Category: News

Use Bitcoin to pay for Copy2Contact!

Bitcoin LogoHave you heard of the new electronic “cryptocurrency” called Bitcoin? Sure, it’s volatile, and it can be used for illegal things, but it’s also gaining popularity as well as credibility. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and you might not be able to use it to pay for your groceries at the local market just yet (or can you?) but you can buy a Tesla Model S electric car and other odds and ends with it.

The Bitcoin movement is still pretty new, but we think it definitely has its place in the world of e-commerce moving forward. So we’ve added the ability for you to use Bitcoin to purchase Copy2Contact right here on our web site, via Coinbase. Just choose Bitcoin as your payment method while checking out. We even added a 5% discount for Bitcoin users since it saves us money on bank processing fees. Tell your friends!

Set up an account with circle.com or coinbase.com to get Bitcoin for yourself. You can learn more about getting started with Bitcoin on bitcoin.org.

And feel free to leave us a comment below… we’re dying to know what people think.

Copy2Contact For Android… So Close, Yet So Far

Please skip to the bottom if you’re interested in helping out with a quick little test, but aren’t interested in all the history.

The History of Copy2Contact for Android

Despite my recent not-so-pro-Android post about Android vs. iPhone, we have been working in the background to get Copy2Contact ready for the Android platform. It may seem like an easy task, and it may seem like we started this a long time ago, but there’s more below the surface.

When we started this project, we were gung-ho to get it done, and invested a ton of time and money into building the user interface and porting the Copy2Contact engine over. All went smoothly until we tried actually using the app, and found that most Android phones just didn’t have copy and paste from email at all. This is a big problem given that Copy2Contact works on data that you’ve grabbed from another app (usually email) and onto the clipboard.

I couldn’t believe that a modern smartphone and supposed iPhone competitor didn’t have such a fundamental feature, so I looked more closely. It turns out, some of the later versions of the OS had copy and paste, but it was implemented in a very awkward way, and it wasn’t clear how many users out there even had this feature since the Android market is so fragmented. So we surveyed some users who had expressed interest in Copy2Contact for Android and lo and behold, only two of them were able to copy and paste.

The project was shelved. Not only would it be unusable by most Android users, but the cost of supporting each potential customer to help them decide if they can even use it in the first place would be astronomical.

Fast forward to now, many inquiries later from customers wondering what could possibly be taking us so long. Since keeping watch on the fragmentation issue and the evolution of the Android OS, it was starting to look more likely that it might be time to get the project going again. Having been burned in the first go-around, we started with research. We hired an outside consulting firm to do a market analysis of the different phone models out there, their native email clients, and their copy/paste functionalities. Results were positive… copy/paste is now ubiquitous on Android devices!

So we started development again full swing. Dev tools had improved since the early days, and new capabilities had arisen. Still nothing like the Apple/iOS development environment, but pretty good stuff. I’m leaving out a lot of hard work and dealing with bugs in the tools, OS, or different phones, but that’s nothing new since we’re used to developing with Microsoft Windows, the gold standard for difficult platforms. You can usually get around everything that comes up, it’s just painful.

But guess what… we’re back to square one! The first trial of the new build of Copy2Contact on a real device failed miserably. Not because of any programming failure, but because copy/paste on the device doesn’t work properly! When you copy a signature from an email, the email client puts everything on one line, completely removing the key formatting needed to separate the data into its individual fields. Copy2Contact is smart, but it’s not expecting a zip code to run right into a phone number, for example. Even a human would have to look carefully to realize the jumble of numbers isn’t one big international phone number, or a big typo.

Talk about frustrating, it’s back to research time. The question now is, how many Android devices out in the real world have this bug in their email application? The Android ecosystem is still very fragmented, with about half of Android users out there using a positively ancient version of the OS. But it’s clear this bug isn’t necessarily OS version specific. There are a multitude of different email clients, carrier customizations, and user interfaces out in the real world as well.

How Can You Help?

So that’s where we’re at with Copy2Contact for Android, and we could really use your help! To find out how prevalent this bug is, we’re asking people to complete a little test. Please click here to enter your Android device’s email address, and we’ll send you a little email with test instructions.  It’s a snap to do, and is a BIG help to us. Thanks! We have all the results we need right now, thanks!

Copy2Contact crash on capture issue fixed

A number of users have submitted crash reports indicating that Copy2Contact crashed when they tried to use it. How frustrating! A couple people even commented that they were no longer going to try to use Copy2Contact due to the problem. Losing a customer or potential customer always stings.

We look at all crash reports very carefully and take them seriously. The report contains a lot of information about what’s going on inside the program at the time of the crash, and the comments that people submit can be quite helpful as well. Sometimes, though rarely, we can reproduce the problem here and can put our powerful debugging tools to work to solve the issue.

Unfortunately, finding the source of the issue can still be very difficult, as most times the actual crash occurred inside another dynamic library loaded by Windows to support the program. Over the years we’ve solved many issues submitted to us via crash reports, and a good percentage of them are bugs in other vendors’ (usually Microsoft) libraries.

The crash on capture issue that people were reporting was a tough one to find, but with the dedicated help of a couple of users who had the problem consistently, we were able to crack it!

Where to get a patched version of Copy2Contact: If you’ve seen this problem, update now to the latest version. Both v2 and v3 have the fix, but v3 is a paid upgrade for most users. See upgrade details (and discounts) here.

What’s behind this issue: This was an odd one, though in truth, they always are. If you’re technically curious, here’s what was happening:

Copy2Contact calls the Windows API function IsClipboardFormatAvailable() to find out if there’s data ready for it. When Windows says yes, Copy2Contact would go ahead and retrieve the data using the GetClipboardData() function.

However, on some users’ computers, there was no data to retrieve, and GetClipboardData() was returning NULL. Given that IsClipboardFormatAvailable() returned TRUE, this was not expected, and caused a crash.

What’s odd is that in those cases, html data was also on the clipboard, and the updated Copy2Contact now checks for GetClipboardData() to return NULL and uses the html data instead.

Always checking for a NULL pointer is good practice, no matter what the documentation says!

Copy2Contact for Salesforce now supports the Chrome browser

Many people have inquired with us in the past about using the Chrome browser with Copy2Contact for Salesforce.com. Often times they’ve been confused as to why Copy2Contact seems to keep opening the dreaded Internet Explorer (gasp!) to work with Salesforce.

Fortunately, our latest release now includes the ability to select Chrome as your browser of choice for use with Salesforce.

Why didn’t we have this before? Chrome has seen a big surge in popularity in recent years, but the fact remains it’s still relatively new and, until recently, lacked the specific means of integration that Copy2Contact needed. Fortunately, the folks responsible for the FireBreath project have built a framework for this kind of thing.

How to get it: There are now two versions of Copy2Contact available, both of which have Chrome support. If you do not use Copy2Contact to create contacts inside Microsoft Outlook or Palm Desktop, go for version 3. It’s the latest and greatest.

If you are a paid user of Copy2Contact Personal or PRO for Outlook or Palm Desktop, you may use either version 2 or upgrade to version 3. Please note that Version 3 is a paid upgrade for Outlook and Palm Desktop users. Full details and discounts for existing users can be found here.

To download either version of Copy2Contact and get started now, go to our download page. Note that you’ll be asked to install the Copy2Contact browser extension in order to use it with Salesforce. Installation should be a matter of just one click from the Chrome App Store.

Please feel free to contact us for support if you have any questions.