USATODAY.com review votes DejaOffice and CompanionLink as best Android Sync app for Outlook

We are thrilled to share a raving review about our Android Sync products. Marc Saltzman, writer for USATODAY.com, stumbled upon CompanionLink when his frustration with other Android to Outlook sync solutions came to a peak. He found other products to sync incomplete Outlook data or have complicated setups.

Then, he found our Android Outlook app, DejaOffice.

“DejaOffice was able to accomplish what others could not: smooth, reliable and quick syncing between Android and Microsoft Outlook.”

“You don’t need a degree in computer engineering to set it up.”

Marc hits squarely on a sensitive topic for people who used legacy phones and PDAs like BlackBerry and Palm. Traditionally, Outlook sync was an afterthought for mobile users because Outlook integration was bundled with their device purchase. Palm shipped a CD with Outlook sync software. BlackBerry included their reliable Desktop Software companion with every device.

Android buyers weren’t so lucky. During Android’s toddler years, no manufacturer bundled software for Outlook integration. Samsung, for example, has since developed a tool called Kies to address the uproar by Outlook users. However, upkeep of the tool has proved difficult and fragmented as Kies updates often break Outlook integration. The reliability of these tools also vary from device to device and are inconsistent with the Outlook fields they support because every device has different pre-installed PIM apps.

The CompanionLink and DejaOffice platform for Android really shines because it works and looks the same across all Android devices and restores reliable Outlook integration that people expect to come with their device. People are free to choose the security of USB connected synchronization or the flexibility of Cloud synchronization through CompanionLink’s secure DejaCloud service, Google or other cloud services. This allows people to customize their experience to their business requirements; something that isn’t possible with solutions like Kies.

Marc’s review emotes the frustration millions of Outlook users face when they realize their $300 phone investment doesn’t integrate easily with desktop Outlook. CompanionLink agrees that reliable Outlook synchronization should come in-the-box with your phone purchase. Until then, CompanionLink has a product that millions, like Marc, can use to turn their $300 investment into a productivity tool that works with Outlook.

ASUS: Transforming the Way We Think About Tablets

If I had to guess, I’d be willing to be that the number one complaint about tablets today is that they’re just not that easy to type on, at least for longer periods of time. Sure, you can use a Bluetooth keyboard on many, but that feels like more of an afterthought than anything. In fact, I would argue that it’s one of the biggest reasons business users might favor a laptop over a tablet as a secondary, mobile device. The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer aims to change that.

As its name suggests, the Transformer starts out as a competitive, yet standard tablet. When paired with the optional laptop dock, however, it becomes an entirely new machine. Not only does the laptop dock provide a keyboard and multi-touch trackpad, it actually adds additional usage time with its built in battery.  The ability to transform from a lightweight tablet to a highly productive laptop gives this unique device a lot of potential.

As we’ve stated before, we believe devices like the Motorola Atrix are signaling a shift in mobile computing. The Eee Pad Transformer is helping lead this charge!

 

Note: Are you looking to sync the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer with Outlook or another popular personal information manager? We have you covered: check out CompanionLink for PC and DejaOffice for Android!

The Sidekick 4G: Now With More Android!

Historically, the Sidekick was always a fairly popular phone. Of course, since the Danger debacle and recent shutdown notice, we’ve seen this popularity fade away to some degree. Don’t expect the slump to last, however. The Sidekick is back and it features some solid specs, including 4G data.

The biggest news, however, is that the Sidekick 4G will be running Android. This opens the door for a lot of potential. Business users who want to move away from BlackBerries, but still want a solid physical keyboard will want to take a look at the Sidekick and its great keyboard design. Those who know a little about the previous Sidekicks might balk at this suggestion, claiming that the Sidekick is not designed to be a business device. Admittedly, it is marketed more towards a younger crowd. However, the Sidekick 4G features a few nice additions, such as WiFi calling and “cloud-based” texting that serve to extend the phone’s functionality and maximize productivity when you’re away from cell signal or at the computer. And, of course, after downloading a few business-focused Android apps, like DejaOffice, the Sidekick can be just as productive as any other Android available today!

Looking for information on how to sync the Sidekick 4G with Outlook and other popular databases. Click here!

Go Ahead, Make The Switch!

The HTC Thunderbolt is (finally) launching tomorrow. As such, I felt it would be appropriate to touch on the process of switching phones. With 4G data speeds, a 4.3” screen, an 8 megapixel rear facing camera, a front facing camera for video calls, a 1GHz processor, and more, the Thunderbolt should prove to be quite popular, causing many customers to trade in their current phone. Of course, this means going through the process of backing up and transferring all your data will become a top priority.

Switching phones used to be quite a pain. Often, you’d find yourself re-entering all your data, which could take a very long time, especially if you used your phone for business. These days, many phones include some kind of sync to help you get most of your data moved over, but it’s not always so easy. A user hoping to switch from an iPhone to the Thunderbolt, for example, will likely run into some roadblocks. Getting contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, and more transferred over isn’t as simple as it is if you were to simply upgrade to a new iPhone. Unless, of course, you use CompanionLink and DejaOffice!

We’ve developed our products in such a way that you can move to a new device quickly and easily. After installing DejaOffice on a new device, you’re just a quick sync away from having all your important contacts, calendars, tasks, and memos back at your fingertips. After all, it’s your data – you should have easy access to it no matter what device you prefer to use!

For more information on how to sync the HTC Thunderbolt with your PC, click here.

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!

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 http://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!

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.