webOS Lives On At CompanionLink [Updated]

Image Credit: HP

Update: USB sync is now live for all webOS devices! Read about it here.

The past week has been a bit of a roller coaster for webOS fans. We feel you – in fact, we’re right there with you. CompanionLink has worked with webOS since long before it was ever webOS. Back in 1997, CompanionLink was in the room at Palm’s first developer conference. Since then, we’ve worked closely with Palm, Palm OS, and webOS. Our software has allowed people to get their PIM and CRM information to Palm devices for years.

With the advent of webOS 2.x, we ran into a hurdle – as did many developers. The communication lines with the webOS team became blurred.  First, it was the HP acquisition. Then, the bombshell announcement by HP last week.

While CompanionLink was able to provide syncing options via Google, we could not find a way to connect via USB as we had in the past. I’m happy to announce that we plan to bring USB sync to webOS 2.x and 3.x in the coming weeks. This is a tribute to those people who have hung on to their webOS devices through thick and thin. It’s a shout out to those bloggers who have spent more than two years evangelizing the webOS platform.

We’ve had a long history with the Palm platform. While the future of webOS may be filled with uncertainty, there is one thing you can count on: we will continue to support webOS for as long as we are able!

Look for an update on USB sync for webOS 2.x and 3.x in the coming weeks!

 

CompanionLink 4048, DejaOffice 1.12 (beta) for Android, and Time Zones

Image Credit: GigaOm

It’s been a busy week at CompanionLink! We have two new updates available today: CompanionLink 4048 and DejaOffice 1.12 (beta) for Android. They both bring a number of new features, bug fixes, and improvements, but the biggest new feature is time zone support. More on that in a minute.

CompanionLink 4048 addresses a number of bugs and offers some overall improvements, especially for Salesforce and Goldmine users. Build 4048 also adds improved support for syncing across time zones – a feature we’ve added to the latest Android beta of DejaOffice. Take a look at the full release notes at the end of this post to learn more about all the changes in build 4048.

DejaOffice 1.12 (beta) for Android is a significant update. We’ve improved quite a few features and fixed a number of bugs. Of course, as mentioned above, the feature we’re most excited to share with you today is time zone support. DejaOffice now offers you a choice in how to handle your events when changing time zones. Once you enter a new time zone, you’ll be asked if you’d like your events to shift. You can choose one of three options: “Not Decided,” “No,” and “Yes.”

Not Decided asks when changing time zones if you want event times to shift. This is the default behavior. You’ll have the option to select “Yes” or “No” each time you enter a new time zone. Alternatively, you can tell DejaOffice to always select one option.

Selecting “No” ignores the time zone at your current location. This prevents event display times from shifting when you travel to a different time zone. With this setting, an event set for 1pm Pacific Time will show up as 1pm when you enter Eastern Time.

Choosing “Yes” has the opposite effect. It adjusts the event display times using the time zone at your current location. This means an event set for 1pm Pacific Time will display as 4pm when you enter Eastern Time.

You can find these options under Settings > General Settings within DejaOffice. If you’d like to try out this new feature, as well as take advantage of the numerous other improvements we’ve made, download the latest Android beta here.

Read on for the release notes… Continue reading

CompanionLink Build 4047 Now Available

Today we released CompanionLink Build 4047. The most notable change comes in the form of a fix surrounding syncing with Google Tasks.

Build 4047 has fixed an issue where some users who sync Tasks to Google Tasks would see a “503 Daily limit exceeded” error. This error was caused by a daily request limit imposed by Google on their Tasks API. We’ve been able to increase this request limit, so users should not encounter this error again.

The full release notes for CompanionLink Build 4047 are included below and you can download the update now by visiting http://www.companionlink.com/downloads/updates.html.

 

CompanionLink 4047 Release Notes:
* Fixed issue where Google would sometimes throw a “503 Daily limit exceeded” error. This error was caused by a daily request limit imposed by Google on their Tasks API.
* Fixed issue syncing Salesforce contacts with Android via USB.
* Made stability improvements for Android WiFi sync.
* Fixed issue where Outlook BCM communication histories could sync with an incorrect date.
* Made stability improvements for sync with Zoho.
* Fixed issue syncing Franklin-style task priorities from Android to PC.
* Fixed issue syncing recurring events with Google using Alaska time zone.
* Fixed issue where cleared recurring events in Outlook could sometimes sync as active.

CompanionLink Ranks Among The Fastest-Growing Companies In Portland

Over 800 people gathered last Thursday for the Portland Business Journal’s 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies event, held at the Portland Art Museum. We were thrilled to be among them, knowing that CompanionLink had made the list, somewhere among the top 100 companies.

As the Portland Business Journal counted down from 100, we waited with anticipation to see where we ranked. As we listened for our name, more and more companies were recognized for their stellar year over year growth. The announcer finally arrived at CompanionLink Software – the 18th fastest-growing private company in Portland!

We are very grateful to have achieved this status, and we couldn’t have done it without you – our customers. Thank you for your support!

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!

 

Take Two: The HTC Sensation & The Samsung Exhibit 4G

Image Credit: BGR and PocketNow

Today I wanted to talk about two upcoming Android phones: the HTC Sensation and Samsung Exhibit 4G. They are two very different phones and at CompanionLink we’re excited to see them released to two very different reasons.

The HTC Sensation looks like it will be just that – a sensation. With 4G speeds, the latest version of HTC Sense, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 4.3” display, 8-mexapixel HD camera, and more, the Sensation is poised to be one of the top Android phones releasing this summer. And at $199 it is priced to compete. We have yet to try one out ourselves, but from everything we’ve seen this will be the phone to get for those looking for a powerful Android experience. Look for it in Walmart stores June 12th and T-Mobile locations by June 15th.

That said, not everyone wants to spend $199 on a new phone. That’s where Samsung Exhibit 4G comes in. Providing a solid Android experience atop a 1Ghz processor handset, the Exhibit 4G should prove to be a popular phone among those looking for an entry-level smartphone. While it may not be the most powerful Android phone available, it packs plenty of features to satisfy the casual user’s needs. And at just $79, it’s priced to move. T-Mobile has yet to provide a set release date, but has promised we will see the Exhibit 4G this June.

Whether you’re looking for the latest, powerful Android handset or are hunting for a feature-rich phone at a great price, you’re sure to find something you’ll love soon. And, of course, with DejaOffice and CompanionLink you’ll be as productive as ever on your new phone!

Once released, we’ll be testing these phones to ensure they work as expected with DejaOffice and CompanionLink, but at this point we don’t foresee any issues.

Sync Outlook and Google 5x Faster Than Before


We are happy to announce a new feature that enables a substantial speed increase when syncing with Outlook or Google. We call this feature “Optimized Update Sync” and we think you’re going to love it!

Optimized Update Sync (OUS) is now available in CompanionLink build 4044. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, head over to the downloads page to do so now! Our tests have shown sync speed increases of 5x on average. Some sync configurations even synced as much as 18x faster! Take a look at a sample of our tests below:

Reading this chart is fairly simple. “OLx32 Google 5000 50 Off” looks confusing at first, but it means we tested Outlook 32-bit syncing to Google with a database of 5000 contacts that had 50 changes and Optimized Update Sync Off. In a nutshell, the top bar of each group shows the sync with OUS off, while to bottom bar of each group shows the sync with it on. You can see the difference it makes!

A few notes for those of you excited to try out OUS:

  • – OUS is currently implemented for Outlook and/or Google. Expect it to be implemented for other platforms in the near future.
  • – OUS can be enabled/disabled via the Options menu. It is enabled by default.
  • – OUS does not affect initial syncs, P&Rs or rereads.

Full release notes after the break: Continue reading

Zoho vs. Salesforce – A Quick Guide on How to Decide

If you’ve been searching for an online CRM solution, there’s no doubt you’ve come across both Zoho and Salesforce. Initially, they are hard to compare – the pricing is vastly different and neither of them offer any sort of comparison chart. After some research, however, you’ll begin to notice some clear similarities and differences.

As far as the basic components of CRM are concerned, both Zoho and Salesforce offer what any user will need. Accounts, contacts, campaigns, Outlook and Office integration, collaboration tools, etc. are found in both services. And, of course, CompanionLink works great with either Zoho or Salesforce! So how do you decide which is right for you? Let us help by highlighting the unique benefits each service offers.

Zoho: Affordable, Quick, Easy

The most obvious benefit Zoho has to offer is its pricing. At $12 or $25 per user per month, it’s $100 less than Salesforce’s most popular offering. Zoho even offers a free version for users who need a very simple CRM solution.

Of course, price isn’t the only benefit Zoho offers. Zoho is designed to be quick and easy, allowing even the smallest businesses to jump in and get started right away. Zoho also offers integration with their complete suite of Zoho Apps, providing access to chat, docs, invoicing, projects, meetings, and much more.

In the end, you’ll want to look into Zoho if you’re a small to medium business looking for a full-featured, yet affordable CRM solution.

Salesforce: Powerful, Customizable, Expandable

Salesforce generally gets accused of being more expensive than Zoho or other CRM options. With its most popular edition going for $125 per user per month, this may seem to be the case. However, Salesforce accounts start at just $5 per user per month for their more basic CRM solution.

That said, most users generally opt for one of the higher priced plans. The question then becomes, “What do I get for my money?” In addition to all the benefits you’d expect from a CRM service, Salesforce offers the ability to customize your experience via custom apps and websites, a developer sandbox, and integration via a web services API. All that may sound a bit technical, but it essentially means that, with a little technical know-how, you can make Salesforce do exactly what you need it to do for your specific setup. To make customization even easier, Salesforce hosts a cloud-computing marketplace called AppExchange where you can find over 1,000 different apps that will help make Salesforce work for your setup!

Generally speaking, if you’re a medium to large business with custom CRM needs, Salesforce is a great option.

Hopefully this has helped narrow your search. In our experience, there isn’t a bad choice here.

Is CompanionLink Part of the Google Tax?

Img Credit: The Globe And Mail

Does Google Apps come with “hidden fees?” That’s what Tom Rizzo of Microsoft indicates in a recent blog post about the hidden costs of Google Apps. In fact, he refers to the extra costs as the “Google Tax” – the costs one would incur if they started using Google Apps to manage email, contacts, calendar, tasks, desktop publishing, and document management.

It’s no secret that many people are searching for a replacement for Microsoft Office. What’s most interesting, perhaps, is that they aren’t actually switching. In fact, Microsoft’s findings show that 9 out of 10 people use Google Apps in conjunction with Microsoft Office; not as a replacement for Microsoft Office. The “Google Tax,” however, still applies. Microsoft mentions CompanionLink as an example of a third-party application that is required if two-way synchronization between Outlook and Google Apps is desired. CompanionLink is part of the Google tax, claims Microsoft in a white paper they published.

Under the scenario where Google Apps is used in conjunction with Microsoft Office, CompanionLink is, in fact, a key component of the Google Apps ecosystem. CompanionLink allows people to keep their Microsoft Outlook contacts and calendar in sync with Google Apps. In fact, CompanionLink supports any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account – paid or free.

Arguably, people using paid Google Apps services don’t need to use CompanionLink. Google offers a tool called Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook as part of any paid edition of Google Apps. If you’re on a free edition of Google Apps or using a free Google or Gmail account, you don’t have this option and need to look at 3rd party software like CompanionLink.

Even with Google’s tools, however, paying customers are offered forum-based support only. To some degree, this makes sense – they are a cloud-based company, after all. Phone or email support may not fit the cloud model.

This is where CompanionLink really shines.

In addition to numerous advance features, CompanionLink provides both email and US-based phone support. CompanionLink guarantees the synchronization between Google and Microsoft Outlook works on day one and day 365.

So, is CompanionLink a part of a “Google Tax?” Maybe. But we feel strongly that the ability to pick up the phone and talk to someone is, on its own, well worth the cost of admission (which, by the way, is a one-time license fee of $49.95).

New CompanionLink Review and Giveaway by Windows Guides

The team over at Windows Guides has posted a review of CompanionLink 4. The review highlights the some of the changes and benefits that CompanionLink 4 introduced, including the new interface and auto-sync. In addition to the review, Windows Guides is running a giveaway where 3 winners will get a copy of CompanionLink Professional with our RunStart installation service completely free!

Read the full Windows Guides review here and be sure to check out the giveaway here too. You can download a 14-day free trial of CompanionLink for Outlook or CompanionLink Professional at www.companionlink.com/outlook.