Well, how do I say this… they don’t. I won’t sugarcoat it – Empower simply has this war won. But, let’s go over how I came to that conclusion.
Installing BBSmart is an easy, over-the-air process just like Empower. A registration key is provided upon purchase, which must be inputted to activate BBSmart, but the trial version is fully featured for evaluation. Again, integration with the built-in Messages folder is seamless, just like Empower.
Let’s take a look at BBSmart’s options.
Everything looks kosher – image support, calendar integration, default viewer option, links, account choices, fonts… wait – Verdana? I don’t remember seeing that on my Blackberry before.
Yes, BBSmart has decided not to support native fonts and to instead offer its own set of fonts. Sounds cool, right? Well, in my opinion, the majority of the fonts were vastly different from their true computer versions, and not for the good. But, it’s a small thing that one could get used to.
Like Empower, BBSmart offers a full range of colors with which to customize how your messages look.
Let’s open some emails, starting with strictly text:
What is this popup, you ask? That’s how BBSmart tells you to hold your horses while it renders the information into a viewable email, strictly text or otherwise. So, instead of Empower’s instant-loading of text, BBSmart lets you look at all of our favorite parts of the early 21st century internet – a popup.
Let’s try my Image Test email.
Once again, the lovely popup telling me that I am powerless to read any of the email until all of the images have completely finished loading. Frustrating – especially when two out of the three images don’t even load at all! Those empty placeholders were all that remained once the loading popup went away. I can provide no explanation as to why they did not load, but multiple tries did nothing to help the situation.
So, overall, BBSmart offers a solution not nearly as seamless as Empower, without native font support, and with questionable image handling.
Empower charges $29.99 for their software, and for a user that wants a truly integrated, full Email viewing experience, Empower is well worth it. Viewing emails as presented by Empower will not be possible with RIM’s release of OS 4.5, and waiting for (not to mention paying for) the Blackberry Bold is not something on the top of everyone’s list. Empower offers the perfect solution, which can be found here.
OTA download: www.getEmpower.com/ota