Friday, May 01, 2009

Blackberry Storm Tips & Tricks

A lot of people think the Storm is more of a "fun" phone than a business phone .... but I wouldn't say the Storm isn't for business. It has all the robust enterprise server/mail support .... plus excel, word, powerpoint capabilities, etc. It's just that it adds a lot of multimedia power (especially video), than you normally see on Blackberries.

For many it is the best of both worlds. You don't lose the power you need for business, and it adds many of the iPhonish luxury features (tv shows, music, movies, gaming, etc).

The Storm does take some getting used to ....... but well worth it once you have.

What follows is a collection of tips and tricks useful for Blackberry Storm users. Storm owners should know this already, but here are few things newbies may not realize .....

1. Keyboard/hide/show -- just swipe down to make it disappear (no need to go into the menu to do this), and swipe up (to make it appear).

2. Icons can be moved around, and even into folders if you feel you have too many taking up icon slots.

3. If you upgrade your OS and any applications or icons disappear, you can get them back immediately by going into options, advanced options, host routing table, hit bb menu button, then register.... re-registering fixes promptly.

4. To get a status bar while playing media or music, just lightly "tap" the screen (this can be picky sometimes).

5. You can change the default browser from the blackberry browser to Internet Explorer or Firefox ; This gives you FULL browser pages, and not Mobile versions if you prefer this. This is done while in the browser, hitting the BB menu button, options, then browser configuration.

6. You can delete several messages at once, easily. Just tap the first message, then tap the last message, all messages in between will also be highlighted.

7. Hopefully everyone knows how to change the wallpaper. Just go into media, pictures, select the one you want, use the BB menu button and choose to use that picture as home screen.

8. As a note, there are TONS of apps out for the Storm (some more games as well, even a couple that use the accelerometer), in an ongoing thread at in the Storm forum.

9. Please go into Options, Screen/Keyboard, and change your hover, tap, sensitivity settings to 100, 100, 6 (high), or whatever your prefer. Too many people complain about lag/delay without even attempting to adjust the standard (default settings) to something more inline with "their" speed/use. Its like PC users leaving the mouse/tap settings at default, instead of adjusting for your individual preference/skill/speed.

10. To switch back to handheld from speaker when on a call and using speakerphone .... press the Blackberry button and than press "Activate Handset".

11. For closing apps, there are some that will remain open all the time - phone, world wide web, bb messenger, home icon, and the mail icon. You can't close these.......and this is normal. Any others that show up, just select them, then hit the bb button (menu button), then go down to "close". Always make sure to "close" apps when done....not just use the return or back buttons (which doesn't really close down the app).

12. When backing up your Blackberry .... to back up third party apps that were downloaded review the guidance here: Third Party Applications

13. A new version of Google maps (3.0.2) is available which utilizes the Storm's GPS capability. Prior to this version it gave you an approximate location using the nearest cell tower. The new version can be downloaded here: Google Map

14. For most new Storm users, it does need some "tweaking" of the settings for each individual (hover, touch, sensitivity settings) under Options. But doing this, and upgrading to the latest OS would solve any slow/sluggishness concerns you "might" have..

That ought to be enough tips and tricks to get any new (or experienced) Blackberry Storm user pointed in the right direction. If you have tips and tricks you'd like to share .... simply leave them as a comment. The more the merrier.

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