CompanionLink To Sync Lotus, Palm Desktop, ACT, and others with webOS, Pre! | webOS Nation
 
 

CompanionLink To Sync Lotus, Palm Desktop, ACT, and others with webOS, Pre! 15

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 20 Jan 2009 12:42 pm EST

Jay just sent in a tip to this Press Release from CompanionLink and it's great news!  They say that they're going to be offering their software for the webOS / Palm Pre and it will offer a bevvy of syncing options.  Their software will run natively on the Palm Pre and will let you sync "contacts, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, calendar events, tasks, notes, and alarms and reminders" either via USB or Over-the-Air.

What's more, they say they'll offer compatiblity with:

  • ACT!
  • Google (though this is native on the webOS)
  • Palm Desktop (Huzzah!)
  • Lotus Notes
  • Goldmine
  • Microsoft Outlook

Pricing looks to be around $49.95 for their current offerings for other platforms.  This will go a long way towards answering two questions we've received about the Pre -- How will Palm Desktop users get their contacts synced and will there be USB syncing.  It looks like the answer to both is CompanionLink -- just a bummer that it's probably going to be fairly pricey.

There may be another 3rd party syncing solution on the way -- Chapura also makes some pretty good sync software and were highlighted as a partner during the Pre Launch keynote.

One last note -- the webOS development framework must be more robust that some of the naysayers out there have claimed if CompanionLink is able to do USB sync, a feature not built into the Pre, which by default just does USB mass storage mode.

Thanks, Jay!

Update: A user writes in:

You just reported that Companion Link will sync Palm Desktop with Pre BUT this is ONLY on a PC. I - and millions of Palm users - have Mac computers. What do you know about syncing Palm Desktop, contacts, memos, etc between Pre and Mac? Is Pre going to be a PC only device?

Excellent point.  We wouldn't call the Pre a "PC-Only" device, but it is true that we don't know of any Mac-based direct sync solutions -- though it should be noted that the Mac's Address book and iCal are able to sync with Google (in 10.5 at least), which will then sync back to the Pre.

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15 Comments

So will Google Sync be an option? If not - what will us non-Exchange people use as a syncing option? I'm new to Palm (currently on Blackberry) and the only way I can sync now is to use the Google Sync or to manually plug it into my computer (which is a pain!) because I'm not an Exchange user.

That is awesome!! I was so hoping for something like this, especially being able to sync to Palm Desktop. I use Memos for so many things, and this will make that easier with the Pre (once it comes out on Verizon, I'm all over it).

I am one of those "naysayers", and I was never saying that webos development is limited, I was saying that webos development is either

a) not as simple as palm would make it out to be
b) limited.

i.e. I doubt this Companion Link is totally coded in javascript, beyond perhaps some front end code.

I'm not a AJAX developer at all, nor have I done any type of graphics coding, but I am continually confused with the "this needs more than JavaScript" type of comments. JavaScript itself is just a language. As is C. Language-wise, there's not much difference between the 2 as far as capabilities. The big difference is in their provided libraries. The C std lib and the POSIX libs are what provide the functionality that really differentiate it from JavaScript. If JavaScript is provided with something lose to the stdlib and posix libs, I don't see how it is JavaScript the language that is the constraining (If you've ever coded with both JavaSE and JavaME, the difference between the language and the APIs become more apparent, as JavaME only has a tiny set of JavaSE's APIs).

Now, I don't expect the webOS SDK to have anything as thorough as the stdlib and posix given, but I would think the app CompanionLink speaks of would be quite possible. It sounds like it mostly needs network connectivity and some type of storage capability, which I'm sure will be a sure thing in the SDK.

Performance is a different thing, but from a capability perspective I guess I myself don't see what's the big deal of JavaScript vs. C/C++.

re: "Their software will run natively on the Palm Pre and will let you sync "contacts, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, calendar events, tasks, notes, and alarms and reminders" either via USB or Over-the-Air."

I'd think doing something "natively" means that it does not require additional software (beyond what shipped with the device) but the rest of this post suggests that Pre owners would have to pay $50 for this sync software.

What am I missing here? Thanks.


-West

Mr. Bok: it's not that it can't be done in javascript. the point is that it will be done by a company that is already doing it. That would seem to indicate leverarging their existing code base.

Mr. Bok, do you really believe that many companies are going to reimplement their entire code base in javascript just for the pre, when it will be only useful on the pre?

Re: Coding on the Pre,

The problem is that the javascript/html/css gets interpreted by webkit and then run as opposed to native C apps, which get directly run. Sure javascript/html/css can do most of what regular C apps can do, just a hell of a lot more inefficient and in a language traditional developers may not be mastered in.

As far as performance, I agree, and stated that in my original comment. I'm curious to see how they plan to pull that off.

As far is re-implementation, I can see where this can be an issue. I'd be somewhat surprised to ever see a C/C++ development environment supported on WebOS, though. It's a moot point for the above product though, since the update states that it is a PC app, not a webOS app. In general, though, I'd be surprised to see any mobile dev locked into any one environment, and be unable to adapt Even my company just prototyping did so in Brew and JavaME......

Most comments I see though are about capability, which I don't think is an inherent issue - it all depends on what they deliver in the SDK. I'm probably overly optimistic, but there's an app I've always wanted to do, and I can do probably think of how to get 90% finished off the top of my head with javascript/html/css, and I have not done any serious development with javascript/html/cssv(or any type of end-user app) in nearly 5 years.

How does Mac OS X 10.5 sync with Google? I've searched and all I've been able to find is a $25/year service I'm currently trying out. Personally, I don't think it's worth it, but I rarely use the Gmail website and just use Mac Mail. I only got interested in it after the Pre announcement. I'd rather Pre sync with MobileMe, but there's no word on that yet.

Do you understand that one will be able to sync using BT with the companionlink app?

A poster at TreoCentral indicated it would sync using BT. Just trying to get more info.

TIA

One last note -- the webOS development framework must be more robust that some of the naysayers out there have claimed if CompanionLink is able to do USB sync, a feature not built into the Pre, which by default just does USB mass storage mode.

mpcoc

How does Mac OS X 10.5 sync with Google? I've searched and all I've been able to find is a $25/year service I'm currently trying out. Personally, I don't think it's worth it, but I rarely use the Gmail website and just use Mac Mail. I only got interested in it after the Pre announcement. I'd rather Pre sync with MobileMe, but there's no word on that yet.

Wow this is a curve ball. I didn't think that Lotus Notes would be one of the programs that would be compatible with the webOS. I'm happy to hear this as many jobs still use Lotus Notes. Of course Outlook is a given. Almost all corporate jobs use Outlook as the standard so I feel this was a necessity to gain the business consumers.

I'm a Verizon user waiting for the Pre, and just found out that Verizon will not offer it. FYI

I just spoke with a customer service rep at CompanionLink and she said that she doesn't know anything about plans to develop this software. My main need is to be able to sync the Pre with Outlook using a USB cable. Is there any clarification if this is REALLY in process or is just a rumor? If it is in process, does anyone have an ETA on when it will be available. I am thinking of returning my Pre if it is not available. This is a necessity for me.