If you are searching for an alternative to viewing email on your BlackBerry, Empower's HTML Viewer Pro edition should definitely be considered. It only seemed to be a short while ago when this was available in Beta, my how time flies. If you are like me, you would agree that not being able to view HTML emails on your BB natively is a bit of a nuisance. Not all emails are simple conversations consisting solely of text. You want color, you want images, you want the full package. And while this is a feature RIM is most certainly working on to one day ship standard on all BlackBerrys, in the meantime we are still in the HTML email dark... but there is a solution here today. Consider Empower HTML Email Viewer your light at the end of the tunnel.
There are a few different programs out there that allow HTML viewing, but Empower seems to be one of the front runners along with BBSmart's Email Viewer. I base this on stability, speed and ease of use. I’ve been running Empower's Email Viewer for less than a week and I already don’t see myself going back to BlackBerry's butchered text-only email viewing.
There are two different versions of Empower Available: PRO and Standard. For this review, I will be using the PRO Version (v 220.127.116.11 to be exact). The Standard version will display images in emails and do the basics (i.e. smileys) with support provided up to OS 4.2.1, while the Pro Edition also has advanced features like Faster speeds, PIM Integration, Image Cache, PocketDay Integration, System fonts, Autoupdate notification, support for OS 4.3 and many more customization options. Before downloading either, be sure to refer to the OS Minimum Requirements.
Seeing is Believing
For comparison, why don’t we look at the difference between your basic view of an HTML email and the email viewed with Empower HTML Email Viewer PRO.
Below is an example of the CrackBerry Newsletter as, in my opinion, a futile rendering of an HTML. No images, just a confusing layout of text and links. I love my BlackBerry, but emails like this can be compared to a train wreck. You don’t want to look at the mess, but you can’t seem to take your eyes off of it.
Now take a look at the same email as displayed with Empower. A much better layout don’t you think? Links are now displayed as text, making the email much easier to read.
There's still room for improvement - the same CrackBerry Newsletter on your desktop computer (via Outlook or Gmail) will look like this, but it's still one heck of a lot better than the default BlackBerry email viewer.
Recently Empower released an update which should come as a warm welcome for WiFi capable BB users. The following are some of the features included in the updated Pro Version:
A big benefit to this app is that future updates to owners are available free of charge. When downloaded from ShopCrackBerry's software store, owners will receive an email if and when updated versions become available.
The following screenshots show some of the many customizable features offered by the Empower HTML Viewer Pro Edition:
Comparisons, Questions, Opinions
Empower's HTML Viewer and BBSmart's Email Viewer are two of the most downloaded applications from the ShopCrackBerry.com software store as well as two of the most talked about applications in the CrackBerry forums. For even more insight into this app, I'd recommend doing a Search for "Empower HTML".
Though HTML email viewing does require more data usage, due to the fact you are now downloading images, I am quite pleased with how Empower HTML Email Viewer works. Emails load up as fast as they would in normal view. You can configure it with ease, as the options menu is very user friendly. We all know that fast and efficient communication is a must in this day and age. Empower makes our BlackBerry lives just a little bit easier. Download the free trial and see for yourself. Empower HTML Email Viewer Pro and Standard are available at the ShopCrackBerry.com Software Store for $29.99.