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Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎04-20-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: Rogers

Receiving, opening, saving attachments WARNING long post

[ Edited ]

In some ways, this post is more of a reminder to myself on how to deal with attachments that I've discovered so far and hopefully it will help some other confused souls. I'm betting that like most people on this forum, your interest in the Playbook is partly motivated by how you can quickly and easily access files on the run to review them and edit them minimally and quickly (oops! forgot to change the boss' title in the memo now!) without resorting to hauling out a laptop, waiting for it to start, load the relevant office program, and then hoping your hotel wifi is strong and stable enough to actually load up a bloated email client to download far too many attachments. If that's your circumstances are like mine, then the PB is clearly a work in progress. I thought that Apple's iPad method of dealing with document transfers was crippled at best; the PB is a quest in hide-and-seek.

 

  1. Transferring media files (photos, movies, etc.). If you use Windows, I'm guessing you're doing okay. If you use a Mac like me, the BB Desktop will not work for such transfers. You can use wifi to bulk transfer media files from your Mac to the PB, but you lose the rich context (playlists, etc.) that you probably want.
  2. Opening attachments in Mail within Bridge. This one confuses me, but I suppose it works best for the corporate world - maybe. If I open an attachment from an email in the PB Bridge from within Mail, I could select an attachment and tap to open it. The relevant app (Reader, sheet to go, word to go, etc.) opens up a new window and the document can be read. At this point in the RIM life cycle, any documents within Bridge are read-only and cannot be saved/edited, which of course defeats any aspirations of on-the-fly editing. Nonetheless, they are viewable and gloriously so. But it was not obvious to me where the documents were now. If I wanted to, say, review them later, where would I find them? The most rational place I thought they would be would be the Bridge Files icon. However, if I selected Playbook under Bridge Files, there did not seem to be anything, and if I selected BlackBerry smartphone, it was not obvious either. By chance, I muddled through and discovered that under the smartphone choice, if I drilled down through my SD card directory to BlackBerry to documents to Bridge (ah! that's new!) subfolders, I would find all my downloaded documents in this new Bridge folder which is supposedly on my smartphone. Distressingly, I cannot find this same subfolder "Bridge" on the SD card on the smartphone itself.
  3. But this is the where we enter another dimension however! All of the above (2) ONLY seems to apply to emails sent to my GMail account that my BlackBerry - and therefore my PB - is also set up to receive within Mail in Bridge: given that I'm not an IT adminstrator, I'll just call them the non-corporate emails. If I open up an attachment from a message in Mail within Bridge that was sent through my usual corporate email system (in this case, Lotus Notes - yet another story), then the attachment ends up in SD card directory to BlackBerry to documents, but does not go into Bridge. I lack the knowledge or wisdom to fathom why this is different, other than it probably has something to do with the corporate side of things. 
  4. Opening attachments from Webmail (e.g. GMail). This one is also a bit bizarre. Although not very easy to find, at least all the attachments from (2) and (3) ended up in almost the same places on my smartphone SD card. But you cannot edit them.  So what if I opened up via the web browser? GMail works quite well actually. When I tapped on an attachment to open it in GMail, it would bring me to a new pane and ask me to save it (Save "1"). It does not necessarily open it however and sometimes I would just get a new blank window. But if I swipe down from the top, I could see the downloads option, and choosing that would show me the attached document and an Open button. Opening it would load the document using the relevant app (e.g. Word to Go) and swiping down gave me another save (yes!) option (Save "2"). However, I had no idea where the attachment was saved. It does not appear under Media, any Bridge folder, etc. Assuming the attachment file type is associated with the app however, if you now open, say, Word-to-Go, well, there it is (finally!). So, the bizzarre thing is that the first save (Save "1") that you are prompted with does not seem to actually save it: only after the relevant app loads it and then you save it again (Save "2") does the attachment seem to actually get transferred to the Playbook's internal memory (somewhere). I cannot figure out the reason why you have to go through this double step. But at least now I can edit them. So maybe the solution is to mirror all my corporate emails to another service like GMail or Hotmail? (I can hear the collective gasps of the security minded types!)
  5. Opening attachments from Webmail (e.g., GMail) within the Bridge Browser. This is maybe the ultimate compromise and combination of the above, and perhaps the situation most of us want to know about when we're on the go, get that ever important email about what was needed yesterday, don't have wifi access, but need to edit the attachment and cannot do it within the regular mail within Bridge. Dismally, this one is a fail - I get the error message "Bridge Browser: Cannot download corporate files." 

After fumbling my way through an iPad and pretty much abandoning it for my workflow (although it is very good for other applications), I thought the Playbook would address almost of my needs, particularly since I've used a BlackBerry for the last six years. Personally, I think the PB hardware is fantastic, the form factor is great, and I do not care for or need 1000's of useless and trivial apps, but the implementation of what I consider core functionality is mediocre at best. I'm an academic - I'd grade the Playbook a C- (maybe even a D+ (ouch!) if I was in a grumpy mood).

 

In the interests of fairness, I recognize that some of the issues may simply be the way my corporate parent runs its business. I toil away under Lotus Notes and use a BlackBerry Bold, OS5, Rogers network, and a three year MacBook Pro.

 

If anybody has found other solutions or I've simply done something wrong, I'd love to hear. Otherwise, my abode will likely not be this Playbook's forever home.

New Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-22-2011
My Device: Bold 9650 and Playbook
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Receiving, opening, saving attachments WARNING long post

After too many hours trying to figure this out, I set up a gmail account which I can access on the Playbook.  When I want to read and edit a word or excel file I forward it from my corporate email to the gmail account.  You can then easily save the attachment onto the Playbook.  Then you open word to go, click browse, and miraculously the file appears for reading AND editing.  I just set up a contact named playbook with the gmail address so it takes no time to accomplish this until BB comes up with a better way.

Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎04-20-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Receiving, opening, saving attachments WARNING long post

That's basically the same conclusion I reached. I was trying to figure out how many ways I could approach the problem of attachments given no one way seemed to be working particularly well. Even in the GMail scenario, I still ended up with the "double save" process, which I still cannot figure out why.

 

I assume you're keeping your Playbook?

New Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-22-2011
My Device: Tour 9360
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Receiving, opening, saving attachments WARNING long post

thanks - I too am a corporate user on Notes (yeah, another story, not a pretty one) but am I reading your post correctly that the documents I'm trying to open do NOT end up on the Playbook, but rather on the Blackberry phone's sim card??

New Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-22-2011
My Device: Bold 9650 and Playbook
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Receiving, opening, saving attachments WARNING long post

Definately keeping.  This issue would have been a deal breaker if no workaround, but it literally is a 10-20 second process to forward it to the other account and save it from there to the playbook.  I love that I have no new data plan and wonder why 3G/4G is even slightly interesting to those on a enterprise server.  Its obvious why the carriers don't like it as there is no new data plan to sell.  The grandkids look spectacular on video, web browsing is easy, and i can listen to music while I read the WSJ online.  Life is good.

 

 

 

New Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-22-2011
My Device: Bold 9650 and Playbook
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Receiving, opening, saving attachments WARNING long post

I believe that is the case and I can't figure out how to move them to the playbook, hense the gmail account.

Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎04-20-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: Receiving, opening, saving attachments WARNING long post

Well edl99 your points are true. I got to admit - I was less overwhelmed with the iPad. I keep getting this feeling that with some updates, this Playbook could be just so much more, whereas with the iPad (which I do own but is much more useful for my wife's workflow and recreation) I realized it was pretty much all it was going to be.

 

Did you find a way to load up a whole bunch of bookmarked websites onto the browser at once, or did you just enter your favourite websites one at a time?

New Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-22-2011
My Device: Bold 9650 and Playbook
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Receiving, opening, saving attachments WARNING long post

I am entering them one by one...by one...
Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎04-20-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: Rogers

Hidden BRIDGE subfolder - attachments

Hi fochtk... you're welcome (I think! this seems unnecessarily confusing!). I think you're referring to my points (2) and (3) from my original post. In summary, this is what I THINK is happening.

 

On my BlackBerry Bold 9700, I have two email accounts, my corporate Lotus account, and my GMail account. There is one universal desktop that gathers both incoming emails into one so that I can view all messages at the same time. I imagine that the corporate server for this universal desktop therefore also have all these same messages because all the messages (GMail and Lotus) then show up in Mail via Bridge on my PB.

 

A. When in Bridge - Mail I open up an attachment in a mail that was received by my corporate Lotus account, the documents show up on my phone's SD card (I think you mean the memory card, not the SIM card for telecommunications). If I check my Playbook under Bridge Files -> Phone Icon -> BlackBerry/SDCard -> Documents, the attachments are there, and if I check my file manager on my phone, the same attachments are listed in the same subfolder. Interestingly, I was given the option to download them too.

 

B. When I open up an attachment in a mail that was received initially by my GMail account, the documents are not given the option to download. However, when I go to Bridge Files -> Phone Icon -> BlackBerry/SDCard -> Documents -> Bridge, the attachments from this GMail destined message are there! Weird, because I didn't create a Bridge subfolder on my phone's SD card, nor can I find a Bridge subfolder on the phone itself.

 

SORRY. I stand corrected. I just went into Bridge - Mail to double check and guess what... ALL of my email attachments no matter what account they were sent to originally (Lotus or GMail) if they are accessed through Bridge get dumped into this Bridge subfolder that is supposedly located on my phone's SD card (situation B). Maybe situation A was for when I downloaded the attachment to the phone first: I've gone back and forth with this so many times now...

 

Maybe this Bridge subfolder is a hidden folder tied to your phone so that if you lose your Playbook attachments cannot be accessed? But there seems to be no options to delete these downloaded files. UPDATE! Yes, I should have checked sooner. When you are accessing your phone, use the menu button to select "Show Hidden". It then displays the greyed out Bridge subfolder under Documents and you can then manipulate (e.g., delete) your files from there. This would make sense so that your files are as secure as possible via your phone. Still can't edit the attachments though... 

 

Hope this helps...

Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎04-20-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: Rogers

Web bookmarks one by one...

One by one, eh edl99? Well... that's so 20th century!