How Will You Sync the iPhone 5?

Most of the tech news today is focused on Apple’s announcement of the new iPhone 5. The new device is stunning and we’re just as excited as you to get our hands on one. As we have with each new iPhone release, CompanionLink is fully committed to supporting sync with the iPhone 5 as soon as it’s available. What exactly does that mean?


DejaOffice – A Complete CRM for iPhone 5

DejaOffice is a business-friendly CRM app for the new iPhone 5 that includes contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, and expense capabilities. Why use DejaOffice instead of the native iPhone 5 apps? It’s simple: DejaOffice was built to support advanced CRMs like Sage ACT!, Lotus Notes, Salesforce.com, and Outlook Business Contact Manager (just to name a few).

  • DejaOffice supports color-coded categories. Many CRM systems use color categorization to keep data organized. CompanionLink supports the syncing of categories and their respective colors to DejaOffice on the iPhone 5, allowing you to filter and sort your records by category.DJOI - Categories
  • DejaOffice keeps your private data safe and secure – password protect sensitive records in your database. Records can be masked with asterisks ******** or hidden completely.DJOI - Private Records
  • Link contacts with calendar events, tasks, notes, and expenses like a true CRM. Linked records sync back to your CRM with the link intact.DJOI - Linked Records
  • DejaOffice allows your data to sync with the native Apple contacts and calendar, so features like caller ID and calendar alarms still work fine.

We’re currently working on adapting DejaOffice to the larger screen on the iPhone 5. We’ll be ready for launch day!


CompanionLink is iCloud-friendly

iCloud has been a success for Apple ever since it launched not too long ago. This is great if you work from a Mac, but what if your business data is in a CRM like ACT! or Palm Desktop?

CompanionLink can sync your PIM or CRM data to the iCloud folders in Microsoft Outlook. This means that your data will automatically sync with the iCloud service and your new iPhone 5, allowing you to access your business data while benefiting from the convenience of iCloud.

iCloud is great as long as you stay within Apple’s ecosystem, but what if you want to venture out and pick up an Android tablet or Kindle Fire? CompanionLink is currently working on our own cross-platform cloud service call DejaCloud. When it becomes available, DejaCloud will allow you to keep your PC, iPhone 5, and Android devices all seamlessly in sync. We expect DejaCloud to become available for iPhone 5 this winter!


The Best Fit for your CRM

CompanionLink can sync iPhone 5 with a wide variety of PIM and CRM databases. DejaOffice preserves your CRM data, and makes it easily accessible, even when offline. Why choose CompanionLink and DejaOffice for your CRM?

iPhone 5 with Sage ACT!
-No record limits
-Activities can be completed on the phone
-Supports proper international dialing formats
-Categories are set based on ID/Status or any other ACT! field
-Contact links to activities are preserved

iPhone 5 with Outlook Business Contact Manager
-Select which BCM folders you wish to sync with
-Syncs contact links from calendar events and tasks
-Supports Outlook category colors on the phone

iPhone 5 with Lotus Notes
-Syncs all Lotus Notes data, including custom recurring types
-Supports Lotus Notes categories
-No Domino server required

CompanionLink works with many other CRM databases in addition to the ones mentioned above. CompanionLink starts at $14.95 and comes with free email and phone support. To purchase CompanionLink, download a free trial, or for more information, please visit:
www.companionlink.com/iphone/

Introducing DejaOffice 1.3 for iOS

The first thing you’ll notice when you open the latest update of DejaOffice for iOS is the crisp new graphics. We’ve refreshed the entire app with Retina graphics, perfect for those with the iPhone 4/4S and the new iPad. Beneath the fresh look, though, there’s even more…

Contact Photos

We’ve added the ability to sync pictures to DejaContacts. Now you’ll always be able to attach a face to the name of your next meeting. Due to the way the iPhone handles USB sync, this feature is only available when syncing via WiFi.

Category Enhancements

We’ve redesigned the categories app to make it faster and more reliable. Category colors will now sync from your computer to DejaOffice. If blue equals “Sales” on your PC, it will equal “Sales” in DejaOffice. A small improvement that makes a big difference!

A Better iPad Workflow

The process of adding or editing data has been streamlined.  We’ve made use of popovers to allow you to quickly and easily edit categories, times, dates, priorities, contact links, and more. This adds up to a more efficient workflow for you. And who doesn’t want that?

Overall Performance Improvements

Buttons are easier to tap, data loads faster, you can swipe between records from the details view, and the search function has been improved. Not only that, we’ve squashed a number of pesky bugs. Check out the full release notes for a list of what’s been fixed.

DejaOffice for iOS gets better with each new release and we’re excited for you to download this latest version! It’s free, and in the App Store today. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Full Release Notes:
+ all new and updated graphics for Retina displays on iPhone 4/S and new iPad
+ added contacts pictures to DejaContacts (currently only syncs via Wi-Fi)
+ completely redesigned categories app
+ categories now sync from PC to DejaOffice with matching colors
+ enhanced button feedback throughout DejaOffice
+ refreshed list views – load faster and more efficient, especially for large databases
+ completely redesigned search, no longer tries to search until you hit “search”
+ added Sort By Category to DejaTasks
+ add new context menu for DejaToday settings
+ added swiping between records from view/details view
+ all new logging with send database option to help with troubleshooting
+ DejaOffice now opens in landscape view correctly on first run
-fixed an issue where DejaOffice would crash on some screens in non-English localizations
+ fixed an issue where some calendar events prior to 2000 did not sync
+ fixed an issue where weekly recurring events from/to native didn’t sync with DJO
+ fixed an issue where recurring end dates were not synchronized to/from native
+ fixed an issue where tasks sync one day off in some time zones
+ fixed an issue where syncing an ampersand or tab character did not work via Wi-Fi or CLSH
+ fixed an issue where hyperlinks go away when tapping on white space
+ fixed issues syncing Other address between native Apple contacts and DejaContacts
+ fixed an issue where the Office field did not sync
+ fixed an issue where syncing yearly recurring event to native would crash
+ fixed an issue where the SMS button did not work

What is DejaOffice?

If you’re new to CompanionLink, you’ve probably noticed several references to DejaOffice by now. In fact, you may be wondering what exactly DejaOffice is.  Well, I’m glad you asked.

In short, DejaOffice is our free Android and iOS app that helps you get the most out of your data when syncing with CompanionLink! But it’s actually a lot more than that. Instead of reading through a long post describing the app, however, why not sit back and discover DejaOffice in just 90 seconds:

DejaOffice Is Ready For iOS 5

Image Credit: Engadget

Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 5, will be released any time now. With a host of great new features, including improved notifications, wireless sync, and iCloud, many users will understandably be eager to update. However, some users may hesitate, waiting to ensure their most-used apps are iOS 5 compatible.

Today, I’m happy to report that DejaOffice 1.2.5 and above is iOS 5 ready!

We’ve been testing our app on the beta builds for some time now and have not seen any issues when using DejaOffice on iOS 5. So, just ensure you’re running the latest version of DejaOffice by checking for any updates in the App Store, then go enjoy the new features in iOS 5! We’re loving the new notification system – what about you?

DejaOffice for iOS Receives Major Update

Don’t let the version number fool you – DejaOffice 1.2.6 for iOS is a major update. While you won’t notice too many cosmetic changes (yet), we’ve done quite a bit of work under the hood.

The biggest focus of this update has been DejaCalendar. We’ve completely rewritten the calendar to improve stability and sync reliability. Right away, you’ll notice a much smoother experience when using the app. This is just the beginning for us, however. We have exciting plans for DejaOffice!

Continue reading

Password-Protected Data Now Available On iOS

DejaOffice 1.2.4 should be arriving in the App Store as you read this post. This update contains a number of new features, improvements, and bug fixes. The full release notes are included below, but I wanted to highlight one feature that I’m sure many of you will appreciate: Password-protected data.

This feature allows you to secure sensitive data on your device by either hiding or masking your private contacts, tasks, and memos. Private records require a password to view or edit, keeping your data secure.

Configuring private records is simple. To mark a contact, task, or memo as private, simply tick the checkbox labeled “private” when editing or creating it. Before you notice any change, you’ll need to adjust the settings for private records. Go to the “Settings” menu in DejaOffice and select “Private Records.” There you can choose to Show Private (always show private records), Mask Records (replace text with ***), or Hide Records (completely hide private records from view). You’ll also find settings for syncing private records, privacy timeouts, and passwords.

I should note that if you choose to “Hide Records” you will need to select the “DejaContacts” (or DejaTasks or DejaMemos) menu and choose “Show Private”. This will prompt you to enter your password to reveal your hidden records.

Of course, Private Records are just one of the many updates we’ve made in DejaOffice 1.2.4 – see the list of changes below, then head over to the App Store to download your update today!

DejaOffice v1.2.4:
– added Private field to Contacts, Tasks, Memos
– added options to Show/Hide/Mask private records
– added option to password protect private records
– improved UI for DejaTasks and DejaMemos
– improved context menu UI for Contacts/Tasks/Memos
– adding linked contacts in DejaTasks now reads DejaContacts vs. Apple’s contacts
– added Project field to DejaTasks
– added DejaContacts links to DejaToday (tasks only)
– fixed an issue where user edited custom field labels did not show in DejaContacts
– fixes an issue where deletions may not sync between Apple contacts and DejaContacts
– fixes an issue where contacts purged from CL do not appear to purge until reopening DJO
– fixes an issue where DejaToday did not show tasks due today
– fixed an issue where the Release Notes app would open each time DJO was opened

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 1.2.2 for iOS Now Available

DejaOffice 1.2.2 is now available from the iTunes App Store! We’ve added and improved a number of things, but the two biggest features we’d like to talk about are a separate contact database and “group by” options.

Our Own Contacts Database

We’ve created a separate Contacts database for DejaContacts. Previously, we used native iPhone Address Book to store our data. While this is convenient, it affected usability because we were forced to render our data only as fast as the iPhone Address Book allowed us to.

No more! With our own database, we can optimize speeds to best suit our app and it’s purpose – accessing thousands of business records instantly.

Please note: It is very important that you run the Import Contacts function if you’ve previously synced DejaOffice via CompanionLink. If you skip this step, you could potentially duplicate or delete all of your contacts data!

If you’d like to take advantage of features that the native address book offers (such as caller ID), you will still be able to sync DejaContacts with the native Address Book.

New “Grouping “ Feature

A powerful new grouping feature allows you to organize data in more ways. In our last email we showed you how categories are a highly efficient way to organize data. But what do you do for more granular control?

That’s where grouping comes in.

DejaOffice can sort your contacts by company, category, city, or city and zip code. For example, picture this scenario: you’re traveling to Atlanta and, while on the plane, you use DejaOffice to bring up a list of all your contacts that live there. You can now easily browse through this list and catch up with nearby clients or old friends.

We’re really excited about these new features and think you’re going to love them too! In fact, we’d love to hear how you will be using the new grouping feature.

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 the iPhone

Recently, we posted “5 Underrated Business Apps for the iPad” Today, we’re doing the same for the iPhone!

Since the opening of the iTunes App Store, great iPhone apps have flooded market. With tens of thousands of apps available to download, finding the best ones has become a bit of a chore. There are site and blogs that try to help by highlighting the best of the best – apps like Evernote, Dropbox, and Bump, for example. The problem is, the list is almost always the same! So, how do you find the great apps that aren’t featured on the top 10 lists, but are still worthy of a spot on your iPhone’s home screen? Let us help, with 5 handpicked underrated iPhone apps for business productivity.

1.  CardMunch (Free)
Download

How many times have you collected a stack of business cards at a networking event or conference, only to lose them in a desk drawer without ever entering them into your phone? If you’re like me, too many times! It has become somewhat of a chore to enter all the details from a card into your phone. That changes with CardMunch!

CardMunch allows you to take a photo of a business card, then submit it to their servers where it is transcribed by real people and sent back to your phone, ready to add to your address book. The whole process takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes and definitely beats adding them all in manually. CardMunch even has a 1-tap follow-up feature that sends an email to your new contact with your info attached. Staying in touch couldn’t be easier! And since LinkedIn recently purchased CardMunch, it’s 100% free to use. So go download CardMunch and get all those business cards converted today!

2. RedLaser (Free)
Download

RedLaser is arguably the most accurate barcode & QR code reader available for mobile devices. This free iPhone application allows you to quickly do a number of things. The most obvious use is to scan an item’s barcode to get more information, pricing, and availability. This proves especially useful when shopping for high-priced items, as you can easily learn if it’s available elsewhere for less. Another great use is to scan multiple items in succession, then email the results off to yourself or someone else. This is a great way to remember what items you looked at while at the store and an amazingly easy way to send off a shopping list to whoever does the purchasing in your company.

RedLaser can also scan QR codes. As these becoming increasingly popular, the ability to quickly and accurately scan these codes on your phone becomes very important. With RedLaser, doing just that is incredibly simple. Put simply, this is an app that everybody should have on their iPhone!

3. JotNot Scanner Pro ($0.99)
Download

JotNot Scanner Pro turns your iPhone into a scanner. Simply snap one or more photos of a document and let the app process it into an easy to read PDF, which you can share via email, print via AirPrint, or save to Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs, and more. For a little extra ($0.99 for 5) you can even send your scanned document via fax! The genius behind JotNot Scanner Pro is that you don’t have to carefully line up the photo. You can simply snap a quick shot at an angle, and then use the app to put it in the right perspective. It’s really something you need to see to understand how well it works!

The only thing that would make JotNot Scanner Pro better is some sort of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) so that we could edit documents after scanning them. Still, when you need to digitize a document quickly, JotNot Scanner Pro is a great way to go!

4. TeuxDeux ($2.99)
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TeuxDeux is beautiful in its simplicity. With a highly minimalistic interface, this app lets you keep track of your todo list. For those of us who don’t need tags, categories, and other advanced features, TeuxDeux is perfect. The iPhone app syncs up with its free web-based counterpart, allowing you to access your todo list just about anywhere. Additionally, you are able to access multiple accounts from the app – perfect for those who want to keep their work and play lists separate!

TeuxDeux’s minimal approach goes beyond the visual design. Moving tasks is as easy as a drag-and-drop, and completing them is as simple as a tap. If you didn’t get around to a task that was due today, it will automatically be moved forward, reminding you each day until you complete it. Since TeuxDeux’s web interface is free, you can try its approach to task management before you buy the iPhone app. Unless you require the advanced features other task managers offer, I’m quite confident you’ll find TeuxDeux’s simplicity and design a refreshing change of pace!

5. Localscope ($1.99)
Download

Localscope is the easiest way to find out what’s around you. With Localscope, you can quickly learn about what’s around you, find businesses, hear what people are saying nearby on Twitter, and more. Search Google, Bing, Foursquare, Twitter, and Wikimapia, all from one app. Localscope does all this in a beautiful and innovative way.

Imagine you are at a conference. With Localscope, you can search nearby Tweets to see what people are saying, look up nearby coffee shops on Foursquare to find a great place to meet with new connections, or find a great steakhouse for dinner on Google. At the end of the day, Localscope does not do anything another app couldn’t do. What it does do, however, is offer a refined interface to search locally faster and easier than ever before. That functionality is well worth the $1.99 asking price.

 

If there’s an app that you think deserves to be on this list, let us know in the comments! And be sure to tune in next week for 5 Underrated Business Apps for Android.