A huge shortcoming of Blackberry devices is they can’t natively display html email. Instead the Blackberry presents you with a bunch of urls and html code. Ugly, Ugly, Ugly. Recently rumor sites have reported that native html email capabilities will be coming “soon” from RIM. For those who can’t wait , I noticed that Empower Your Blackberry launched their email HTML Viewer last week. I’ve been testing it for a solid week – and it’s the best and most stable HTML viewer I’ve ever seen on a Blackberry. More thoughts, screen shots and a fat 50% off discount code (only good through 12/31/07) are on the next page.
Seems like I’ve been waiting forever for RIM to deliver a Blackberry model that can natively display html emails. My daily emails increasingly arrive formatted in html. Struggling to read them without proper formatting is hugely annoying.
Empower has created a great little program (albeit expensive at $ 29.99) that converts incoming emails to an html format.
The translation isn’t perfect. Many of the images are either shrunk or missing. But it’s the best I’ve seen yet for the Blackberry. I give them lots of credit for creating a program that seems rock solid, doesn’t eat up memory and adds in two other great features – ability to create tasks and appointments from emails – that I’ve also been waiting for.
Those of you with Blackberries probably recognize the ugly screen below. It’s an example of how the Blackberry tries to render emails sent in an html format. Because the Blackberry has no native ability to convert the email to html on your handheld, it delivers the following assorted “ugly” html code as a plain text email message. BLECHHH.
Regular Blackberry Email Screen
Now load Empower HTM Mail Viewer- Pro Edition – Product Page – OTA Download Link. And here’s what the email becomes:
Empower HTML Mail Viewer Pro Screen
It’s not a perfect rendering of HTML, but it’s close enough so that the page is much more clearly readable than before.
In my testing I found that images were often (but not always) downloaded. Hopefully future releases will make image downloading a bit more reliable.
Empower HTML Mail Viewer is not the first product that formats HTML emails properly. But it’s the fastest and most stable that I’ve tested. While reading emails I notice no lags or annoying device crashes. My testing device is a Blackberry 8320.
Another cool thing this product does is allow you to add an email as a task or appointment (I’ve tried other third party programs that claim to do this and they’d been buggy as heck):
Select Add Task While Reading An Email
Specify Which Items Should Transfer To Your Task
Edit and Save The Task
This program has tons of options. You can change the background screen to just about any color you like. Each email account can have a different background screen. It’s one of the most configurable Blackberry programs I’ve ever seen.
List of All Options
Header Display Options
Body Display Options
Image Display Options
Task Integration Options
Calendar Integration Options
Over The Air Registration Based On PIN
Here are the specifications for the Empower HTML Mail Viewer. There are two versions – standard and pro (I tested the pro version):
Empower HTML Mail Viewer Standard Version – $ 9.99:
- Fully On-device. No Setup required.
- Seamless Integration with native Email client.
- View clutter-free meaningful Hyperlinks.
- Express better with real graphic Smileys!
- See Images in your email.
- Numerous customization options for color, font, style, background etc. to view your emails exactly the way you want it.
- Supports OS 4.0, 4.1 & 4.2
Empower HTML Mail Viewer Pro Version – $ 29.99 (see sale code below for 50% off – valid through 12/31/07):
- Blazing Fast Speed. Loads instantly!
- Add To Task: Quickly add an email to Task.
- Add Appointment: Create Calendar appointments from emails.
- Image Caching for faster access, less data usage.
- Support for both in-Memory and SD Card cache.
- Prefetch images for Faster Viewing experience.
- Auto-detects best Connection settings. No need to manually try each connection or fiddle with APN or anything
- Redesigned Headers: Display more info with higher clarity.
- Detects Inline replies & shows them in Color.
- Detects Signature blocks in incoming replies & shows them in Color.
- AutoUpdate notification!
- Load Images on-Demand on a per email basis
- Different header background for each Account. Quickly distinguish between emails.
- Umpteem configuration options.
- Supported on ALL OS 4.2.1 and above.
- Coming soon on OS 4.1.x and below.
Through December 31, 2007 – pick up a copy of Empower HTML Mail Viewer Pro for 50% off (normally $29.99 – only $14.99 through 12/31/07) by using code BBFPRO15 and visiting this link.