10 Things You Didn't Know About Your BlackBerry

Written by wolfram donat
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10 Things You Didn't Know About Your BlackBerry
The Blackberry Playbook has some features that aren't widely used. (Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

The first Blackberry smart phone was introduced by Research In Motion (RIM) in 1999. The company was founded in 1984, and has its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, with offices in North America, Asia and Europe. The latest Blackberry smartphone model is the 9800, also called the Torch. RIM has also released a tablet -- the Playbook.

There are many facts and features about Blackberry phones that are not commonly known.

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Keyboard shortcuts

When typing in Blackberry's text-entry mode, there are some keyboard shortcuts that can streamline typing. To capitalise a letter, hold the key down for a second or two. To input a period and start a new sentence, type a space twice. If you are in an e-mail input field, type a space instead of the "@" key, and then another space instead of the "." key. Likewise, if you are in a web address input field, typing a space will input a period in the address.

SSH and telnet

Not many people know that you can telnet and SSH (Secure Shell) from the Blackberry to a standard computer network. Simply download the BBSSH application from bbssh.org and install it on your Blackberry as a telnet/ssh client.

E-mail addresses

Most Blackberry users know that they can access their regular e-mail with their Blackberry. Not everyone knows, however, that most wireless carriers offer a free e-mail address with a data plan (xxx@att.blackberry.net, for example).

Free up memory

While the low cost of mini SD cards makes memory cheap these days, freeing up memory on your Blackberry can often make it run faster. On most phones, visiting Options > Advanced Options > Applications takes you to a page where you can delete unused languages on your phone, freeing up memory. You can also delete call logs, and clear your browser's cache and cookies.

Camera shutter sound

Although there is no option to turn off the sound of the shutter while taking a picture, there are ways to silence it. While turning down the phone's volume all the way has no effect on shutter sound, if you start a phone call and take a picture during the call, the shutter will be silent. You can also plug in some wired headphones to make the shutter silent.

Wireless network

If you access your e-mail and the Internet using your Blackberry's Wi-Fi mode rather than the cell network, the data usage will not be charged to your bill, and will not count against your monthly quota.

Change your browser

The browser built in on your Blackberry is no longer your only option for surfing the Internet. Minuet (brothersoft.com/minuet-browser-(blackberry-editon)-113411.html) and PocketWeb (getjar.com/products/709/PocketWeb) are now available, although neither one is currently free.

Change your theme

Although most wireless carriers offer a version of an app store, and both those and the Blackberry app store offer themes for sale, you can find many free themes on the web -- no need to pay for one.

Unlock your Blackberry

You can unlock a Blackberry to work on any wireless network. You'll need the IMEI code from Options > Status. It can also be found under the battery. Most wireless carriers will give you the unlock code for your Blackberry.

Reset your Blackberry

There are three kinds of reset to use in case your Blackberry is having issues. To perform a soft reset, press the ALT, R-Shift and DEL keys. This stops all applications. To perform a double-soft reset, press the ALT, R-Shift and DEL keys, and then press them again when the phone goes to a black screen. This is similar to a hard reset, but you don't risk losing your data. To perform a hard reset, remove the battery for 30 seconds, and then replace it.

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