Do You Own Your Data?

If Google were to completely shut down right now, would you lose anything? There’s no doubt that many of use would lose thousands of important contacts, calendars, emails, and more! In fact, many of us would be left digitally crippled, with irreplaceable information suddenly gone.

Of course, nobody is expecting this to happen. Then again, 3 years ago few Sidekick users would say they expected their service to disappear either. Unfortunately, T-Mobile recently confirmed that on May 31st all Sidekick services will, in fact, be shut down. When this occurs, Sidekick users will no longer have access to the cloud-based system that defined their devices. Users will no longer be able to access their contacts, calendars, notes, and more. Of course, T-Mobile will be offering solutions for migrating this data to other devices, so all is not lost. However, the news brings up an important point: Owning your data is crucial!

While this may not have been true 3 years ago, I’d be willing to bet that many Sidekick users have come to expect this news more recently. Gmail users, on the other hand, don’t expect to lose their data at any time. But that is exactly what happened just a few days ago. Thousands of Gmail users woke up to an empty inbox. While their data has since been restored (thanks to Google’s redundant backup system), many were without access to important information for days. A hit like that can have a serious effect on your productivity, especially if you rely on services like these for work.

All this said, I don’t want to say cloud-based services are bad. On the contrary, I believe they can be amazingly useful. What is bad, however, is entrusting them with the only copy of your data, because at that point it’s not really your data! In order to access it, you need to be connected to the cloud. In the event of service downtime, you are without access to your data. If you can’t access something when you want to, do you really own it?

Whether you decide to simply back up the information or sync your data to another source, I highly recommend taking the steps necessary to make a copy of your cloud-based data. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do you’ll be extremely grateful for the offline copy! So what are you waiting for? Choose to own your data!

CompanionLink and Highrise – Keeping It Simple

Recently, CompanionLink added support for syncing with Highrise. Highrise is a popular web-based CRM from 37signals.  It’s different from other CRM tools because it’s focused on simplicity and ease of use, something we’ve grown to expect from 37signals. They’ve cultured the ability to create something powerful, yet simple. This isn’t all that easy to do, especially when you’re developing productivity software. Initially, you want to pack as much functionality in as you possibly can.  While this can result in a powerful program, it is all too often convoluted and difficult to use.

Highrise offers something that is as powerful as it needs to be without sacrificing simplicity. At CompanionLink, we embrace that way of thinking too. Our goal is to make syncing so simple and easy to do that you don’t even think about it.

Syncing with Highrise via CompanionLink is simple and flexible. Use CompanionLink Express to sync Highrise contacts, tasks, and cases directly to your mobile device. It works with a wide variety of devices, including Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and iPad, Palm webOS, Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, and Nokia Symbian devices or any Google/Gmail/Google Apps account. Go pro with CompanionLink Professional and you will get real-time Highrise sync with other PC software such as ACT!, Outlook, and Lotus Notes. Get started at www.companionlink.com/highrise/.

Image credit.

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!

CompanionLink set to Introduce Business Apps for iPad

With the introduction of the Apple iPad, business professionals have another option to be productive while away from their office or desks.  Apple announced that the iPad is compatible with the thousands of apps that are currently available for the iPhone.

CompanionLink plans to fully utilize the tablet-friendly format of the iPad by launching a suite of business apps to manage large volumes of contacts, calendar events, tasks and notes. Managing this wealth of data will be even easier with voice commands and dictation features that CompanionLink will integrate into their apps.

A sign-up form for updates and announcements about CompanionLink’s new business apps for iPad is available at www.companionlink.com/ipad.

Read CompanionLink’s press release on business apps for iPad here.