We recently implemented a fax server that transmits received faxes in TIFF format. One of the problems we face now is making sure that every Realtor who uses a Windows Mobile phone is able to view those TIFF files directly on their mobile device. In order to achieve this, a graphic program that can decode TIFF files must be installed on the Mobile Device.
For this particular example, we’ll use a program called XNView. XNView is a great photo editing program that is made available free of charge. It also have a fantastic mobile version that allows you to open TIFF images on your phone.
But wait, before we download XNView, we need to understand a bit more about 3rd party applications and Windows Mobile. Windows Mobile comes with a basic set of applications directly from Microsoft and various applications that your cell phone provider has already installed. 3rd party applications can be installed one of three ways.
Each of the next two methods requires that you create a relationship between your mobile device and your computer through ActiveSync. In Windows Vista, this is achieved through the Windows Mobile Device Center which is found in the Control panel from the Start button. In Windows XP, you can download Microsoft’s ActiveSync application in order to manage your relationships.
You also have two ways that you can connect your computer to your phone. The first, via USB cable and/or phone cradle, is becoming less and less common as the second method, Bluetooth, has taken over. Bluetooth connections allow you to create a miniature personal wireless network for your devices that only you have access to.
The third method of installing 3rd party applications is by downloading them directly to your device through your mobile internet connection. This is sometimes the easiest, but also not always supported.
So, let’s move towards getting your phone to be able to read these TIFF files that your clients are sending you through the fax system.
First, head over to http://www.xnviewpocket.org/ and download the most recent version of XnView for Windows PocketPC. Save the file in My Documents (Documents in Windows Vista). After downloading the file, which is most likely named xnpocket_xscale.exe, double click it and begin the installation.
The installation assumes that you have already connected your phone to your computer via cable or Bluetooth. If you haven’t, this won’t work. Stop here and read up on creating relationships between your computer and a Windows Mobile device.
Through the installation process, your computer will send the files that your phone needs to the phone directly, and then your phone will notify you that a file is attempting to install itself. You will have to confirm this action to make sure the application is installed on your phone.
Once the application is done installing on your phone, you will be able to see it in your Start –> Programs folder. Now, when you receive an e-mail with a TIFF attachment, save the attachment from your e-mail (click and hold the attachment and save) to a folder on your mobile device, then open XnView from your program files folder. Once you have XnView open, you can browse the folders of your mobile device to find the TIFF file you saved from your e-mail and voila!