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General Google is Missing Out on Us Business Users

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by bassplyr, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. bassplyr

    bassplyr Member
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    I switched to the Eris about two weeks ago from a bb and really like the phone. I decided to make the transition to Google mail, calendar and contacts and overall it works really well except for contacts and tasks. Calendar and mail work great, but Google has really dropped the ball on their contact and task applications.

    There is no way to natively synch contacts between Outlook and Google contacts. I made an initial export/import of my contacts from Outlook to Google, but updating new contacts is a real pain. I either have to enter the info twice if it comes via Outlook (vcard) since google can't receive or send vcards or enter information into Google contacts, let it synch to my Eris then send a vcard from the phone.

    Handling tasks and reminders is a key use for me on Outlook and Google barely recognizes they even exist. There is just no integration available.

    I have tried Companionlink, but it falls short also.

    Instead of working on Facebook rivals, and all the other social media, why don't they at least try and catch up on the basics us business users need. A lot of us are way too invested in Outlook to abandon it.

    If Droid is going to take over, they are going to have to do a better job of embracing us business users. Otherwise, it will be a great media device, browser, and messaging device, but will fall short once the novelty wears off and productivity takes precedence.

    Please pardon the rant.

    Roger
     

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  2. deman89

    deman89 Well-Known Member
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    Did you try HTC Sync? Or gTasks?
     
  3. bassplyr

    bassplyr Member
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    I have not tried HTC Sync yet because one of the great features of the phone is "cloud" capability and gtasks synchs Google tasks to the phone. My gripe really is not with the Eris but with Google for not providing synch capabilities with Outlook.

    Thanks,
    Roger
     
  4. JFerguson09

    JFerguson09 Lurker
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    totally agree, Google needs to be more business friendly. Another gripe I have is the gmail font is tooooo small with no way to increase its size. As a business person on the road alot, I rely on getting my emails on my phone. The font size is extremely annoying. When people ask me about the phone I always inform them about the font.
     
  5. Clcto

    Clcto Member
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    Roger, If I can ask, in what way did CompanionLink fall short? We are always looking for ways to improve our product.

    Wayland Bruns, CTO
    CompanionLink Software, Inc.
    www.companionlink.com
     
  6. bassplyr

    bassplyr Member
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    Wayland,

    First of all let me say how great it is that you are being proactive in seeking feedback. That says a lot.
    In all candor, the biggest problem is probably pilot error in my case. Over time and through various computer changes and installations, the number of contact folders has proliferated and I could nver get CL to pick up the right one for synch.
    Further, I think you guys are hamstrung as well by Google's lack of task integration. Just having them show up on my calendar is a pretty poor compromise.

    As I said my gripe is really with Google and their apparent lack of understanding of the needs of the business users.

    Thanks,
    Roger
     
  7. lessit

    lessit Well-Known Member
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    That's partially true, but it really depends on what kind of business user you are. I too came from a BB/Exchange/Outlook business environment and couldn't be happier with the Eris. The difference is that we use Good to integrate Exchange with the Androids. The new Good release is just as good as my old BB Exchange integration - maybe better.
     
  8. Clcto

    Clcto Member
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    Oh. For folder management try CL Pro. We don't put sophisticated features in the entry level product. It confuses people.

    You can vote on the Task API here. Click on the star to vote. After voting click "Back to List" and sort by stars. It is the #2 most requested item. Since the Task API would be modeled on their Calendar and Contact API, it would just be one programmer for a couple weeks for Google to do it. With this request now two years old, I think it's clear that Google has a reason for not allocating just one or two people to this project.

    Agreed. Buzz shows their focus on the non-business crowd. I think it will take all their attention. At CompanionLink we are working hard on moving around Google limitations, by bypassing it. Look for non-google wireless sync for Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Memos from CompanionLink in near future. Hint: It won't use Google's non business oriented Droid apps either. No last name sort, no company name sort, won't do.

    Wayland
     
  9. bassplyr

    bassplyr Member
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    Wayland,

    Good to hear you guys are taking the initiative to adapt the system to meet more user needs.

    I am not on Exchange, just stand alone Outlook so the Exchange feature is apparently of no benefit to me.

    I will vote on the task API forthwith.

    Thanks
    Roger
     
  10. A User Name

    A User Name Well-Known Member
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    The opposite can be said about Blackberry devices. Maybe you should get a Blackberry :rolleyes:
     
  11. blackdognorth

    blackdognorth Member
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    I'll second the lack of 100% support for Exchange and Outlook. My guess is it's by far the biggest platform with millions of users using Outlook on the desktop at work and home and trying to sync to the offices Exchange server. I already have personal email and work email and there's no reason I should have to integrate through gmail. I really don't even want gmail.
    And I also agree there is WAY too much focus on Facebook and Twitter. Who has time for all of this jazz anyway?!!! I can barely remember and take time enough to remember my own nieces/nephews birthdays never mind staying in touch with hundreds of people from high school.

    I'm new to the smartphone world and initially thought I wanted a BB. After heading right to a new bold 9700, I knew instinctively that this was nothing but an overpriced messenger with a data plan. Yes, this particular issue, syncing to email, contacts, and calender is good...but my company is not going to pay the BES fee, so then it starts to fall short. And the rest of the BB is far inferior to other products, like the Droid Eris, that are currently on the market. BB is going down, in my opinion. Have you used the browser on even the new 9700?!

    Google/Android: Give us excellent business tools, good sync, good browser, big display, and let the rest happen with apps. I don't have time for games and facebook.

    Wayland, if I end up on an Eris I will look at CompanionLink. I am impressed that a company is actually looking at what users say and want. Rare these days.
     
  12. bassplyr

    bassplyr Member
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    You know, I had a a BB for years and it was a leap of faith to switch to the Eris, but I find that I need to use a browser more frequently and BB falls way short of the ERis in that regard. Further, the form factor of BB is really missing the mark compared to the Eris. I am really not looking for a BB emulator, just basic functionality with outlook like every other smartphone.

    The issue is really with Google and their lack of attention to the details - no task integration, no vcards, - heck, they can't integrate their own contact app with their own mail app.

    The Eris is a great phone and a pretty good business tool. You gotta hand tip your hat to Companion Link for listening and trying to get it right too.

    Thanks,
    Roger
     
  13. lessit

    lessit Well-Known Member
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    Again, the Android platform (and Eris) is a perfectly Good (pun intended) business solution. Specifically, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. In an Exchange environment your I/T group can implement ActiveSync, BB Enterprise Server or Good for Enterprise. Functionality depends on what version of Exchange you have and what your phone is.

    I had a BB Storm/BES/Exchange combo and didn't like it. I moved to Eris/Good/Exchange and love it. There's a lot of other combinations you can implement too - some better than others but too simplistic to make a statement that the Eris/Android/Google doesn't support Exchange 100%.
     
  14. tman065

    tman065 Member
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    Badged Thug
    I use Touchdown by www.nitrodesk.com for my exchange email, contacts, tasks and calendar.

    It's pricey for an app ($20), but allows me to create contacts, tasks, and recurring appointments from my phone. I can also access my employer's global address list.

    There are some limitations (can't edit recurring Tasks from my phone, for example), but there is a FREE 5 day trial.

    I was also able to use my WinMo device settings and figure out how to set up my new phone without help from IT.

    An acceptable solution?
     
  15. bjanow

    bjanow Android Expert
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    I use TD too, but it's not like the BB by any stretch. I have 4 corporate accounts I need to check consistently. The BB would poll all of them, all the time. TD can only sync one account at a time, you need to switch back and forth all day. Not very timely or efficient, IMO. However, the folks at Nitro are great and the tech support very quick. Worth the money IMO, but not like the BB.

    I have a question for you regarding battery life. Do you find that TD drains the battery? I'm having some issues with battery life but can't really find the culprit. I tried all the tricks but can't figure out what is eating it up. I really only use the phone for calls, email and weather on the home screen. 5 text / day, that's it.
     
  16. tman065

    tman065 Member
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    I've turned off GPS unless I need it. And I'm only syncing TD every 30 mins.
     
  17. bjanow

    bjanow Android Expert
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    I have ActiveSync w/ push enabled. GPS always off.
     
  18. vido.ardes

    vido.ardes Android Expert
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    I work for a small IT company, and we are actually looking at moving our emails to be hosted with Google Apps and get rid of exchange, Use Google docs instead of sharepoint and issuing the rest of the staff (all 7 of us!) with android based phones.

    I think Google are trying to consider the business market, but unfortunately the commercial market for non-business users is far far greater. I agree on the lack of tasks support, but once you ignore the Exchange aspect and use the Google tools it actually works extremely well. Don't get me wrong, I know exchange support is a necessity for most business users, but it feels hard to blame Google for poor integration into someone else's system when they are trying to push their own.

    That being said I am glad to see people trying to work around the problems and make android all the better for it!
     

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