Thursday, June 4, 2009

BlackBerry Guide for Power Users - Do More With Your BlackBerry

A BlackBerry smartphone definitely makes you more productive but there’s a small learning curve involved.

If you don’t have the time to read manuals, here’s a quick overview of some great time-saving features, tips and lesser known keyboard shortcuts that will help you do things quickly and more efficiently with your BlackBerry.

BlackBerry Guide for Power Users - Take full advantage of your BlackBerry smartphone.

Close vs Escape - If you are running a browser or playing a game in your BlackBerry and press the "End Call" key, the application does not get closed but is merely hidden from your view. Too many open applications will soon slow down your BlackBerry so make it a habit to close, not escape.

See What’s Running - To see a list of all open applications in your Blackberry, press the ALT key followed by Escape. It’s pretty much like doing an Alt+Tab in Windows to help you navigate through open applications or switch from one application to another.

blackberry-internet Save Web Pages - When you come across an interesting webpage but have no time reading it, you would normally send a link of that page as an email to yourself. To save time, simply open the menu of your BlackBerry internet browser and select “Save Page” – that page will be added to your message list just like other emails. This is like a built-in clipping tool.

Type URLs and Email Addresses Quickly - When typing a web address (URL) in the Blackberry browser, type a space and it is written as a dot. To insert a slash(/), use Shift+Space. When typing email addresses, your first space is recognized as @ while subsequent spaces are recognized as dots. So labnol google co uk will be written as

Delete Your Emails – If you are looking to clean your BlackBerry Inbox, press the CAPS key and scroll UP or DOWN using the wheel to select the email messages that you want to delete. If you want to completely clear the Inbox, press t in the Message view to move to the top and select “Delete Prior” – this will delete all your BlackBerry emails.

blackberry-desktopsSignal Strength – While your BlackBerry will display the current signal strength as bars on the homescreen, hold down the ALT key and type NMLL – the bars will convert into real numbers indicating the exact strength in that area. Repeat the same keystrokes to switch to bar mode again.

Multiple Email Signatures – By default, BlackBerry will append a text signature to all your outgoing email messages that you have set through the BlackBerry Internet Services portal. If you like more personalized signatures, compose a new email message in your BlackBerry, go to “Edit Auto-Text” and set up multiple entries corresponding to your different signatures.

BlackBerry Clipboard – If you are looking to copy text from an email message and save that as a note, position your cursor in the email, hold the Shift key (left Caps) and roll the trackwheel. When you are done selecting, click the trackwheel to put that selection onto the clipboard. BlackBerry Internet Explorer has a special Select Mode to help you copy-paste text from web pages.

Convert Case without the CAPS key – When writing an email message, hold down the key of any letter for a slightly longer duration and it will automatically turn into a capital letter. To type an accent or a special character (like a => à), hold the letter key and roll the trackwheel.

Stop Receiving Sent Emails - Every time you send an email from BlackBerry, you get a copy in your Inbox. To prevent this, setup a BlackBerry Filter.

blackberry-software Web Applications – Blackberry software like Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo! Go, Google Talk, NewsGator, Picasa, etc. offer great experiences but they could drain the battery of your BlackBerry since these applications are constantly checking for updates in the background.

You may therefore want to switch to “manual updates” especially when running low on battery.

HTML Email - The current BlackBerry OS supports only text emails but the good news is the BlackBerry OS 4.5, due in few months, will support HTML email, YouTube and editing of Microsoft Office documents. Until then, you can buy the BlackBerry email viewers either from BSmart or Empower.

Erase Everything - If you are looking to sell your Blackberry phone or planning to exchange an old model with an upcoming version (like the BlackBerry 9000), it is a good idea to completely erase all your BlackBerry data. For that, go to Options -> Security Options -> General Settings and choose “Wipe Handheld” from the menu.

Prolong the Battery Life – You can set BlackBerry to completely shut down at a specific time and it will automatically wake up with the alarm (or any other time) - note that you won’t be able to receive phone calls when the phone is switched off so don’t turn off the device too early. Some more tips on improving the life of your BlackBerry Battery.

blackberry-browser Move Around Web Pages Quickly - If you are reading a long (or very wide) web page, switch to the Page View mode that shows a view of the full website - use the scrollwheel to quickly navigate to any other area.

BlackBerry Resources - To download free BlackBerry software, games, ringtones and themes, go to Built For BlackBerry, Blackberry Owners Lounge or their Mobile Portal.

Screen Capture - There’s no inbuilt screen capture application in a BlackBerry so I use Mobiola Screen Capture that can capture still images as well as a video of your BlackBerry activity. Another option is SnapScreen that is cheaper but offers only still screenshots. The BlackBerry developers toolkit also has a screenshot application that you can have for free.

BlackBerry Blogs - Some BlackBerry blogs worth checking out are CrackBerry, Rimarkable, BoyGenius, BlackBerry Geeks, AllBlackBerry and BlackBerry Cool. If you like to know about Hollywood celebrities that carry BlackBerry phones, go to BlackBerry Sightings.

Got a Problem - If you have a question or problem related to BlackBerry, you can seek help from the Official forums or the more popular CrackBerry Forums. You can also search their technical center for additional support.