The Extinction Of Computers As We Know Them

The only constant is flux.  Nowhere is this more true in today’s world than in mobile technology.  Recently, Motorola released the Atrix 4G phone.  A unique and widely promoted feature of the Atrix is its new “docking” system. This system sows the seeds for yet another paradigm shift in the mobile world.  As if the iPad wasn’t enough.

Imagine this:

The alarm on your phone wakes you up for work.  You jump into the shower and have your phone read aloud the contents of your new email while you bask in the warm water.  You know which emails you can knock out with 140 characters or less.  Your list of 30 emails dwindles to 15 by the time you finish your commute to the office.

In the office, you dock your phone to the peripherals.  Using just one cable, perhaps utilizing Intel’s Light Peak technology, you are able to dock your phone to your office monitor, keyboard, and mouse.  All the apps you need for work are there.  Email, calendar, docs, tasks, notes, file browser, online storage, and more – readily accessible on the device you already carry with you every day.

While working on a new proposal, you get a phone call from your client.  Your screen informs you who it is, and you accept.  While on the call, you are able to refer to files relating to the client, make notes, schedule meetings, and more.  When you are finished, you disconnect, and your previous workspace is restored, exactly as it was prior to the call.

At the end of the workday, you undock your device, put it in your pocket, and go home.

You check email once more before you go to bed.  Instead of pecking at the virtual keyboard on the phone, you dock your phone to your monitor, keyboard and mouse at home.  After responding to an email or two, you undock the phone and head to bed.

You get the idea.

With this paradigm shift, the phone has replaced the laptop.  You have a palm-sized device with multiple CPUs, adequate graphics prowess, robust storage, unlimited entertainment and productivity apps, and the ability to conveniently dock to any set of peripherals, anywhere you are.

It is simply a matter of time before your “pocket computer” becomes your only computer.

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!

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!