After using a BlackBerry device for a few months, I now have a list of eleven tips, tricks, and pieces of information that will help you be more productive and be in charge of your phone. From filtering messages inside the Hub, taking screenshots and creating customized LED notifications, these tips can increase your productivity with your device and make it a lot easier to complete certain tasks.
Take a Screenshot
If you need to take a screenshot of whatever app or content you are
looking at, you are in luck. Built into BlackBerry 10 is a screenshot
feature. By pressing on the
Volume Up and
Volume Down keys at the
same time, a new screenshot will be taken.
Screenshots are saved to the “camera” folder on your device. You can view the screenshots by opening up the Pictures app or by navigating to the folder “camera” inside the File Manager.
Disable Send Button for Text Messages
If you are like me and always hit the send button instead of backspace on your BlackBerry while typing a text message, there is an easy fix.
- Click on the three dots inside of the hub and open up Settings.
- Click on “Text Messages” to open the Text Message settings.
- Turn off “Use Enter Key To Send”.
That’s all there is to it. You will no longer send messages by mistake when you are trying to backspace.
Repeat Calendar Event on Specific Days
Scheduling repeating events is very useful, but in BlackBerry it may seem like the recurring events scheduler is lacking some basic features, such as repeating an event on multiple days of the week. In fact, this feature does exist, it’s just a little difficult to find.
- While adding a new event to the calendar, set “Repeats” to “Custom”.
- Set the event repeat duration from “day(s)” to “week(s)”.
- Select on each day of the week you want the event to repeat on.
Now instead of creating events manually for each day they occur, you can have BlackBerry’s Calendar app do the heavy lifting.
Access Quick Settings while in any App
The Quick Settings menu that you get to from swiping down while on your device home page can be useful to see the date and time, silence your device, and to access and modify a lot of commonly used settings.
To access the Quick Settings, you would normally swipe down while on your home page, but while inside of apps, you can still access the Quick Settings by swiping down while using two fingers instead of one.
View Hub from any App
While inside of an app, you may get an alert of a new e-mail or text message. But instead of stopping what you are doing to check if it’s important or not, you can “peek” at the hub.
While inside of an app, swipe from the bottom of the screen up and to the right.
If the message is important, swipe all the way to the right to open up the hub. Otherwise swipe back to the left to return to your app.
Filter the Hub
Filtering the Hub is a quick gesture and can be customized to perform different filtering techniques. First, to filter the hub “pinch” the screen, as if you are zooming out of a photo or a web page. By default this will now filter the hub to only show unread messages. You can leave the filtered view by “pinching out”.
To adjust what action is performed when you pinch, open up the Hub Settings. Under “Display and Actions” is a drop down menu for “Pinch Filter Criteria”. You can choose between Unread Messages, Flagged Messages, Draft Messages, Meeting Invites, Sent Messages, and Level 1 Messages.
Rearrange Apps on Home Screen
While on your Home Screen, if you have multiple apps open, you can rearrange the order of them similar to how you would arrange the order of app icons. Tap and hold on one of the open app previews, and then drag the app to the position you want.
No need to close out of multiple apps and open in them a sequential order any more to have your Calendar displayed first.
Customize LED Alert Colors
By default, all notifications on your BlackBerry device display a blinking red LED. But did you know that you can change the color of that blinking light depending on the notification.
- Open up the Settings app
- Go to Notifications
- Edit or Create a new Notification Profile
- Tap on “Customize App Notifications”
- For each app, you have an option to change the LED Color.
Instead of having to reach over to your device to see what you missed, a quick glance at the LED will tell you that you missed a phone call, received an e-mail, or maybe you just received a text message.
Access Bedside Mode
BlackBerry devices have a mode called “Bedside Mode”. In this mode all notifications are disabled except your alarm. You can also customize specific apps such as your phone or e-mail accounts to still have notifications while in Bedside Mode.
To enable Bedside Mode, from the lock screen swipe down from the top, as apposed to swiping up from the bottom. You can also access the Bedside Mode from the Clock app. Inside the Clock app, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap on “Bedside Mode” to enable.
To customize the Bedside Mode alerts, open up your Notification settings inside the Settings app, and customize the profile for “Bedside” to change what alerts will still work while sleeping.
View Upcoming Events inside the Hub
While sifting through e-mails and notifications inside the BlackBerry Hub, you can view your upcoming events by “swiping down” from the center of the screen. At the top of the Hub you will now see your upcoming events for today and tomorrow.
At the time of writing this post, sadly there isn’t any way to increase how far into the future events will be shown.
Using Apps while Calling Someone
When you are on a call with your BlackBerry 10 device, you can minimize the Phone app like any other app, but you will remain on the call. This makes it very easy to take notes, read e-mails, and even send messages while you are still talking on your phone.
On the top of your device, it will show that you are still on a call when the Phone app is closed, so you won’t forget.