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!

Sync the Motorola Xoom with Your PC

Motorola recently released their latest Android-powered tablet, the Xoom. The Xoom is available from Verizon and runs on Wi-Fi as well as the Verizon’s 3G and 4G/LTE networks. Sporting a dual-core processor, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), a 10.1” widescreen HD display, and more, the Motorola Xoom has a lot to love, but it unfortunately lacks an easy way to sync with Microsoft Outlook and other PC applications.

Image Credit: Verizon Wireless

Using CompanionLink it is now possible to sync contacts, calendar, tasks and notes between the Xoom and PC software such as Microsoft Outlook, ACT! by Sage, Palm Desktop, Lotus Notes and more. You can sync via local WiFi, Secure Hosted wireless sync, or wirelessly via Google. At this time, our wired USB sync is not available as Android 3.0 does not currently support SD storage. This is an issue we anticipate will be resolved fairly quickly. In the meantime, we recommend local WiFi sync as the closest alternative to wired USB sync.

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

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!

Tech Tip: Use CompanionLink with Google’s New “2-Step Verification” Feature

Google recently rolled out a new security feature called “2-step verification.” As Google puts it, this is designed to add an extra layer of security to your account by “requiring you to have access to your phone – as well as your username and password – when you sign in. This means that if someone steals or guesses your password, the potential hijacker still can’t sign in to your account because they don’t have your phone.”

While this feature certainly makes your Google Account more secure, it can cause applications that need access to your account, such as CompanionLink, to stop working with your usual Google/Gmail password. Google planned for this, however, and built in a solution. You simply need to set up an “application-specific password.” This is a special password that only works with the specified application. If  you have taken advantage of Google’s more secure login system (or if you want to), you’ll need to be sure to create an application-specific password for CompanionLink to ensure uninterrupted syncing.

Google has posted a guide with instructions on how to create an application-specific password.

The Motorola Atrix 4G – Phone, Media Center, & Laptop

Image credit: AT&TThe Motorola Atrix 4G, the phone that won widespread admiration at CES 2011, was released to the public on AT&T’s network yesterday. To say that this is just another Android phone would be an understatement. In addition to being one of the few phones to support the new 4G networks, the Atrix features the unique ability to transform itself into a powerful media center or laptop via a series of peripheral docks.

The multimedia dock is more play than work, allowing users to easily connect their Atrix to their TV and enjoy videos, music, and more. While that is likely to be a popular feature among home theater enthusiasts, I’d like to focus more on the second docking option: the laptop dock. The laptop dock allows Atrix users to connect the phone to a lightweight laptop frame. This then runs a “web-top” application, allowing users to harness the productivity of the laptop form, all from their mobile phone. In theory, this could drastically improve your productivity on the go. While you don’t save much space when compared to carrying around a phone and tablet/small laptop, you do benefit from having everything easily accessible on one device. It may sound like a small thing, but it can have a huge impact on your mobile productivity!

The laptop dock is something we have not yet seen from any other mobile phone, and it certainly has the potential to change the way we work while on the go. However, it remains to be seen just how well it works in the real world. Initial reviews generally praise the phone, but suggest skipping the laptop dock. They state that, while the concept is widely adored, the actual application is a bit clunky and too expensive. That said, this is merely version 1. The technology has a lot of room to advance, get faster, and come down in price.

With tablets already changing they way we work on the go, do you think the unique docking features of the Atrix have a chance to put a dent in the popularity of the tablet? Or will they simply manifest as marketing gimmicks that ultimately die out?

Note: Are you looking to sync the Motorola Atrix 4G with Outlook or another popular personal information manager? We have you covered: check out ComplanionLink for PC and DejaOffice for Android!

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!

CompanionLink and Highrise – Keeping It Simple

Recently, CompanionLink added support for syncing with Highrise. Highrise is a popular web-based CRM from 37signals.  It’s different from other CRM tools because it’s focused on simplicity and ease of use, something we’ve grown to expect from 37signals. They’ve cultured the ability to create something powerful, yet simple. This isn’t all that easy to do, especially when you’re developing productivity software. Initially, you want to pack as much functionality in as you possibly can.  While this can result in a powerful program, it is all too often convoluted and difficult to use.

Highrise offers something that is as powerful as it needs to be without sacrificing simplicity. At CompanionLink, we embrace that way of thinking too. Our goal is to make syncing so simple and easy to do that you don’t even think about it.

Syncing with Highrise via CompanionLink is simple and flexible. Use CompanionLink Express to sync Highrise contacts, tasks, and cases directly to your mobile device. It works with a wide variety of devices, including Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad, Palm webOS, Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, and Nokia Symbian devices or any Google/Gmail/Google Apps account. Go pro with CompanionLink Professional and you will get real-time Highrise sync with other PC software such as ACT!, Outlook, and Lotus Notes. Get started at www.companionlink.com/highrise/.

Image credit.

HTC Inspire Brings 4G to AT&T Customers, Mobile Productivity Wins

Image courtesy of AT&T: https://www.att.com/inspire4G

Yesterday, AT&T began selling the HTC Inspire 4G. The Inspire features a massive 4.3” super LED display – the largest of any phone on AT&T’s network – and runs the latest iteration of the HTC Sense UI, all for $99 (after a 2-year agreement). It also marks a number of firsts for AT&T:

  • It is the first 4G phone on their network
  • It is the first device to run Android 2.2 on AT&T
  • It is the first device to make use of the new Mobile Hotspot application

The HTC Inspire brings an impressive list of features that are sure to be a hit among new phone buyers. I could dedicate an entire post just to those features. However, I’d like to focus on one specific feature: 4G. With the increasing amount of work done on while the go, the speed of your mobile device’s wireless connection becomes more and more important.

As I was writing this post, I decided to run a speed test on my 3G device. The result? I got a little over 1mbps down. To put that in perspective, most home internet connections are at least 10x faster. For downloading a small document or photo, 1mbps is does just fine. However, when downloading large documents with charts and graphics or high-resolution photos for work, you’ll often find yourself waiting for as long as a few minutes, depending on your signal quality. It may not seem like much, but over time it adds up and eats away at your productivity.

The obvious question in all of this is, of course, what does 4G mean when compared to 3G? The answer depends on whom you ask. At the end of the day, “4G” is merely a label. What it really means is that mobile data connection speeds are constantly improving – and when your mobile productivity relies on the ability to access data quickly, that is what truly matters!

Note: Are you looking to sync the HTC Inspire 4G with Outlook or another popular personal information manager? We have you covered: check out ComplanionLink for PC and DejaOffice for Android!