I have complained about the limitations of Windows Phone before. I doubt that those limitations are new to anyone who has followed Mobility for at least a year. So, why am I doing this again? Perhaps it is that I am becoming a nag. Or I am getting old. Or perhaps it is because I just keep getting frustrated at how lame some of the limitations of Windows Phone are. If you are new to Mobility and to Windows Phone, grab a seat. If you’ve heard a different version of this rant before, please humour me.
For the last one hour, I have battled with finding a way to send a PDF file as an email attachment on a Windows Phone 7 smartphone. I have Googled and Binged – and finally puked (no; that’s not a new search engine)! There is no solution anywhere. It CANNOT be done. When you try to attach a file after composing an email, the only file option you can attach are photos. Images. PDF files cannot be done. To attach a simple PDF file! In 2013! What the gadzooks!!
Yes; you can also attach an Office document from inside the Office Hub but not from inside an email that you are responding to. Idiotic, really. Absolutely counter-productive. You have typed out your response to a mail in full, and then remember that you cannot attach an Office document from the mail menu. So, you head for the Office Hub to start afresh – not as a reply, but as a new email. Idiotic isn’t strong enough a word to describe this process. This is 2013 when everyone is talking about user friendliness and Windows Phone simply turns a simple process on its head. If you send me a PDF file in an email, I can download and read if I have Adobe Reader installed. That’s it. I cannot respond with one of mine.
Dropbox to the rescue?
I thought perhaps I could use Dropbox to share the said PDF file instead, so I launched the Dropbox app I use. It is named BoxShot. The next step would be to upload the PDF to Dropbox. Again, the only upload option I get is photos! Perhaps that is a limitation of the particular Dropbox app I have running, but I am too tired from all the going up and down to download, install and try every Dropbox app in the Marketplace to find out which one works as I want. I have work to do.
Shall we just call Windows Phone the smartphone platform for photo enthusiasts! Oh yes. That is because everywhere I turn, the only files that one seems to be able to do anything with without launching into a complicated process are images. Photos. Windows Phone is not (yet) a business platform. It is for people who want to share photos – via email, DropBox and even Facebook. The integration is superb. If you need to respond on the go to people with documents on a regular basis, this is no platform for you.
As it is, you should purchase a Windows Phone smartphone for your son and another for your daughter. It should work well for them. They will love the colourful hardware too. Perfect. But Windows Phone is no platform for anyone who has serious business emailing to do. At least not yet.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.