How To Sync The myTouch 4G Slide With Outlook

T-Mobile unleashed the latest iteration of the myTouch smartphone to the public today: the myTouch 4G Slide. The myTouch 4G Slide improves upon the myTouch model in many ways. It features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, slide out QWERTY keyboard, 4G speeds, and HTC Sense 3.0 on Android 2.3. Additionally, the myTouch 4G Slide’s 8MP camera is said to be one of the best currently on the market. Selling for $199 with a new contract, the myTouch 4G Slide should prove to be a very popular device this summer.

Image Credit: GeekyGadget

Of course, at CompanionLink we’re always testing the latest devices. We’re happy to report that you can use CompanionLink to successfully sync contacts, calendar, tasks and notes between the myTouch 4G Slide and CRM databases such as Microsoft Outlook, Sage ACT!, Lotus Notes, Salesforce, Zoho, and more. The myTouch 4G Slide supports all four of our sync methods: direct via USB, via WiFi, via Secured Hosted Wireless sync, or via Google. To find more info, as well as download a 14-day free trial, visit www.companionlink.com/android/.

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DejaOffice Flies Past 100,000 Active Installs

I’m happy to share that we’ve passed 100,000 active installs of DejaOffice! That means that amongst you, our customers, there are over 100,000 Android phones & tablets, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches all over the world currently being enhanced by DejaOffice’s business-class productivity features. All this in just a little over one year, too!

2011 has already been an exciting year for DejaOffice. We’ve added dozens of new features and enhancements, from widgets to global search to grouping, and much more. But we’re not stopping there. We have even more great features planned. While I can’t get into the details just yet, I can tell you that 2011 will continue to be a very exciting year for DejaOffice. Stay tuned!

 

DejaOffice for Android 1.11.8 Beta Released

DejaOffice 1.11.8 beta is now available from www.dejaoffice.com/androidapp and brings a number of improvements and bug fixes. Most notably, we’ve adjusted the colors in the revised month view calendar we introduced in version 1.11.7. Some users reported that, while they liked the new layout, the colors were hard to see. With this update, the category colors should now be much easier to read!

If you’d like to test out the latest features, or are encountering any of the issues that are fixed in this release, head over to www.dejaoffice.com/androidapp and grab the beta!

Release Notes

DejaOffice v1.11.8 (06/15/2011)
-improved month view UI by increasing color luminosity
-month view layout now defaults to tablet style, now with the standard 3 font sizes
-added date to DejaCalendar search results
-fixed truncated text for 0 min duration events
-fixed an issues with editing multi-day weekly recurring events
-fixed issues with list view Go to Date/Today menu options
-fixed Business/Micro mode for View/Edit screens in tablet mode
-fixed an issue where “Show Private” did not work in DejaToday for hidden records
-fixed issues syncing Categories with native contact Phone accounts groups
-fixed an issue where DejaToday did not display All Day events
-fixed an issue where DejaOffice would sometimes not update the native Android contacts app after syncing

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

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!

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?

Choosing the Right Android Phone and Carrier Combination

Image Credit: HemisphereGames.com

Choosing the phone that’s right for you involves many things: camera quality, speed, screen size, keyboard features, and much more. What carrier the phone is on is not usually something people give as much thought to. In fact, many people simply limit their options to the network they’re currently on and pick a phone from there. When it comes to Android, however, choosing your carrier is an important step in choosing your phone. The question then becomes, “What carrier has the best selection of Android phones?”

The fine folks over at the popular Android blog, Phandroid, have taken it upon themselves to help answer that question! They write:

“It’s been three and a half years since Google introduced the very operating system we write about everyday – Android – and every major (and many minor) United States carrier has phones running it. Some more than others, of course, but who has the best lineup? I take a gander at offerings from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, MetroPCS and more and at the end I’ll let you know who I think has the best Android lineup.”

Curious to know what carrier has the best selection? Need some information on the best phones for each carrier? Hit the “Read” link below and head over to Phandroid to get all the details! An be sure to let us know who you think has the best Android phones in the comments!

Read…

DejaOffice Now Available In The Amazon Appstore

Amazon has worked hard to help widen and curate the distribution of Android apps. Amazon has their own app acceptance process, which they say will guarantee that only meaningful and legit apps will be distributed on their Appstore.

We want to make it easy to download DejaOffice, no matter which app store you prefer using. Therefore, we’re pleased to report that DejaOffice is now available in the Amazon Appstore!

DejaOffice in the Amazon Appstore is, of course, free and can be downloaded by clicking here. We do want to make you aware of one thing: if you download and install DejaOffice via the Amazon Appstore, you need to continue to use the Amazon Appstore in the future to update DejaOffice to the latest versions. You will not be able to update the app from the Android Market (it will fail to install – you can get around this by deleting DejaOffice and reinstalling from the Android Market if you need). This is due to the way that Amazon handles app installs and is not unique to DejaOffice, so take note for your other apps as well!

We hope you’ll find the increased availability of DejaOffice useful, and we want to hear your feedback. We’d love for you to leave us a review in the Amazon Appstore! It helps us to constantly improve our app, as well as where we distribute it.

The Plight of the Standalone Microsoft Outlook User

These days, “the cloud” is all the buzz. The cloud, in terms of contact and calendar sync (among others), means using a service like Google, Gmail, or Windows Live (Hotmail). Just host your data in the cloud and it will magically show up on your device. Simple, right?

Not so, say the people (as they rise in mutiny).

Google started the move to store personal information in the cloud. First with email, then with calendar, and then with contacts. If you buy a new Android phone, all your email, contacts, and calendar data that is hosted in the Google cloud will magically synchronize with your phone. Oh, and this magic works with iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry too.

Microsoft joined the cloud party with their Windows Phone 7 launch. They now require people to have a Windows Live account in order to sync PC data to the device. This means Microsoft Outlook users who have maintained years of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes data on their PC now have to trust that data to the cloud. The cloud will then synchronize with Windows Phone 7.

So what’s wrong with this?

Well, for starters, we’ve already seen this movie! Palm tried the same thing with their Palm webOS launch.  They required people to have a Google account, which integrated with Palm Synergy. If you wanted to keep your PC data in sync with your webOS device, you had to first sync to your Google account in the cloud. The story for Palm didn’t end so well. (HP may beg to differ.)

While the cloud is an amazing resource that should be used, not all Outlook users can digest trusting their PC data to the cloud. Many people have security requirements in place that simply don’t allow cloud storage of their data. Others are leery of hosting their sensitive information online. Their question is simple, “I’ve used Outlook for years. Why am I now being forced to add a web-based account, and trust everything to that?”

The cloud providers will argue that you trust a lot of things to the cloud, whether you realize it or not. They’re right. Your credit card details you use for that online orders, tax returns you prepare and submit online, or the numerous online banking and bill-pay services you use – they all store data in the cloud. And we don’t even blink.

But this is different. It’s not an argument on the security of cloud storage. It’s about having options. Put simply, not everyone wants to sync their Outlook data to the cloud – and they shouldn’t have to!

The good news is that there are alternatives. You’ll need to find a tool that allows you to keep your data on your PC and sync directly to your device. There are a few ways to go about this:

1. Check if your phone’s manufacturer offers a sync solution. BlackBerry and iPhone both offer such solutions to directly sync with Outlook.  BlackBerry offers BlackBerry Desktop Software, and Apple offers iTunes. Android, on the other hand, is more fragmented (HTC has HTC Sync, Samsung offers Kies, etc).

2. If the option from the phone’s manufacturer is non-existent or insufficient for your needs, look for third-party software. Shameless plug – CompanionLink has software that can sync your Outlook contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, and categories to your mobile device. It works with all Android, iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry devices. There are a number of other options available as well, but few offer the complete sync solution that CompanionLink does. For Android, SyncDroid has a solid list of most all of the sync options available. For iPhone and iPad, you’ll most likely have to piece together a solution from a few different apps in the App Store. For BlackBerry and other devices, your options are few and far between, but a search on Google should turn up some options.

In the end, the cloud is certainly where the industry is heading. As time goes on, it will likely become as ubiquitous and secure (or even more secure) than traditional data storage options. Until that time, however, those who wish to sync their data locally still do have options!

5 Underrated Business Apps for Android

The Android Market is filled with amazing apps. From games to news and weather to sports to business apps, there’s something for everyone. On top of that, new apps are added daily, expanding the available options even further. With so many options available, the question becomes “How do I find the best Android apps?” Sure, there are plenty of top 10 lists out there, but generally speaking they all list the same apps! So how do you find great Android apps that have yet to make the popular top ten lists? Let us help with 5 handpicked underrated business apps for Android!

1. Locale ($9.99)
Download

As far as apps go, Locale is on the higher end of the price spectrum – but don’t let that deter you. This amazing little app is able to manage settings based on conditions. How exactly does this work? Quite simply, actually. You setup one or more conditions that must be met, then tell Locale what you want it to do once those conditions are met.

The value of this app really sinks in when you start exploring various setups. For example, you can program the app to set your phone to vibrate if your location matches that of your office and the time is between 8am-5pm. Or have Locale turn off WiFi and Bluetooth and dim the screen when your battery hits 30%. The options are expansive and expandable. In fact, Locale states that there are over 140 plugins available in the Market, many interacting with other 3rd party apps as well! With so many plugins available, you can set up Locale to fit your specific needs. After a few days of using Locale, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

2. 1password (Free)
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1password securely stores your private information from 1password for Mac or PC. While the app currently requires the use of 1password on the computer to be of any use, the ability to store your passwords, credit cards, and other account info on your Android device is well worth it. Plus, you can use 1password to login to websites, saving you from typing long or complex passwords on your mobile keyboard.

While this app is somewhat limited in it’s current form (you cannot add/edit information from the app), the developers have a long history of providing quality software. You can be sure that this app will continue to get better and better!

3. LinkedIn (Free)
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This is an app that may be a little too new to be considered underrated, but it’s worth mentioning all-the-same. For the longest time, the only way to access LinkedIn on Android outside the mobile browser was to use 3rd party applications. Recently, LinkedIn decided to change that. Their entry into the Android Market brings all the great features you’d expect from an official app. The interface is smooth, clean, and straightforward. Adding new connections is quick and easy. All in all, it’s a solid way to access the business-focused social network while on the go.

If there’s one area it could improve on, it would be to simply bring more of the desktop experience in to the mobile app (e.g. letting users view sent messages, etc). That said, it’s safe to expect those things will come in time. In the meantime, we recommend grabbing this app today!

4. Document Scanner ($3.98; free trial version available)
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As its name implies, Document Scanner allows you to virtually “scan” documents with your Android’s camera. With tools allowing you to correct perspective, crop the background, and enhance readability, Document Scanner is a powerful business tool. After scanning one or more pages, the app allows you to email the document off as a PDF or upload it to Google Docs or Evernote.

The concept is really quite simple, but when you are on the go, the ability to scan a receipt for expense tracking or email a copy of a signed contract to a client is incredibly convenient. That’s why we’re confident in saying this app is well worth the asking price.

5. Lookout Mobile Security (Free; premium version available for $3/month)
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Lookout Mobile Security may be the least “underrated” app we’ve mentioned. That said, we’re constantly finding people who’ve never heard of it, so it’s well worth mentioning here. Think of Lookout as the security guard for your Android phone. Lookout adds another layer of security to your phone by providing antivirus/malware functionality to the Android OS. It takes security a step further by incorporating a “Find My Phone” feature that helps locate your device if it’s ever lost or stolen. Finally, it provides peace of mind by securely backing up data from your phone.

If you have information on your Android that you’d rather other people not get into, or if you want to install new apps without having to worry about vicious malware or viruses, Lookout Mobile Security is the clear choice!

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Do you know of an Android app that deserves to be listed here? Let us know in the comments!

Be sure to check out our list of Underrated iPad Apps and Underrated iPhone Apps as well!