You probably bought a BlackBerry for the keyboard and fantastic battery life but there's more to it than that.
You can just pick a
BlackBerry up and start using it, because all you need to do is press the Menu key to get the main options on every screen -
but the BlackBerry OS hides a huge number of clever tricks and shortcuts that make it faster and simpler to get things done.
There are some tips you won't need often - like pressing Alt, Del and the right-hand Caps key at the same time to reboot instead of just restarting; others you'll use all the time, like pressing the red 'hang up' key to get back to the home screen and clicking the spanner icon on the home screen to open Options. Here are our top 10 Blackberry tips you might not have known.
1. Use the keyboard less. BlackBerry has always had a QWERTY keyboard and you can
type everything out in full - but you can save time with the
built-in shortcuts. Press space twice at the end of a sentence
to get the full stop and an automatic capital on the next
Don't bother with apostrophes in words like I'm and isn't (type im and the BlackBerry will correct it for you); there are other handy abbreviations like 'wel' to get 'we'll' and 'il' to get 'I'll' and you can add your own with Options >AutoText.
AUTOTEXT: Speed up typing by creating your own abbreviations and corrections.
2. Quick capitals
You don't need Shift - press and hold a letter key to type the
upper case letter.
3. Skip Symbol
If you're typing an email address into a field that expects an email address, don't bother looking for how to type the @; just hit space and BlackBerry will put the @ in for you. Press space when you need the . in the middle of the email address and it will fill that in, too. Do the
same for URLs in the browser; pressing space fills in the periods faster than typing them by hand.
4. Fast select
There's a Select command on the menu for choosing what to copy and paste - but you can make a selection just by holding down the Shift key as you scroll
5. Keyboard shortcuts
Save on scrolling by using 't' to get to the top of any email message, web page or other long screen and 'b' to get to the
bottom. There are specific shortcuts for all the built-in apps like using the Mute button to pause videos or music or
skipping to the next or previous track by pressing and holding
the volume up and down keys (which also zoom in and out in the camera - although many apps use I and O to zoom);
there's a list in the Help tool.
SAVE TIME: Put the keyboard to work with shortcuts in every built-in app.
6. Choose dialling or shortcuts.
Under Options > Phone Options
> General Options you can set Dial From Home Screen to Yes or No; if you set it to Yes you can start typing a name to dial the number on the home screen, if
you set it to No you can type the first letter of apps on the home screen to open them (M for Mail,
B for browser, C to compose email - and oddly N for Messenger, L for Calendar and U for Calculator).
7. Web columns
Press Z in the web browser to reflow the page into a column the size of the BlackBerry screen so it's easier to read;
press Z again to go back to a normal page view you can scroll around.
EASY READING: Switch between seeing the original layout and a
version of the page reformatted as one long BlackBerry-sized column.
To save memory and make pages load faster, the BlackBerry browser usually has
9. Which browser?
There are three different browsers on the BlackBerry; a
WAP browser for viewing content from your mobile network, the BlackBerry HTML
browser (and a hotspot browser that prioritises the Wi-Fi connection). If you have problems accessing or loading
Web pages, choose Options > Browser Configuration and set
Browser to BlackBerry Browser
and make sure Options >
General Properties > Default Browser is also set to BlackBerry Browser.
10. Don't get mobile Web sites.
You can also try changing Browser Identification from BlackBerry to Firefox or IE to force the full versions of specific
pages to load instead of the cut-down mobile versions - but
they might be slow or not load fully.
BROWSER SWAP: The BBC web site always loads the mobile
version on BlackBerry; if you
want to see the full site, have your BlackBerry pretend to run Firefox or IE.
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