Palm OS Lives On Android

What do you miss the most about Palm OS?

The date picker?
Password protection for Memos, Tasks and Contacts?
Categories that worked across all your data?
Memos that you can attach to Contacts, Calendar and Tasks?
Custom fields for your Contacts?
Handwriting recognition?
Simple, monochrome display?  (We need to have a chat if you pick this!)

The first five on the list were things that we at CompanionLink absolutely could not do without. Chances are, as a business user those five factor somewhere into your list too.

The first Android G1 device that landed in 2009 was an experiment to whet the appetites of the Internet-connected masses. That phone, and the flurry to follow it, were social devices aimed at the consumer – a volley from Google to Apple in response to the revolutionary iPhone. But what about business professionals accustomed to the productivity of Palm OS?  Business users were making do with these new, non-business toys. They were great at handling games, music, video, pictures, and social media. What they didn’t care too much about was productivity akin to Palm OS.

We created DejaOffice for this very reason. We wanted to harness the power of these new, non-business devices and channel it into real mobile productivity. Palm OS productivity, more specifically. We’ve done just that. Look at the list at the beginning of this post again. The first five items were integral parts of many Palm OS users’ workflows. DejaOffice brings these items back to life on Android devices. By doing this, we are extending productivity tools you need to get work done on the go!

Android’s Popularity Continues To Rise

Android, as a platform, has seen growing popularity since its inception. Before Android, Apple had a tight grip on the changing smartphone market. They were one of the first, and certainly the most influential, to transform the smartphone into what it is today. But, as we all know, Apple’s OS only works on Apple devices. That’s where Google stepped in. They created an open source OS that existing phone manufacturers could use. The use of Android as an OS spread rapidly, catching up with Apple’s market share in little time.

Today, that popularity continues to rise. A recent survey by Market Force shows that 34% of those surveyed would like to buy an Android phone, while only 21% indicated they wanted an iPhone. This is no surprise to us – we can see a similar trend among our customers.

Why is this?

Arguably, one of the reasons is that Android runs on more devices. But I think there’s more to it than that. Android is an open platform that’s designed to allow users great customization and flexibility. People like to own their experiences. The Android platform allows them to do just that. With it, you can make your phone as fun, simple, extravagant, or productive as you like! The very same device can be a portable arcade as easily as it can be a mobile productivity hub.

Now, obviously this is just one survey. New Android phones will continue to be released, and Apple is likely a few months away from releasing the iPhone 5 and iOS 5. How this will affect people’s buying decisions remains to be seen. For now, it’s safe to say that Android phones aren’t going to go away any time soon!

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!

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!

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!