CompanionLink: CyanogenMod + Moto G, Outlook 2007 + Windows 7 64bit

Discussion in 'Motorola' started by GoodPDAuser, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. GoodPDAuser

    GoodPDAuser Mobile Deity

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    Can anyone confirm from personal experience that the above combination works for Calendar, Contacts, and Notes? I mean specifically not over the cloud; USB and/or WLAN (WiFi).
     
  2. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    I would be surprised if there is anyone here that has that exact combination. However, it is likely that it should work. Certainly Companion Link works with Win 7 and Outlook 2007. CyanogenMod really doesn't introduce any new variables. If the USB drivers are properly installed, USB sync should work (CL has two variations to choose from but the Direct USB is easiest) and Wifi works if your wifi network works. I prefer the USB sync because CL will switch the IP periodically for Wifi Sync.

    By the way, even though they say they do not support non-stock configurations, that's to cover themselves and they will try to help you understanding that if they can't come up with the answer they have to assume it is because of the configuration. I have never had problems with alternative ROMs.
     
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  3. GoodPDAuser

    GoodPDAuser Mobile Deity

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    I'm kind of surprised that there don't seem to be many people with that combination. Everyone is Windows 7 these days (XP is no longer supported and Win 8 has not endeared itself to the masses). 32-bit is so yesterdecade. Moto G is cheap enough for the masses. CyanogenMod is the most prevalent Mod. And there seems to be minority but not insignficant group of people who don'w want the cloud. The only thing odd might be Outlook 2007.

    Then again, I haven't been known to be very with-it in terms of prevailing trends.

    I've been reading up on CompanionLink and getting a bit worried about the issues that people have been encountering. I understand that voices of dissatisfaction can be louder than contentment, but the ratio between the two still seem to be more lopsided than I would expect.

    There's also a new player on the block, Android-Sync. There's not much on line about it. Have you had a chance to give it a try?
     
  4. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    Haven't tried that and at this point I am happy enough using what I have. The reviews on CNET downloads aren't promising, but they seem to have a free trial. There are a few other solutions out there, as I have mentioned before, and some people swear by ones I found unreliable. I think Companion Link is getting a lot of their problems sorted in the in-house betas, but yes they recently had problems with the alarm system. Both Companion Link and Pimlical were distracted lately by Google (which both support but which I don't use) changing their calendar APIs with no backwards compatibility. Life with syncing is complicated, especially on platforms (modern smartphones) which never considered it a priority. I should note, by the way, that I do not use alarms. I do not want things going off in my pocket. If I can't look at my calendar in the morning and know what I have to do that day, I need to change things. :vbwink:

    As for matching your choices, there are a lot of choices out there and different people may see those choices differently. I tend to chose a device in terms of bang for buck rather than price alone. The TE was cheap and perfectly good, but I bought a TX because I felt the additional functionality was worth the extra money I would spend.

    What device you have and the relative amount of Dev support it gets will determine what your mod options are.

    And so forth.. a lot of variables in play. :vbsmile:
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
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  5. GoodPDAuser

    GoodPDAuser Mobile Deity

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    I think that a free trial is better than no trial, but I don't actually use my PDA on a frequent basis, and don't expect to have the time to change that. So I'm looking online accounts, especially over the long term. One description I repeatedly encounter is that the app works fine for a while, then they find corruptions or just failure to work.

    I appreciate the explanation of calendar API change. Being a 3rd party bridge builder between two platforms has always put the developers at the mercy of the two OEMs, especially if the OEMs have no interest in cooperating. Many of the issues I came across also erroneous data for contacts. Perhaps a similar kind of dynamic underlies those.

    Regarding bang for buck, I picked up a Moto G as an experiment into going Android. So I am not keen on blowing many hundreds of dollars on a high end device, especially since I'm replacing two rather primitive devices (cell phone and 1st gen iPod touch used as a PDA and crippled web surfer). Also, the issues that I read applied to many devices rather than the Moto G -- maybe because Moto G is so new.

    I can see how app developers might target higher end devices, but another factor might be that less expensive devices have more consumer uptake, making them a more attractive to developers in terms of volume. The Moto G is in a sweet spot in this sense because not only is it inexpensive, but it is also lauded as having good bang for buck.

    This search is quite an eye opener. It shattered my illusion that Android is Android, and the benefit of jumping on the bandwagon is this uniformity and predictability rather than incompatibilities between a hodge podge of platforms. This is turning out not to be the case, or so it seems when I see device OEMs providing their own PIM sync apps. This is particularly surprising when you consider that PIM data doesn't pertain to low-level system details. It's abstract data at a high level, and I wouldn't expect inconsistencies between variants of Android devices.

    Thanks for referring me to apps feedback on CNET. I shall browse them.
     
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  6. GoodPDAuser

    GoodPDAuser Mobile Deity

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  7. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    The thing to keep in mind with Companion Link (and really other options too) is that it is big and complicated because the problem has become big and complicated. Palm, like Apple, controlled everything end-to-end (at least until they spun off Palmsource). They controlled the hardware and the software and only had to worry about the OS Palm Desktop was sitting on.

    Companion Link accommodates multiple CRMs (not just Outlook, but ACT!, Palm Desktop, and many more) across multiple Mobile OS (Android, iOS, WP, BlackBerry) and, in the case of Android, multiple devices with different versions of the OS. And all this with platforms in which direct, non-cloud sync wasn't really a priority.

    The 14 day trial is because it will take a little effort to tame CL to your needs. With that kind of complexity there are bound to be problems and there are bound to be people who get frustrated and downrate it because it doesn't work perfectly out of the box. If you look at their forums, you will see complaints, but you will also see a good deal of loyalty despite problems because of interactions with customer service. Replies may be slow in coming sometimes (emailing customer support is more effective in some cases), and I think th company is fairly small (they tend to refer to "developer" rather than "developers" :vbwink:), but in general they will bend over backwards to help people.

    I'm not trying to sell you an anything. It's a big chunk of money by app standards. I paid for it and for Pimlical and I use both. Lately, I have made Pimlical my primary PIM software, mostly because I haven't been as happy with newer versions of Outlook (which my work upgrades), but I have used Companion Link successfully for a couple of years and still use it as a back-up system and will continue to support them. Once I got past the front end of wrestling with it for a few days (3 years ago), I have been very successful with it and personally consider it the best for Outlook without a cloud that I have found (AkrutoSync is another one I haven't tried). I have never regretted the money I spent and will continue to upgrade in the future, if only to help support their efforts to maintain direct sync options. However, I completely understand that you might not want to spend that kind of money on something that might not be perfect.

    You are probably going to have to do a number of free trials with different apps and see which you think has the best potential (because you may not get all your answers in the trial period) and take the plunge. You might want to decide ahead of time what are the most critical needs for you so you can test for them (are categories preserved on Android, alarm reliability, etc.) For example, I never use alarms, so I never test for that.

    This was so much easier on Palm... :vbrolleyes:
     
  8. GoodPDAuser

    GoodPDAuser Mobile Deity

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    I agree that things are complicated for bridging programs; I was trying to imply that in my last post. I'm assuming that it is more so these days, as OEMs start treating standards as strategic chess pieces and changing them accordingly. Maybe this is exasperated by Google changing its APIs. I'm not faulting bridgeware developers.

    But be that as it may, I have to seek the best solution in that tumultuous environment. I have my own challenges to contend with, and I have to leave the bridgeware to the gladiators in that arena. In the end, I need the most troublefree solution.

    I get that CompanionLink covers many bases, but I'm seeking the best solution for my situation. It may not work perfectly out of the box, but I have to guess how much time it will cost me based on what I read, taking into account the fact that I am not a developer. It all has a cost and an impact on my priorities. I appreciate your testimony that they are helpful, because that weighs into it too.

    I have also read that CompanionLink is costly, but really, the cost difference is minor compared to the phone and the fact that I've gone half a year with a data plan that I haven't been using because I seriously underestimated how long it would take to get smart about Android to the extent that I felt comfortable with. Whatever the cost, it pales in comparison with the trouble that might be caused by the complications that a poor decision might yield. For example, I've read accounts that things work well for some time, and then corruptions in Address Book data are noticed. To me, this is a far worse outcome than if the app just didn't work. In the latter case, at least I'll know right away rather than some time down the road, when new info will have been mixed with corruptions for who knows how long.

    This is in fact why I don't think such time-limited free trials have any meaning in my situation. I have already conceded that I will not have time to give apps a thorough test within the trial period. If things don't work out, I basically eat the cost, then absorb the much greater cost of recovery, then move on to the next app. In this scenario, it makes way more sense to thoroughly investigate he likely outcome to the extent possible before committing to a solution. Basically, I'm aiming to find the best solution in the first try, and if I need to switch apps, that represents costly damage control to a failed undertaking.

    You are right. How did we regress to this situation from the Palm? Isn't capitalism suppose to propel us to improved situations? No need to answer, that was rhetorical. We all know that the real world is at best a very rough approximation of ideal capitalism.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
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