Re: Network mode and email attachments on Windows Phone

I have been a secret follower of Mobility for some time now – years actually, and can’t go a day without a visit. It is nice looking at the world of mobiles from a Nigerian perspective rather than sole reliance on GSM Arena, the Verge or other websites for mobile enthusiasts.

I decided to write this to correct or at least address some features of Windows Phone which Mister Mo has been crying about. Actually, it is a direct response to his post, Android phone dialer lag: Xperia P and Galaxy Pocket, particularly the last paragraph:

If only Microsoft would stop being silly and add 3G-only network mode and the ability to attach Office and PDF documents in emails to Windows Phone, I would switch from Android in half a heartbeat and put myself out of this misery of inconsistent experiences. Microsoft, how hard can those two things be that it is taking you years to implement? I have never been a fan of Android’s inefficient resource management, and a situation like this is just not helping matters.

Attaching Documents in Email

You can attach documents and PDF files to emails. Simply transfer the said files to your phone by USB cable or Bluetooth, or alternatively locate your files on SkyDrive. Go to the Office tile, press it and search for your files under phone, email or SkyDrive. You can also click the search icon for a quicker method.

After locating your file, press and hold it for more options, select “Share”, choose the email account and your file will be automatically attached. Repeat same for PDF files also. Not as straightforward as on Android, but it is possible. See screenshots below.

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WP SkyDrive Email PDF 1

WP SkyDrive Email PDF 2

WP SkyDrive Email PDF 3

WP SkyDrive Email Word 1

WP SkyDrive Email Word 2

Network Mode

You can lock your network to either 2G or 3G. See screenshots. Its very possible and it works perfectly. What I like most of all is that when you select 3G and there’s none around, it automatically switches to 2G and then back to 3G when available. I’ve had my S3 loose signal, go offline and overheat while searching for 3G signal when not available. I feel the approach by Microsoft is more practical.

WP Network Mode

Switching to Windows Phone

If you’re interested in switching to WP8, please do. Just make sure you don’t have much hair on your head because you may end up pulling them out. I’ve used Windows Phone since March 2011 and it’s not been a pleasant ride. I will not recommend it to a non-enthusiast. You have been warned.

17 thoughts on “Re: Network mode and email attachments on Windows Phone

  • May 24, 2013 at 7:21 am
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    When I hear some.of the strident negative rants about iOS not being able to do that, or WindowsPhone NOT being able to do this, I have.often had a gut feeling that there would be.workarounds to address those complaints.

    if a deficiency exists.on a platform, you can bet people must have attempted to solve it either creatively, or via third party apps.

    I am not adventurous and liquid enough, otherwise,I would have given both iOS, WindowsPhone and BlackBerry a spin to experience, first hand,.some.of.those alleged deficiencies.

    I will bet my bottom Naira ALL those deficiencies will ha e solutions / workaround, particularly via third.party apps.

  • May 24, 2013 at 9:01 am
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    There’s one issue, we need to touch when analysing platforms in nigeria, which is d issue of data consumption. The blackberry the world (western) so loathe has been considerate on data. Android and IOS are killers on data and the update like everyday bloating the ram of the device. I’m thinking of a WP8 device device starting with the Nokia Lumia 520 to test the platform, AndroId and IOS are good but not yet suited for our ecosystem yet. Mister Mo keep the flag flying .

  • May 24, 2013 at 9:20 am
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    Actually, sometimes locking signal on WP8 can be iffy based on location or signal, if your WP8 has not been updated to Portico, you can lock signal by dialing ##3282#, on the bottom, press the three dots, settings show up choose network type, then select “3G only”. That should be the only thing you toggle on that page. If Portico update is on phone, simply dial ##3282. Leave out the last #. Same procedure. Simple.

  • May 24, 2013 at 10:11 am
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    First, for now, the only network that a Windows Phone can be locked to is 2G. Don’t let that “highest connection speed” thing fool you. It does not lock you to 3G when you select that. When you select 3G as your highest connection speed, it means that the phone looks for a 3G signal first and where that is weak or not available, it switches to 2G. That is not 3G-only mode. It means that where signals fluctuate (as they do a lot in these parts), your phone keeps switching, resulting in epileptic service – and burning your battery faster.

    When one needs fast internet in patchy environments like we mostly have, the ideal thing is to lock the phone to 3G. Even if the 3G signal is weak, it holds to it and delivers more reliable speeds than when the phone keeps switching between 2G and 3G. That is the key benefit of 3G-only mode.

    Another benefit is that some networks are just crappy in auto mode. Glo is an example. Your internet connection will work better if pegged to either 2G or 3G than if left to switch between the two. Of course, on WP, you can peg to 2G, but not to 3G.

    Second, the ##3282# 3G-only hack described by Olu is not universal. It works sometimes and fails in other cases, usually depending on the OS version that you have on your WP smartphone.

    Third, EyeBeeKay’s three links show us how bad the problems are but offer no universal or elegant solutions either. Let’s have a look:

    1. The China specific network mode app by Nokia should have been made universal so any WP user anywhere in the world can install and use it. I am also wondering, If Nokia can make that app, then they can implement 3G-only mode in their Lumia range. They clearly have the expertise to do it, so why are they not?

    ii. The second link proves that the ##3282# network hack does not work for everyone, and so is no real solution either.

    iii. Lastly, the Windows Phone Email FAQ is a rehash of what Chris has posted in the article above. When composing or replying to email everywhere else in the modern world, you launch mail app, type your reply, add attachments there, and send. Simple. Elegant. Not so on WP. To attach a file that isn’t an image, you cannot click Reply and do so. You have to take note of the sender of the mail, shut the mail app, then go to the Office Hub and follow the steps outlined by Chris above. Where else in the world does anyone handle email attachments in such a cumbersome way? How many non-geeks will appreciate such a process? It is hair-tearing stuff.

    My position on email attachments and network mode on Windows Phone stands. Those features need working on by Microsoft. Or each individual OEM.

  • May 24, 2013 at 10:19 am
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    Peter, you have to understand you are using a first world device in subpar conditions, so if you have a problem with data guzzling on iOS or Android, there are a lot of people with fat data bundles elsewhere who don’t share that view. If you had access to free wifi and mobile data was consistent and more reliable, you wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    That aside, the premise that you will lose hair using WP8 must be a guy thing. I haven’t pulled or gained any extra grey hairs since I started a few months ago. And even where there seems to be one, there’s always a workaround. It’s often not that complicated (or maybe I easily adapt).

    To be honest I hear some of Mr Mo’s complaints about WP but I haven’t experienced any of them. That could be because I’m using WP8 and not WP7. Even then, I refer to my brother who has been using WP from the start, and prior to that Windows Mobile. He hasn’t had a quarter of the problems mentioned by Mr Mo. But then he doesn’t have a lower spec device and that I suspect is more the problem than the OS itself.

    • May 24, 2013 at 10:42 am
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      Noni,

      Here are the two main complaints that I keep harping about with respect to Windows Phone:

      1. Email Attachments: When you want to attach a Word or PDF document to a reply that you are sending, are you able to do so right from inside the email app out of the box?

      2. 3G-only mode: If you are in an environment with strong 3G coverage (or you regularly use Wi-Fi), I can imagine that you may not feel the impact of the network mode issue, so I’ll let that pass.

  • May 24, 2013 at 11:08 am
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    Mr Mo, you made a similar complaint about trying to send a document in Android. I did not have that problem because I had software installed in my phone to tackle that. There’s always a workaround.

    And yes I have network problems as I’m rely back lot on mobile data for the most part but to me it’s no big deal. So long as I can get a decent connection I’m not stressing myself about whether it should be 3G or EDGE.

    • May 24, 2013 at 11:29 am
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      Noni,

      You have not answered my first question. Here it is again:

      1. Email Attachments: When you want to attach a Word or PDF document to a reply that you are sending, are you able to do so right from inside the email app out of the box? This is how everyone on the planet handles email attachments. It is also the most sensible way, as far as I can see. Any longer process is a negative and not user friendly. Any workarounds must be user friendly.

      I will also add a second one:

      2. If you are unable to attach Office and PDF files in the email app out of the box, have you found an app that let’s you do so? Have you found a workaround?

  • May 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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    Quite Interesting.

    Yet, I see no solution to the two problems above.

    • May 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm
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      Yet, I see no solution to the two problems above.

      bosun99uk,

      Gbam! Succinctly said.

  • May 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm
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    I get what mister Mo is saying, WP8 allows you to attached pictures from the email apps. There might a reason for this. With the new update coming this might be resolve.

    We can look at it from another direction since you can share docs from the document you are viewing. it like attaching the file .

    Among all Phone OS’s available WP8 OS is the most stable.

    Please people used a product(platform) before the criticism .

    All OS has their flaws, we should have this in mind, if WP OS was lunch around same time like IOS, android it will have been the dominate platform by now. I made the switch when Microsoft and Nokia signed the partnership . I believed Nokia is the player to beat in the mobile phone arena.

  • May 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm
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    Wow! look at the number of loops that one has to jump to attach a PDF file to an email.

    I thought WP8 was all about simplicity and ease of use.

  • May 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm
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    Well, like Apple would say “theirs an app for that”… In the Store, download a paid app “PDF Reader Pro”.

  • May 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm
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    Mr Mo

    Rather than reinvent the wheel, the nameless writer of the article has highlighted how to send a document via email. No it can’t be sent directly from the email application but rather via Office to email.

    As for how “everyone on the planet handles email attachments”, I would say that I don’t think Windows Phone is not the only mobile phone OS that does this.

  • May 26, 2013 at 10:20 am
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    I wish to say something on this topic. I you are have been a Nokia fan or maybe have used Symbian phones by Nokia very well, then you will know or understand why Mr Mobility is crying out loud on this issue of network mode and email attachment .
    What Mr Mobility is saying here which I totally agree with him is not whether there is a walk around solution nor a third party app for this simple and straightforward way, but if I understand him very well, why has Nokia or maybe refused to adopt the simple and straightforward way it was in the old dead Symbian. if the new method(in Windows) is simpler and direct than the way it used to be, nobody(maybe Symbian fans) won’t complain. but for a new OS which is assumed to be better of in everything compared to the dead OS to now make thing complex or lacking in things the fans are used to, I think there is every reason to complain.
    The Nokia that we all know before the adoption of windows as their OS, has three network mode on their phones:
    Dual(auto)
    2G
    3G
    Whenever the Dual(auto) mode is selected, the phone behaves exactly the way the writer pointed out. in this mode, the the phone gives priority to 3G network. if 3G is available along with 2G, the phone stays on 3G, and if 3G is not available, the phone falls back to 2G if it is available at that moment. I often have problem with this mode because once it’s on this mode, the phone is constantly searching for 3G, if it’s search resulted in no 3G, it falls back to 2G and the search continues on and on and on, and the battery pays for that.
    secondly, this is something I still can’t understand. I live in Ajaokuta in Kogi State, the city is less than 40Km from Lokoja. Globalism has 3.5G network in both lokoja and Ajaokuta, but on several occasions that I have called glo customer service to make complaints, they will authoritatively tell me that glo has no 3G in Ajaokuta, that Ajaokuta is not among the list of cities with 3G. but I have been using this 3G for over a year now. now here is the problem, whenever I am in Lokoja and my phone or modem is set to dual mode, the phone or modem picks the 3G network immediately. when I come back to Ajaokuta both the modem and phone in auto/dual mode will show me just 2G. if 2G is not available, it will not even go to 3G even when 3G is available, instead I will see no network.
    with this type of problem, the only option for me if I want to download or stream video either on my phone or computer, I have no option that to set or lock my phone and modem to 3G only. I want to make it clear that this problem is not peculiar to Nokia/my Nokia, every phone be it BB Samsung and others in this city experience the same issue whenever the phone is on dual mode. this then implies that if I have a Windows phone in Ajaokuta here, I will never be able to enjoy 3G even when there is 3G network because Nokia windows phone only has dual/auto mode and no 3G only.
    the other 2 modes are self explanatory.
    I have a BB and a Chinco droid, they all have auto/dual, 2G and 3G network mode. Even tecno has, why can’t Nokia implement it on their Windows phone?
    on the issue of attaching a file to reply, Nokia still fail. you should be in the email domain and search for a file to attach rather than search for a file and then begins to search for the email/sender you want to send mail or reply to.

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