New Outlook app is great for email, but not the full “Outlook” experience yet

This is a live document and we will update as we learn more about the new Outlook app.

Summary; TLDR

  • Hit: supports popular cloud email services and file storage
  • Hit: beautiful email UI for email, customizable swipe settings
  • Hit: intelligent “snooze” feature on email
  • Miss: does not support all business IMAP accounts like desktop Outlook does
    • February 16 app update adds support for generic IMAP accounts
  • Miss: no support for Outlook Contacts, Tasks, Notes
  • Miss: no Category support for PIM organization
  • Miss: major security hole by storing email credentials and data in a temporary server

The new Outlook app, a fruition of Microsoft’s acquisition of Acompli, brings renewed hope for Outlook users. The fresh UI and robust compatibility with the popular email services rightfully warrants the 4-star review Microsoft is currently earning. Contrast that to the 2.5-star showing of Microsoft’s prior horse in the race, the app regrettably known as OWA for iPhone.

However, the “Outlook” portion of the name of the app is a bit over-reaching. There are two main reasons for this.

  1. Outlook on the desktop does email, contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, and categories.  The Outlook app does email and calendar. Perhaps the rest is coming in short order.
  2. Outlook on the desktop allows you set up any IMAP or POP account. The Outlook app only allows EAS, Outlook.com, Google, Yahoo, and iCloud accounts. The rest of the business world that uses a private email provider with their desktop Outlook isn’t invited to the dance hosted by the new Outlook app. (Update 2/2015: an app update now allows you to add generic IMAP email accounts.)

no-imap2

outlook-no-imap

Hits

Email never felt this good. Acompli’s reputation prior to their acquisition was for a sexy email client that could blend all of your popular emails services into one app. Multi-account support works beautifully, and their Focused vs. All filters to put an emphasis on email productivity by showing important email and hiding newsletters and other repetitive communications for later viewing. Also, the ability to swipe to Schedule an email to reappear in the Inbox in a few hours or a time of your choosing lets you quickly consolidate your morning inbox so you address only important emails. A very nifty feature!

Misses

Security is the big hole for the Outlook app, as discovered by Rene Winkelmeyer. The hole has always existed when the code base was owned by Acompli. The ire is that people expected Microsoft to fix this security hole before releasing under the Outlook brand.

In short, email account credentials and data are stored on Microsoft’s servers for a “temporary” time frame. This allows the Outlook app to do fancy things like snooze email. However, it also means your email and potentially other PIM information like appointments and recent contacts are privy to Microsoft. I sense an ulcer developing for folks who care about corporate security, HIPAA, and other initiatives aimed at protecting our data.

The app also doesn’t match features found in desktop Outlook.

Contacts make a guest appearance through the limited functionality of the People section in the app. Instead of a real contact list, you are given a list of recently used email addresses. There is no contact manager that holds your records, and you cannot add/update contacts, address, and phone numbers from your device. This is likely due to the fact that email services like Google and Yahoo are not EAS servers. They rely on IMAP, whose protocol isn’t fundamentally designed to handle PIM info like Contact details. EAS, on the other hand, was designed for this. It’s surprising that even EAS accounts in the new Outlook app doesn’t handle Contacts.

Outlook Tasks do not exist. Many business users rely on a task list to coordinate their priorities or implement productivity systems like Getting Things Done or Franklin Covey. Without a task list, users of this Outlook app cannot manage their priorities on the go.

Outlook Notes also don’t make an appearance.

The must-have Outlook Category feature does not exist. Desktop Outlook users rely on categories to organize their daily agenda by appointment type. Without this, business and personal appointments are indistinguishable in the calendar view.

Sync the HTC One S with Outlook

Need to sync your new HTC One S with Outlook? We’ve got you covered.

Sync the HTC One S with Outlook

CompanionLink lets you sync your Outlook contacts, calendars, tasks, memos, and more to the One S. And you can customize this sync to your liking – from filtering specific categories to the direction each data type syncs. You can even choose from a variety of sync methods, including USB and WiFi.

Getting started is easy. We have a 14-day free trial, which you can download here. From there, just follow our simple setup guide for your preferred sync method and you’ll have your data on your new phone before you know it.

Questions? Comments? Shout them out in the comments below.

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

How to Sync the Motorola DROID 4 with Outlook

Image Credit: IntoMobile

You just picked up your new DROID 4. You love the sleek profile, the powerful processor, the 4G speeds, and perhaps most importantly, the slide out keyboard. But you don’t love the fact that it won’t sync with Outlook. At least not out of the box.

You’re not alone.

There are a lot of people out there who need to sync Android with Outlook. And most phones don’t come with a built-in Outlook sync. So where to you go? That answer is easy: CompanionLink.

We make it easy to sync your data, your way. Whether you want the security and simplicity of a USB sync, the convenience and freedom of syncing with Google, or maybe something in between. We’ve got you covered. Or maybe you need to sync with something other than Outlook, like ACT!, Zoho, or Palm Desktop. We can handle those and many more.

Our goal is to work for you, regardless of your setup. So download your free trial today. Then head over to our Getting Started page and you’ll be syncing with CompanionLink in no time!

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.

CompanionLink Build 5008 Is Now Available

With over 25 changes, CompanionLink build 5008 is a big update. We have been hard at work improving the software to bring you an even better sync. Our latest update focuses on refining the process, eliminating duplicates, and adding a few new features. Read on to learn what we’ve done.  Continue reading

Sync the LG Nitro HD

The past month or two have brought a number of top-tier Android phones: the Motorola DROID Razr, the HTC Rezound, and the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This week, the LG Nitro HD joins the pack.

Sporting a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4.5” HD screen, 4G data speeds, and Android 2.3, the Nitro HD can compete with the best of them. While the Razr, Rezound, and Nexus are all Verizon phones, the Nitro HD brings its power to AT&T. Check one out in stores today.

If you’re thinking about picking one up, rest assured that CompanionLink will sync the Nitro HD with Outlook, ACT!, Salesforce, and more. And if you’re upgrading from an older device, just download DejaOffice to the Nitro HD and in one sync you’ll have access to all your contacts, calendars, tasks, and memos.

Questions? Comments? Shout out in the comments below!

Sync Outlook to Windows Phone via Windows Live

 

Sync via Windows LiveGreat news for those of you using Windows Live and Outlook: Sync via Windows Live is now in beta!  As you might expect, it works like our Sync via Google option: just put in your Windows Live credentials and we’ll wirelessly sync Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks from Outlook to Windows Live. From there, the data syncs down to your Windows Phone 7 or any other device configured with your Windows Live account.

This feature is currently in beta, but you can try it for yourself today by downloading the latest build of CompanionLink 5 (build 5004). When you select Windows Phone 7 as your device, you’ll see Sync via Windows Live as one of the sync options. Just follow the prompts from there and you’ll be set to begin syncing with Outlook or any other CRM system we support.

I should note that you can also opt to sync directly to Windows Live by selecting “No Device – Sync with Windows Live – BETA”. This allows you to sync Outlook to any device that your Windows Live account is set up on. And it’s not just Outlook – you can sync ACT!, Lotus Notes, Salesforce, and more with our new Sync via Windows Live option! So go ahead and get started today.

We’d love to get your feedback on Windows Live sync! Send us a message at marketing@companionlink.com or leave a comment below!

How To Use Profiles In CompanionLink

Profiles in CompanionLinkIt’s not all that uncommon anymore to have a both a smartphone and a tablet. We’re integrating these powerful mobile devices into our everyday workflow, and we need them to stay in sync. To help you keep up to date on all your devices, we created the “Profiles” feature, now found in CompanionLink Express and Professional 5.

Profiles allow you to create unique sync settings for all of your different devices. In CompanionLink Express 5, you can create 2 Profiles; in CompanionLink Professional 5, you can create 5. Creating a Profile is easy – just click the Profiles button in the upper right corner of CompanionLink and select “Manage Profiles.” From there, you can add a new Profile, name it, and customize the sync settings.

Whenever you want to switch profiles, just click the Profiles button, then select your desired Profile. CompanionLink will automatically adjust your configuration to match the settings you entered when creating that profile.

Profiles make managing multiple devices easy and efficient. They’re perfect for those of us with a smartphone and a tablet. If you’d like to start using Profiles, but don’t own CompanionLink Express or Professional 5, you can upgrade or download a free trial today!