed steps, photos, and videos showing you exactly how to configure CompanionLink and DejaOffice.

We will be expanding the KB in the future in an effort to better serve CompanionLink and DejaOffice users!