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Beta Review Update: Empower HTML Email Viewer for BlackBerry – New Release

empower337.jpg Update: Check out this post
Empower HTML Email Viewer Beta for BlackBerry – Updated
Beta Version: 0.33 Public Release
Rating 8/10
Link: www.getempower.com
OTA Link: www.getempower.com/emv.php
Desktop Link: www.getempower.com/emvzip.php
Cost: Free (as of now)

The guys down at Empower have been busy the last few days updating their application. We decided to run an update of what you can expect in the new version. The main changes I experienced was a nice overhaul of the configuration screen and a bit more reliability of the HTML viewer with large emails.

On to the update…

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Configuration Updates: As you can see from the configuration screenshots above the developers of Empower have been working hard to incorporate the suggestions offered by their beta testers. They have added the ability to preview changes in the text of the viewer. Included in this is the ability to change the font size. They have also added many new fonts to their selection as you can see above. A nice piece of functionality is the added ability to change the background color of the viewer to over 15+ preset colors.

Reliability Update: The new beta of the Empower application has added reliability over the original but it still has quite a few quirks. They still seem to have an issue when you have automore enabled on your BlackBerry it will toggle you out of the HTML viewer. This is quite annoying and can sometimes be fixed by selecting “more all” from the options menu and then toggling the viewer back on. I find that with the new version if I have images turned off in the email then the viewer is much more reliable.

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They also seem to have done a little bit of work on trying to get some of the basic shortcuts back into the application when the viewer is on. As of now when you hit “B” or spacebar on the BlackBerry it does take you one page down into the viewer but after that you have to scroll with the scroll ball. I really hope they manage to find a way to fix this because that is how I usually scroll through my emails. The nice function that they have improved is viewing attachments is now more reliable from within the viewer. As you can see above the attachments are now shown on the bottom of the email if you have already downloaded them.

Issues slated to be fixed in next release:

  • Toggle back to normal view when an email is very large, contains many images, or gets automore. (Such as every email from TigerDirect or SharperImage)
  • Lack of reliable support for hitting “B” or spacebar to go one page down in an email.

Remaining Issues:

  • No image cache to speed up opening of previously opened emails
  • Option to not shorten links to their title in emails. This should be a configuration option that you can turn off and on.
  • Hotkey to toggle the viewer on and off.
  • Reliable view of images in emails without just getting placeholders

Conclusion: The developers at Empower have an emerging hit on their hands. They managed to fix some small quirks in the software and only added ~1K to the size of the download. They have stated that the are working on the main issues people are having with the software and will be releasing a new version soon that fixes the scrolling and unloading of the viewer in large emails. Once they hit that level of reliability they will have removed the biggest barriers for large scale acceptance of their software. I wanted to thank the developers for providing such a innovative solution for free and for listening to their beta testers for suggestions on improvements. Stay tuned for our coverage as the beta progresses.

1 comment on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I recently started using Empower email viewer V2.0 and I find it is frustratingly slow. Just to get into my message list and scroll the list of emails my Blackberry Curve hangs up for many seconds while showing the hourglass icon. This needs to be fixed. I mean, I like being able to see the odd email with html, but mostly I don’t need it. So for this program to have bogged down the whole works makes me inclined to just remove the application entirely.

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