DejaOffice 1.2.2 for iOS Now Available

DejaOffice 1.2.2 is now available from the iTunes App Store! We’ve added and improved a number of things, but the two biggest features we’d like to talk about are a separate contact database and “group by” options.

Our Own Contacts Database

We’ve created a separate Contacts database for DejaContacts. Previously, we used native iPhone Address Book to store our data. While this is convenient, it affected usability because we were forced to render our data only as fast as the iPhone Address Book allowed us to.

No more! With our own database, we can optimize speeds to best suit our app and it’s purpose – accessing thousands of business records instantly.

Please note: It is very important that you run the Import Contacts function if you’ve previously synced DejaOffice via CompanionLink. If you skip this step, you could potentially duplicate or delete all of your contacts data!

If you’d like to take advantage of features that the native address book offers (such as caller ID), you will still be able to sync DejaContacts with the native Address Book.

New “Grouping “ Feature

A powerful new grouping feature allows you to organize data in more ways. In our last email we showed you how categories are a highly efficient way to organize data. But what do you do for more granular control?

That’s where grouping comes in.

DejaOffice can sort your contacts by company, category, city, or city and zip code. For example, picture this scenario: you’re traveling to Atlanta and, while on the plane, you use DejaOffice to bring up a list of all your contacts that live there. You can now easily browse through this list and catch up with nearby clients or old friends.

We’re really excited about these new features and think you’re going to love them too! In fact, we’d love to hear how you will be using the new grouping feature.

DejaOffice for Android 1.11.7 Beta Improves Calendar View, Adds Ringtone Management

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Update: DejaOffice 1.11.7 is officially available in the Android Market.

The latest beta of DejaOffice for Android brings a host of new features, interface improvements, and bug fixes. In this post, I’d like to highlight two of them.

First, we’ve improved the calendar “Month View.” With a large amount of data in DejaCal, the month view could get fairly crowded and hard to read. By cleaning up the interface, we’ve made it much easier to view your agenda. For now, you’ll need to enable “Tablet Mode” to see this change.

Second, due to popular request, we’ve added custom ringtone management to DejaContacts. Now, when creating or editing a contact, you’ll be able to assign a specific ringtone. You can also assign ringtones to categories, making it easy to determine if an incoming call is business or personal! Of course, for custom ringtones to work, you’ll need to be syncing DejaOffice with the native Android contacts.

These are just two of many great new features and improvements in DejaOffice for Android 1.11.7 beta. Full release notes are available after the break, and you can download the latest beta today from www.dejaoffice.com/androidapp. Continue reading

Sync the DROID X2 With Outlook, Zoho, and More

Img Credit: Geeky-Gadgets.comThe Motorola DROID X2 has officially arrived in stores today. With a 1GHz dual core Tegra 2 processor, a 4.3” qHD display, 8 megapixel camera, HDMI out, and more, the DROID X2 is sure to impress.

We’ve had ours for a few days already and have been testing it to ensure that everything works smoothly with CompanionLink and DejaOffice. The verdict? It works great! As expected, the DROID X2 behaves similarly to other Motorola DROID devices, meaning that those who wish to sync via USB will need to be sure to put their new DROID in “Charge Only” mode (or “None”) when selecting the USB connection type.

CompanionLink makes syncing contacts, calendar, tasks and notes between the DROID X2 and CRM databases such as Outlook, ACT!, Palm Desktop, Salesforce, Zoho and more easy! In addition to the aforementioned USB sync, we offer local Wi-Fi sync, automatic wireless sync via Google, and our own Secure Hosted wireless sync service.

Find more info, as well as a 14-day free trial, at www.companionlink.com/phones/moto-droid.html

Sync Outlook and Google 5x Faster Than Before


We are happy to announce a new feature that enables a substantial speed increase when syncing with Outlook or Google. We call this feature “Optimized Update Sync” and we think you’re going to love it!

Optimized Update Sync (OUS) is now available in CompanionLink build 4044. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, head over to the downloads page to do so now! Our tests have shown sync speed increases of 5x on average. Some sync configurations even synced as much as 18x faster! Take a look at a sample of our tests below:

Reading this chart is fairly simple. “OLx32 Google 5000 50 Off” looks confusing at first, but it means we tested Outlook 32-bit syncing to Google with a database of 5000 contacts that had 50 changes and Optimized Update Sync Off. In a nutshell, the top bar of each group shows the sync with OUS off, while to bottom bar of each group shows the sync with it on. You can see the difference it makes!

A few notes for those of you excited to try out OUS:

  • – OUS is currently implemented for Outlook and/or Google. Expect it to be implemented for other platforms in the near future.
  • – OUS can be enabled/disabled via the Options menu. It is enabled by default.
  • – OUS does not affect initial syncs, P&Rs or rereads.

Full release notes after the break: Continue reading

Zoho vs. Salesforce – A Quick Guide on How to Decide

If you’ve been searching for an online CRM solution, there’s no doubt you’ve come across both Zoho and Salesforce. Initially, they are hard to compare – the pricing is vastly different and neither of them offer any sort of comparison chart. After some research, however, you’ll begin to notice some clear similarities and differences.

As far as the basic components of CRM are concerned, both Zoho and Salesforce offer what any user will need. Accounts, contacts, campaigns, Outlook and Office integration, collaboration tools, etc. are found in both services. And, of course, CompanionLink works great with either Zoho or Salesforce! So how do you decide which is right for you? Let us help by highlighting the unique benefits each service offers.

Zoho: Affordable, Quick, Easy

The most obvious benefit Zoho has to offer is its pricing. At $12 or $25 per user per month, it’s $100 less than Salesforce’s most popular offering. Zoho even offers a free version for users who need a very simple CRM solution.

Of course, price isn’t the only benefit Zoho offers. Zoho is designed to be quick and easy, allowing even the smallest businesses to jump in and get started right away. Zoho also offers integration with their complete suite of Zoho Apps, providing access to chat, docs, invoicing, projects, meetings, and much more.

In the end, you’ll want to look into Zoho if you’re a small to medium business looking for a full-featured, yet affordable CRM solution.

Salesforce: Powerful, Customizable, Expandable

Salesforce generally gets accused of being more expensive than Zoho or other CRM options. With its most popular edition going for $125 per user per month, this may seem to be the case. However, Salesforce accounts start at just $5 per user per month for their more basic CRM solution.

That said, most users generally opt for one of the higher priced plans. The question then becomes, “What do I get for my money?” In addition to all the benefits you’d expect from a CRM service, Salesforce offers the ability to customize your experience via custom apps and websites, a developer sandbox, and integration via a web services API. All that may sound a bit technical, but it essentially means that, with a little technical know-how, you can make Salesforce do exactly what you need it to do for your specific setup. To make customization even easier, Salesforce hosts a cloud-computing marketplace called AppExchange where you can find over 1,000 different apps that will help make Salesforce work for your setup!

Generally speaking, if you’re a medium to large business with custom CRM needs, Salesforce is a great option.

Hopefully this has helped narrow your search. In our experience, there isn’t a bad choice here.

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).

How to Sync the Samsung Galaxy S II via USB

Samsung Galaxy S IIWe just received our new Galaxy S II (what an amazing device!), and wanted to share the specific procedures you’ll need to follow to sync via USB using CompanionLink and Dejaoffice.

The Galaxy S II performs a bit differently than other devices, so you’ll need to follow these specific steps if you want to sync via USB. You also may want to consider syncing the Galaxy S II via Wi-Fi, as it is not subject to any of these limitations.

When syncing via USB, DejaOffice normally connects the device’s USB storage drive automatically, but on the Galaxy S II the automatic connection does not work. Follow these instructions before each sync:

  • 1. First, ensure that the phone is disconnected from the PC.
  • 2. On the Galaxy S II, open Settings > Wireless and Network > USB Utilities.
  • 3. Select “Connect storage to PC”.
  • 4. Make sure CompanionLink is running on the PC, then connect the Galaxy S II to the PC using a USB cable.
  • 5. Open DejaOffice, then tap “Sync” to begin.
  • We’re working in a more automated method, but for now follow the steps above. Once again, our local Wi-Fi sync is fully automatic and is not subject to any of these restrictions. Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

    DejaOffice for Android 1.11.6 Adds Great New Features, Beta Out Now

    We recently released an update for DejaOffice for Android and we’ve added some great new features that I think you’ll really like. For the full release notes, head over here. In this post, however, I’d like to highlight 3 of my favorite new features: Group By for DejaMemos, Roll Over options in DejaTasks, and an option that allows you to add a number to DejaContacts upon completing a call!

    Group By in DejaMemos works similarly to the Group By feature we added to DejaContacts in version 1.11. In DejaMemos, you’re now able to group memos by category, then sort by subject or most recent. The combination of grouping and sorting allows you to sift through large databases of memos much more easily than before!

    Roll Over is a great new feature that helps ensure you’ll never miss an overdue task again. You can now bump the due date of a specific overdue task or all overdue tasks to today’s date. Of course, if you aren’t able to complete everything on your daily task list on a regular basis, you’ll find that bumping overdue tasks can become a task in itself. That’s why we’ve added the ability to automatically roll over overdue tasks at the end of each day. If you didn’t finish a task today, it will simply get pushed to the next day’s to-do list. Personally, this feature is one of my favorites in all of DejaOffice!

    Finally, we’ve added the ability to add a number to DejaContacts after an incoming or outgoing call. At face value, this is a fairly simple feature. In practice, we think you’ll find it quite invaluable. For those of us who are regularly adding new contacts to our database, anything that helps to speed up the process is a welcome feature!

    These are just three of a number of great new features in DejaOffice for Android 1.11.6. Head over to www.dejaoffice.com/androidapp to download the beta today, and look for it in the Android Market soon!

    Google Task Sync: Coming Soon to CompanionLink

    As some of you may already know, we currently handle the synchronization of tasks via Google by converting tasks to Google Calendar events. When moved to the Calendar, tasks are dated by the due date in Outlook or Palm Desktop. Past Due tasks are moved to a special entry on “Today” so they are on the date of the last sync. This will remain an option in CompanionLink, but soon we’ll be adding an alternative option.

    Recently, Google released an API for Google Tasks. This means that we can more closely interact with Google Tasks data. Within the next month or so, we plan to add the ability to sync tasks from programs like Outlook and Palm Desktop to Google. For people looking to sync their CRM database to the Google cloud, this will be a great option. However, for those looking to sync tasks from their database to their mobile device, this is not yet an option. Google Tasks doesn’t sync natively to any phone (not even Android!).

    If you’re looking to sync tasks to your phone, your best choice is to use CompanionLink to synchronize via Wi-Fi or USB, directly to your Android or iOS device. With these sync solutions we are able to provide Outlook-like tasks on your mobile device and are not limited by Google’s Task limitations. For example, Google Tasks don’t have Priority and Reminders.  DejaOffice, on the other hand, provides a full set of features including priority, recurring tasks, reminders, categories, status, and more.

    To learn more about DejaOffice, head over to www.dejaoffice.com.

    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?