Ok, so I am working on a project at work where I am auto-generating email messages with attachments and I want our small sales force to have the ability to open the attachments from their phones. I have a few options and started with a TXT file, but for some reason the attachment is randomly leaving off certain fields (an Access generated report). I tried both RTF and HTML on my desktop and they formatted beautifully. The RTF file also opened nicely on my Surround, although the HTML file returns an error, “Download didn’t complete. Try again”. They are 6 to 8KB files, so size it not the issue. But it’s also not a problem, as I have a solution (RTF) for Windows Phone.

Not going to ask the dozen or so sales reps to test the two formats, cause as we all know, after exercising their mouths, there is not much else salespeople are good at. And statistically, my guess is there are no WP devices in the pockets of this dozen.

So the question is simple; can iPhone, Android and/or Blackberry natively open RTF or HTML files (viewing only)? If so, which format. And if not, what software will these guys need to make one or the other possible. I can tailor each email address to a specific file format so mix and match is ok. Anybody? Or should I simply tell them all to go out and buy a Windows Phone.


  1. Good point, but Access will not auto-generate those formats, so it would require an additional step. Only; RTF, TXT, HTML, XLS and SNP (MS Access Snapshot). My guess is that RTF would work on all platforms with a software add-on.

    Surprised that I can’t open an HTML file on my WP device Think I was able to do that with WinMo.

  2. I suggest using a PDF printer. It’ll basically be a virtual printer that’s prints to file (much like the inbuilt xps document printer). Foxit PDF printer works well. But there are others. ;)

  3. Well, this post started out as a simple question. But now it appears that I have accidentally discovered Windows Phone is the most business friendly device available today. Wow, didn’t know that. Sure, there are workarounds, but what about just getting it done.

    I will send the attachments to my neighbors Droid and my nephews iPhone to get the answers I am looking for (does anyone still use BB), but at the end of the day steering the sales guys towards WP seems like the easiest solution all around.

    So, get back to tweaking your phones, moving icons around, redialing dropped calls and playing Angry Birds. Me, I got work to do.

  4. Depends on what version of Access you have. I’d agree that PDF or DOCX are the way to go here rather than TXT or RTF. RTF is an old, old format. I believe Android has a version of OpenOffice on it that can open the DOCX files. Don’t know about iThinkImBetterThanEveryoneElseInTheWorldBecauseSteveJobsWearsBlackShirtsPhone though.

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