JUMP! needs the Cloud to jump-start new devices

People using JUMP! will need an efficient way to move personal and business data from one device to another. A cloud-based data hub like Google (currently free, ad-supported), Outlook.com (currently free, ad-supported), or DejaCloud (currently free, no ads) is the answer because they enable calendar, address book, notes, and task lists to move from one device to another with just a username.  People who are averse to hosting data in the Cloud can opt for CompanionLink’s USB software to move their data.

Why JUMP! changes everything

On July 11, 2013, T-Mobile announced a radical change to how often people can upgrade devices.  Their JUMP! upgrade program allows existing customers to swap devices two times in 12 months for the same low price that new customers receive. For example, if you own an iPhone 5 and want to switch to a Samsung Galaxy S4, JUMP! allows this for the same price (currently $99 on T-Mobile’s website) that new customers receive. Essentially, you can trade-in for a new smartphone every 6 months for about $100.

Wow, talk about a game-changing move.

This raises the bar for other wireless carriers and reinforces how people yearn to consume new mobile hardware. With the pace of new devices increasing (Moore’s law on steroids), T-Mobile is simply offering a way for people to rent their device instead of owning it for  waiting archaically long (two years) to upgrade.

Who benefits the most from JUMP!

Business professionals and consumers who want to frequently upgrade devices or use the latest-and-greatest will love JUMP!. The plan allows them to “lease” devices instead of being locked into the ownership of one device every 24 months.

T-Mobile’s offer appears to be a win-win because customers get to switch phones at a low price while T-Mobile still carries customers for a 2-year term, which resets with every phone upgrade. History points to win-win situations sticking around for a long time, and changing the game.

Disposable devices just got one step closer to reality.

Sync the BlackBerry PlayBook with Outlook

The long-awaited update to RIM’s BlackBerry tablet, dubbed the PlayBook, has arrived. PlayBook OS 2.0 brings with it a host of new features, including integrated contacts and calendar apps. As such, CompanionLink is now able to sync the PlayBook with Outlook via Google. Learn how to set up an Outlook sync via Google

Image Credit: Crackberry

While many of the features in PlayBook OS 2.0 are welcome additions, perhaps the most anticipated feature is the ability to install Android-based applications on the PlayBook.

Now, this doesn’t work with just any application – to work properly on the PlayBook, developers must first modify their app and submit it to the BlackBerry App World. So, this news begs the question: “Will we see DejaOffice on the PlayBook?”

Well, we’re in the process of looking into it. Bringing DejaOffice to the PlayBook would allow you to sync tasks and memos in addition to contacts and calendars. It would also open the doors for USB sync and WiFi sync options. Stay tuned for more news as we explore this possibility!

How to Sync Your Google Tasks with Outlook

Google Tasks can be great – they’re easy to use and tied to your existing Gmail or Google Apps account. It’s definitely convenient. Getting tasks out of Gmail or Google Apps, however, can be anything but convenient. Until now.

CompanionLink has supported syncing Google Tasks for some time, but it was limited to a single task list within Google. With our most recent update to CompanionLink 5, you are now able to sync multiple Google Task lists with Outlook and DejaOffice.

Here’s how it works.

If a task in Outlook has a category that matches a task list name in Google, then the Outlook task will sync to that list in Google. Similarly, if a task in Google has a task list name that matches a category in Outlook, then the Google task will sync to that category in Outlook.

Alternatively, if a task in Outlook does not have a category that matches a task list name in Google, then the Outlook task will sync to the default list in Google. If the opposite is true and a task in Google has a task list name that is not a category in Outlook, CompanionLink will create a matching category as part of the sync process.

Sync Google Tasks to Oulook

Google Tasks sync to Oulook with categories translated as Task Lists

Want to get started syncing your Google Tasks with Outlook today? Just download the latest build of CompanionLink 5: update | free trial

What Does Google’s New Privacy Policy Mean To You?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Google is changing their privacy policy. Some people don’t really care; others are up in arms. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

If you don’t have an answer to that, I strongly recommend you take the time to read and understand Google’s new policies. Knowing how they intend to use your data is important to your personal and professional lives. How it affects you is ultimately for you to decide.

But you should decide.

So what are Google’s new policies? In brief, they’re consolidating. Sixty privacy policies are now becoming one. One that uses simpler language and terms. One that allows Google to share data between their services, such as Gmail and Google Maps. One that goes into effect March 1, 2012. Read all the details.

For many of us, the convenience of having our data hosted and accessible anywhere is well worth agreeing to Google’s new terms. Others – largely business professionals – may not be able to afford that luxury.

Many professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, cannot allow their customers’ data to be stored in an online environment like Google’s.

Sync options like our own Direct USB or Local WiFi are perfect for these professionals. They allow access to customer data while mobile without storing it online. It’s simple, fast, and convenient.

For the rest of us currently storing our data on Google’s servers, however, knowing just what we’re agreeing to is important. So, again, ask yourself the question, “What does Google’s new privacy policy mean to me?”

Maybe it adds a new level of convenience for you. Maybe it will cause you to look for a new sync solution. Maybe it elicits an entirely different response. Either way, I think finding out for yourself is important.

How to Sync Google, Salesforce, & More with iCloud

It seems like it should just work. If you set up iCloud to sync with Outlook using Apple’s iCloud Control Panel and you’ve set up Google, Salesforce, or another CRM to sync with Outlook, it should all sync up nicely – right?

When you set up iCloud to sync with Outlook, the iCloud Control Panel creates a unique Outlook Folder, which it then uses to sync with iCloud. It will actually move items from your default Outlook Folder to this new iCloud Outlook Folder in order to facilitate the sync. This doesn’t really change how things look in Outlook, but it does change how things sync.

Many tools that sync CRM solutions such as Google and Salesforce are set to sync with only the default Outlook Folder, with no option to change this. Because iCloud is syncing with a different Outlook Folder, these two sync tools don’t work together. Fortunately, CompanionLink is different.

CompanionLink allows you to choose which Outlook Folder(s) you want to sync with. So if you want to sync Google with Outlook and iCloud, or Salesforce with Outlook and iCloud, it’s as easy as configuring CompanionLink to sync with the iCloud Outlook Folder. From there, any data synced from sources like Google or Salesforce will sync through iCloud to your iOS devices and any other PC or Mac that iCloud is configured on.

For details on configuring which Outlook Folder(s) to sync with in CompanionLink, see our Configuring Outlook support article.

Switching to Android: A Quick Start Guide

It’s no secret that Android is an increasingly popular platform. In fact, over 700,000 new Android devices are activated daily! Many of these are from people who are switching to Android from Blackberry, iOS, or webOS. If you’re on of them, then this “Quick Start Guide” is for you. It is designed to give you a quick overview of the Android platform, and then point you in the right direction for learning more! So, what are you waiting for? Read on to get started…  Continue reading

How To Sync The Kindle Fire With Google

The Kindle Fire doesn’t allow you to sync your Google Contacts and Calendar, but CompanionLink does! Here’s a quick guide on exactly how to do it:

  1. Download DejaOffice for free from the Amazon Appstore.
  2. Install CompanionLink for Google on your computer. This works with DejaOffice to sync Kindle with Google.
  3. In CompanionLink configuration, select Android as your device.
  4. Select Direct USB as your sync method.
  5. Select Google as your database from the final drop-down list.
  6. Follow the setup wizard in DejaOffice and you’ll be syncing in no time.

Note: Due to the way USB currently connects to the Kindle Fire, you’ll need to follow a specific pattern to begin the sync:

  1. Connect the USB cord to your Kindle Fire
  2. Unmount the SD card via the Notification Tray on the Kindle Fire
  3. Open DejaOffice
  4. Tap Sync

That’s it! So, whether you are the proud owner of a Kindle Fire today or are hoping to get one soon, rest assured that we’ve got you covered when it comes to syncing your data!

CompanionLink for Google comes with a free 14-day trial. When you’re ready to buy, use the affinity code SYNCKINDLE and you’ll pay just $39.95. If you already own CompanionLink 5 for Google, just make sure you have the latest version by checking our updates page.

Sony Shutting Down The Sony Ericsson Sync Service

Image Credit: WikipediaSony recently announced that it is shutting down its in-house Sony Ericsson sync service at the end of the year. In their announcement, they suggest exporting your contacts and importing them into Google for future use. Google works with all Android devices, which is where Sony devices seem to be headed.

While this option should work well for some users, we recognize that not all of Sony’s customers will want to store their data on Google’s servers. For those people, CompanionLink has another option.

CompanionLink is able to sync contacts, calendars, tasks, and memos to your Sony device. We support popular contact managers like Microsoft Outlook, Palm Desktop, Lotus Notes, and many others.  And we offer a variety of sync methods, as well as our free Android app, DejaOffice, for managing your data on the go. CompanionLink also offers free phone support. If you ever get stuck with your sync, just give us a call – we’re here to help!

The latest version of CompanionLink currently supports all Sony phones and tablets running the Android OS, and we intend to continue supporting new Android-based Sony devices as they are released. Should you ever upgrade to a new phone that doesn’t happen to be a Sony, rest assured your data will come with you. We sync with Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and more.

If you’d like to try CompanionLink as an alternative to Google Sync, head over to www.companionlink.com/android and download a 14-day free trial!

Resolving A Google Calendar Error [Tech Tip]

Some users have reported seeing the following error message display in CompanionLink when attempting to sync with Google:

“Unable to access Google Calendar. Please create a record in Google Calendar first, then try again.”

If you are seeing this message, and have already created at least one event in your Google Calendar, please do the following to resolve the issue:

For Google hosted domain users:

1. Visit the following webpage in your browser:
https://www.google.com/a/<your domain name>/UnlockCaptcha

2. Enter your Google username and password (the same as the email and password you entered in CompanionLink), then solve the captcha and unlock.

3. Reattempt a sync.

For non-hosted domain users:

1. Visit the following webpage in your browser:
https://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha

2. Enter your Google email address and password (the same as the email and password you entered in CompanionLink), then solve the captcha and unlock.

3. Reattempt a sync.

Which Sync Method Is Best?

This post will help you understand the differences between the four sync methods that CompanionLink offers you: Direct USB Sync, Local WiFi Sync, Secure Hosted Wireless Sync, and Sync via Google. Below, I’ll explain each one to help you find the best sync method for your setup.

Direct USB Sync

This method synchronizes your data via USB cable. It’s the plain “old-fashioned” method that HotSync provided in the old days. Data is directly transferred to and from your device without the need of any cloud or hosted services. USB sync is recommended if:

  • you require a high level of security
  • you are averse to hosting your data in the cloud
  • you do not need your data synchronized continuously throughout the day

Simply dock your phone to your PC and sync.

Works with: Android, BlackBerry, and webOS devices

Pros:

  • Secure and direct transfer
  • Data is stored locally
  • HIPAA friendly

Cons:

  • Must be connected to PC
  • Not a direct sync for iOS devices*

*Syncs via Outlook/iTunes

Local WiFi Sync

This method uses your local WiFi network to securely sync information from your PC directly to DejaOffice on your device. Both your PC and device must be connected to the same WiFi internet connection. Local WiFi Sync will then detect when you are within range of your local WiFi network and sync in the background, hands-free!* WiFi Sync is your best choice if:

  • you want a quick, wireless options for syncing data
  • you are in and out of the office or house all day
  • you regularly update your data throughout the day

Set it up once, then enjoy the convenience of a wireless sync.

Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices

Pros:

  • Wireless sync – no cords!
  • Optional automatic sync*
  • AES-256bit encryption for security

Cons:

  • Range is limited to your local WiFi connection
  • Not available on BlackBerry, webOS, or Windows Phone

*Automatic sync is currently Android-only. iOS users must initiate the sync on the PC.

Secure Hosted Sync

Secure Hosted Sync is our most robust and reliable sync option. CompanionLink will sync your data securely to your device using AES-256 bit encryption. Most importantly, we do not host your data, meaning users who are concerned about security and hosting data online now have a convenient wireless sync option, all for just $9.95 per month! Secure Hosted Sync is recommended if:

  • you need a fast, secure, hands-free sync
  • you do not want your data hosted by a third party (such as Google)
  • you want the convenience of a wireless sync with the security of a wired sync

Secure Hosted Sync works in conjunction with our free Android and iOS app, DejaOffice (or DejaLink for BlackBerry users).

Works with: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and BlackBerry devices

Pros:

  • Secure wireless sync
  • Works anywhere you have internet
  • We do not host your data
  • Automatic, real-time sync*

Cons:

  • Monthly fee
  • Not available on webOS or Windows Phone

*Currently Android-only. Coming soon on iOS, as well as for Zoho and SugarCRM.

Sync via Google

Sync via Google allows you to sync contacts, calendar and tasks from your PC to any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account. Once your PC data has been synced to a Google account, Google provides wireless sync with most smartphone and tablet platforms. Sync via Google is best if:

  • you are looking for a free wireless sync option
  • you already rely heavily on Google for other services
  • you want hosted access to your data online
  • you have basic contact & calendar databases*

For more information on how to sync your device with your Google account, visit google.com/sync.

Works with: Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and webOS devices

Pros:

  • Free wireless sync
  • Creates an online backup of your data
  • Sync your Google account to multiple devices

Cons:

  • Data is hosted by a 3rd party
  • Google controls the sync process to your device
  • Data is limited to basic contacts & calendars

*Google imposes certain limitations on the type of data we can sync. As such, we do not recommend Sync via Google for those with more complex databases.