Geeks in Phoenix

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Switching from one Android smartphone to another

I know that change is good, but sometimes I just fear it. Case in point is my smartphone. I really liked my original Droid; it was small enough to fit in my pocket and did everything I needed it to do. But it started to show its age and newer Android apps wouldn't run on it, so I decided it was time to get a new phone. And the move was really quite easy.

The biggest problem I was facing was the installation of my apps. Some of them were installed before Google created the Android Market, now known as Google Play. I had sync 'd my old Droid with my Google account, so some of my apps were shown as installed inside of Google Play. And there was a couple that was not and I would have to manually install them.

Both of my Droids appear in My Devices in Google Play
Both of my Droids appear in My Devices in Google Play

Since my Droid survived so long (over four years) I decided to go with a newer version, the Droid 4. First thing I did was to add the Droid 4 to my Google account and then go over to Google Play. It was now listed in my devices and I could install apps on it. I went to Apps > My apps and all of my apps showed up.

Apps show they are installed but not on what device
Apps show they are installed but not on what device

But when I selected one, it would show it as installed, but didn't show what device it was installed on. It was when I clicked on the 'Installed' button that I was given a list of my devices to choose from. From there it was pretty easy to get the apps I had on my Droid installed on my Droid 4.

When installing Google Play apps you have a choice of which device
When installing Google Play apps you have a choice of which device

Next thing I had to do was to get my photos, music, etc. off of my Droid and on to my Droid 4. Everything was on the micro SD card in my Droid and since the Droid 4 did not come with a micro SD card, I just powered off both devices and moved my existing 16 GB micro SD card from the Droid to the Droid 4. When I started up the Droid 4, all of my data was found. I simply connected my Droid 4 as a mass storage device to my computer via a USB cable and was able to move files in between the internal storage and the micro SD card.

List thing I did was manually install the apps that were not listed in Google Play. Once that was done I had to do some configuration on the apps I had just installed. This took the most time of all. But when it was all done, my Droid 4 was ready to go and working great.

Sync data between your PC and smartphone with CompanionLink

Like allot of people, I use Microsoft Outlook as a PIM (Personal Information Manager). And being in the computer repair industry, I need to keep all of my personal data (contacts, calendar, etc.) synchronized and up to date on both my PC and smartphone. I found I can do all of this quite easily with CompanionLink.

CompanionLink 5 for Outlook setup screen
CompanionLink 5 for Outlook setup screen

I wrote an article a while back about syncing Outlook with my Android phone using CompanionLink on my PC and DejaOffice on my Android. How it works is you install CompanionLink on your PC or Mac and install DejaOffice on your Android, iPhone / iPad, Blackberry, etc.. You then define what database (Outlook, ATC!, etc.) and what fields (contacts, calendar, etc.) you want to sync.

DejaOffice 2.2 main screen
DejaOffice 2.2 main screen

Recently they released a new version of both CompanionLink (V5) and DejaOffice (V2.2) with more capabilities and features. In fact, they have multiple versions for different applications (I use CompanionLink for Outlook). Here's a quote from their website on the products they offer:

Our products work with Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, HP webOS, Palm OS, and Windows devices. We also sync with Google, Gmail, Google Apps, and Windows Live (Hotmail) accounts

CompanionLink for Outlook
Sync Microsoft Outlook with Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes.

CompanionLink for Palm Desktop
Sync Palm Desktop or Pimlical with smartphones, tablets, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and memos.

CompanionLink Express
Sync ACT!, Lotus Notes, HighRise, or GroupWise with smartphones, tablets, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes.

CompanionLink Professional
Sync Salesforce CRM, Goldmine, or any other supported database with smartphones, tablets, or any Google/Gmail account. Includes all the features of CompanionLink Express, plus the ability to sync to from multiple databases, sync with up to 5 devices, and advanced sync options.

CompanionLink for Google
Sync Microsoft Outlook contacts and calendar to Google Contacts,Google Calendar, and Google Tasks. Works with any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account. Two-way sync is fully supported so you can make changes to data in Outlook or in Google.

CompanionLink for Outlook.com / Windows Live
Sync Outlook with your Windows Live Hotmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, and tasks.

CompanionLink for Time & Chaos
Sync Time & Chaos with smartphones, tablets, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes.

CompanionLink FA
Sync Wise Agent, Infusionsoft, SalesJunction, or Respond with smartphones, tablets, Outlook, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes.

CompanionLink for Mac
Sync Mac's Address Book and iCal with any Android device. You can also keep Outlook for Mac in sync with Android. Requires OS X Lion (10.7) or Mountain Lion (10.8).

For more information on CompanionLink and DejaOffice, just follow the links below:

CompanionLink
CompanionLink FAQ's

Store, access and share your files on the cloud for free with Google Drive

Being in the computer repair business, I find myself going between my workstation, netbook and smartphone quite often. I need to be able to view / edit files on all of my devices and have the changes synchronize back. I'm talking any type of file, not just MP3's and JPG's. I can do just that and more for free with Google Drive.

View of Google Drive from inside of Windows Explorer
View of Google Drive from inside of Windows Explorer

Google Drive, a cloud based storage solution, is the latest addition to Google's catalog of products. With the Google Drive application installed on your computer, smartphone or tablet, you can view / edit files on that device using the programs installed on it. The files then sync back to the Google Drive servers when they are closed. I found it to work great at synchronizing files / folders between my workstation, netbook and smartphone.

View of Google Drive inside of a web browser
View of Google Drive inside of a web browser

Or you can use a web browser to view / edit files directly on the cloud with the web based Google Docs (you get instant access when you sign up for Google Drive). Google Drive also integrates into Gmail and Google+, so you can e-mail and share files with one click. You get 5 GB's of space for free, with larger plans (up to 16 TB) available. There are also business plans too. Here's a quote from the Google Drive website:

Google Drive. Keep everything. Share anything.

Access everywhere.
Google Drive is everywhere you are-on the web, in your home, at the office and on the go. So wherever you are, your stuff is just...there. Ready to go, ready to share. Get started with 5 GB free.

    Google Drive is available for:
  • PC and Mac
  • iPhone and iPad (coming soon)
  • Android devices

Store your files in a safe place.
Things happen. Your phone goes for a swim. Your laptop takes an infinite snooze. No matter what happens to your devices, your files are safely stored in Google Drive.

Go beyond storage. Collaborate.
Google Drive lets you do more than just store your files. Share files with exactly who you want and edit them together, from any device. Google Drive gives you instant access to Google Docs, a suite of editing tools that makes working together better, even when your teammates are miles away.

Work better with the products you use everyday.

Gmail
Say goodbye to bulky email attachments. Send a link from Google Drive in Gmail and everyone has the same file, same version—automatically.

Google+
Your videos and pictures in Google Drive are instantly available in Google+, so you’re never more than one click away from sharing with your circles.

For more information about Google Drive, just follow the links below:

Google Drive
Google Drive Features
Google Drive for Business

Calling on the cloud with Google Voice

If you haven't heard about Google Voice, let me be the first to tell you about it. Google Voice is a telephony service that can be used on any cellular phone and any carrier. Just a Gmail account is required.

The Google Voice web based interface
The Google Voice web based interface

Google Voice was designed to compliment your existing cellular phone carrier. But recently Google has added Phone Number Porting, which allows you to use Google as your primary carrier. The set of features are very rich, with all of the usual stuff (personal greetings, voicemail, etc.). And when used with Google Gmail and Google Talk, you can make calls from your computer (headphones / speakers and microphone required).

Use Google Voice with Google Talk to make calls from your computer
Use Google Voice with Google Talk to make calls from your computer

And, for me, the two best features of Google Voice are the free calls within the US and Canada and really cheap international calls. My some of my family is in New England and France. Here's a complete list of features:

  • Voicemail transcription to e-mail
  • One phone number that can be ported to multiple phone numbers
  • Personalized voice mail greetings
  • Cheap international calls
  • Block / screen callers
  • Conference calling
  • Mobile app (Android, iPhone and Blackberry)
  • SMS to e-mail

Here's a quote from the Google Voice website:

Teach your phone new tricks

Google Voice enhances the existing capabilities of your phone, regardless of which phone or carrier you have - for free. It also gives you:

One Number
Use a single number that rings you anywhere.

Online voicemail
Get transcribed messages delivered to your inbox.

Cheap calls
Free calls & text messages to the U.S. & Canada.
Super low rates everywhere else.

For more information on Google Voice, just follow the links below:

Google Voice
Google Voice features

Customer service is #1

Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. From computer repair, virus removal and data recovery, we aim to give the highest quality of service.

Bring your computer to us and save

Our in-shop computer repair service  is based on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes your computer to work!

Contact us

Geeks in Phoenix
4722 East Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
(602) 795-1111

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in all aspects of Computer Repair / PC Repair / Laptop Repair. Since 2008, our expert computer repair technicians have been providing outstanding Computer Repair, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Photo Manipulation and Website Support.

Geeks in Phoenix have the best computer repair technicians providing computer repair and service in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe Arizona. We offer In-Shop, On-Site and Remote (with stable Internet connection) computer repair service.

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