On Keyboard Shortcuts and Uncooked Rice: How to Get the Most Out of Your Blackberry

Some say Blackberry is dying and that they’re nothing more than holdovers from the days when QWERTY keyboards were sexy. Purists will howl; that is their job but the Blackberry is here and it’s here to stay. Whether you’re gushing over a sleek touchscreen slider or hanging on to a knackered, old workhorse from the days when Will Young was just starting out, here are a few things to help you get the most out of your Blackberry.


Charge up and stay connected.

            It makes no sense at all to have so much power in your hands when your Blackberry has no juice. Always charge your phone even when it’s nearly full. Apps like Twitter and Facebook will automatically refresh every five minutes, set that to a less manic interval to save some battery.

When you’re travelling on a train and coverage is wanky, your Blackberry is likely to struggle to get some signal. Turn off data services from the Network Settings on the home screen.

Do more with shortcuts.

Your Blackberry is an absolutely marvelous piece of engineering. Make the most out of it by using shortcuts. Hold down a letter to use it in uppercase. Press “T” and “B” to go up and down a web page. Set your convenience key to compose email, a new tweet or open the camera, whatever floats your boat and if you ever get lost, hit ALT+Shift+H to access the help screen.

If you’re feeling a bit feisty, disable dialing from the home screen and you’ll enter a whole new world of shortcuts. Tap “D” to save a new shopping list then hit “K” to lock the keyboard when you’re done. Though these take a bit of getting used to, but can you spell productivity?

Here comes the messenger.

The introduction of the Blackberry Messenger to mobile phones is what the Concorde was to the field of aviation. While it was born to connect businesses a decade ago, it has now spawned a community, over 43 million strong. You can send instant messages, share photos, links and voice messages across the globe with just a few taps.

Just as the digital revolution has made anyone with a digital camera a potential pornographer, the BBM has been subject to abuse. To make the most out of it, add only the contacts you know and open only files from these trusted sources. Join groups sparingly and be very considerate with group messages. It’s an intelligent community so try not to ruin it.


And when your BB gets sick…

            What separates the Blackberry from most smartphones in the market is their build quality. They’re built like tanks and will take all the beating from your car keys, coins and the occasional spilled coffee. When in doubt, simply hold down ALT+Shift and Delete to perform a soft reset. This is a quick fix when your phone starts acting up.

Dunking your phone in a bowl of uncooked rice or taking it apart and bathing it alcohol are good ways to fix water damage. But for major breakdowns, find a reputable mobile repair. Most units are easily serviceable so never let them charge you an arm or a leg.


But to really get the most out of your Blackberry…

            Hand in heart, any model in the Blackberry line is easily the best smartphone in the market today. If you’ve ever had a touchscreen die on you, you’ll know what this is about.

To really get the most out of a Blackberry, you need to enjoy using it. Whether you’re a small business owner or a student away on holiday, ease into it and you’ll see. Network coverage maybe bad at times or web browsing may hit a few snags here and there but when everything works, it’s just astonishing.  

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