BlackBerry Z10 tips and tricks with BlackBerry 10

The BlackBerry Z10 is here, a new OS with a new way of thinking, so how do you use it and are there any nifty little tricks to get you working even faster? We've compiled a list of dozens of tips to help you get the most out of the new features BlackBerry has added to BB10.

Gestures

With no buttons per se, gestures are the main way you'll get around the phone on the BB10 operating system, so get ready to use your thumb.

Swipe up to unlock

Press the power button on the top of the Z10 and then slowly swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen (where the BlackBerry logo is) to unlock the phone. If you've got it on the BlackBerry Hub page you can peek into your inbox.

Swipe up to peek at notifications and back to apps grid

Not sure how many emails you've not read? Or Twitter mentions you've got that you are still to look at. Swiping up when you are on the app grid reveals the notification list regardless of where you are in an app or not as long as that app is in portrait mode.  You also swipe up to take you out of an app and back to the home screen with your apps on it.

Inverted L

Regardless of where you are you can always get straight to the BlackBerry Hub by performing an inverted L shaped gesture on the screen. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and then in one smooth motion slide your finger to the right. It will reveal your unified inbox.

Swipe to reveal the keyboard

Whatever you are doing a two-finger swipe from the bottom of the screen reveals the keyboard. Handy when you need to type something quickly and can't find the keyboard icon.

Swipe to see settings

As with Android a swipe from the top with a single finger will reveal the settings panel giving you quick access to Settings, Bluetooth, the Alarm, Rotation Lock, Wi-Fi, and Notifications.

Swipe to go to sleep

If you don't want to be disturbed you can swipe downwards while on the lock screen to launch the BlackBerry Clock. Sleep tight. To exit you can either swipe down or up on the phone.

Turn off accidental gestures when locked

If you are worried about turning your phone on by mistake if you accidentally stroke it you can turn this feature off, meaning you can turn the phone on only by pressing the power button. Go to Settings > Display and then select "Allow Gestures when Locked" to off.

Apps grid and Active Frames

Like Android and iOS the BlackBerry 10 home screens are split between a grid of app icons and something BlackBerry calls Active Frames - basically panels that show what apps you've got open so you can quickly dive back in.

Apps panel switching

If you know an app you are after is on the last apps panel then you can get there by tapping the small row of dots near the bottom of the screen to jump to that panel. Holding down on the line of dots lets you quickly scroll through the panels without having to swipe numerous times.

Seeing what apps are open

Press the small four dots icon in the row of buttons this takes you to the page BlackBerry refer to as the Active Frames page.

Closing open apps

On the Active Frame page close the x in the bottom right hand corner of the App frame.

Scroll down to see the other four apps you've got open

On the Z10 you can see eight active Frames (apps that are open), but you'll only see the last four on the page to start with. Swipe downwards to reveal the other four. If you open more than eight apps, the last one will be automatically closed.

Getting to BlackBerry Hub even quicker

Press the three-lined icon in the same row of dots at the bottom of the screen just above the search icon.

Re-ordering apps

Apps are automatically added to the end of the apps grid list, but that might not be where you want them. To move an app around you need to press and hold (it's the same as on iOS). Once selected you can then drag it where you want.

Deleting apps

Press and hold the app you want to delete until it starts pulsating. Once it does, a small dustbin icon appears. Press it and you're done.

Creating folders

Exactly the same way as on iOS. Press and hold on an app, then drag it on to another app. You can call the folder what you like.

Closing folders

While a folder is open simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to close it. Easy.

Moving apps out of folders

To move an icon out of a folder drag it to the bottom of the folder on to the blue bar that automatically appears.

BlackBerry Hub

The BlackBerry Hub is the main communications area on the phone and the place that manages all your messages, calls and notifications.

It's accessible by swiping left from the app grid or by doing an inverted L-shaped gesture at any point.

See individual inboxes

The BlackBerry Hub bundles all your inboxes into one unified inbox, but you might want to see what's going on in just your work account, or your Twitter messages. Either swipe to the left of the screen to reveal them or press the Hub button at the bottom left of the screen. All your accounts will be found in that list.

Seeing account folders

If you need to see folders within your accounts, like your Outbox, or Sent items, you can do so by pressing on the small downward-facing arrow on the blue bar at the top of BlackBerry Hub. It reveals a list of all your accounts with the "+" symbol next to them. Pressing on the "+" expands the folder view. If you are using Gmail and have a number of folders already set up, these will be shown as well.

Deleting an email or message

BlackBerry has hidden the delete button for some reason, but you can find it by pressing the three dots and then selecting delete. To ditch the extra confirmation that you are about to delete a message go to the three dots > Settings > Display and Actions and then toggle the button off for "Delete Message Confirmation".

Setting Conversation mode

BlackBerry lets you display emails as either single messages or in conversation, whereby it draws connected messages together into one single "conversation" string. To set it up go to BlackBerry Hub, press on the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner, then Settings > Display and Actions > Display Style.

Download Images Automatically in Emails

To save on data costs BlackBerry 10 lets you choose whether or not you want to download images in emails. You can do this on an email by email basis, or choose to have all images automatically download. To set it up go to BlackBerry Hub, press on the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner, then Settings > Display and Actions and toggle the "Download Images Automatically" button.

Display Message Count

Don't want to know you've got 100 unread emails, turn that feature off then. To set it up go to BlackBerry Hub, press on the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner, then Settings > Display and Actions and toggle the "Display Message Count" button.

Mark all prior read

You've been through your messages, you know there's nothing that needs your attention, yes you've still got plenty of unread messages. You want to mark them read, not individually, but all in one. It's a feature as old as BB itself (probably). Simply press and hold on the date banner across the message list and a side bar opens, with the option to "mark all prior items read". You can also navigate through days and jump to the top or bottom of the list in the same place.

Show Sent Messages

Want to see messages you've sent, you can toggle this on or off too. To set it up go to BlackBerry Hub, press on the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner, then Settings > Display and Actions and toggle the "Show Sent Messages" button.

Set what accounts show in the main view of the Hub

If you've got lots of accounts but want to tone down the amount of noise, you can set which accounts are shown in the main view of the BlackBerry Hub. It means you can hide Twitter messages, for example. To set it up go to BlackBerry Hub, press on the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner, then Settings > Hub Management and toggle which account you want or don't want from the list below. Only accounts you've added will be shown.

Add an email account

Easy. Go to BlackBerry Hub, press on the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner, then Settings > Email Accounts > Add Account. On the next page you can choose what Email, Calendar, and Contacts you add, and whether to add other services like Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and Evernote.

Confirm Delivery of SMS messages

Go to BlackBerry Hub, press on the three dots in the bottom right-hand corner, then Settings > Text Messages and toggle the Confirm Delivery button.

Quickly see your appointments for the day

In BlackBerry Hub scroll down from the top of the screen and you'll get a quick view of your appointments for that day. Handy if you need to see if you can make that meeting or not just before you email or text a reply.

Refresh your inbox

Press the three dots. Hit the refresh icon.

Select multiple messages as read or to delete

Press and hold on a single message until a thin panel appears from the right of the screen. Select the bottom icon that has a tick in it. You can now select multiple messages to mark as read, mark as unread, or delete.

Search by Sender or Subject

Press and hold on a single message until a thin panel appears from the right of the screen. Now select the icon that has a magnifying glass with a headshot in it. You'll then get all messages from the same person displayed on screen. Selecting the icon with the envelope in the magnifying glass searches by Subject instead.

Get to the top of your inbox

Press the three dots, hit To Top icon. Done.

Email

BlackBerry users live and die by email so we know these tips and tricks are really going to help speed up things for you.

Disabling push email

If you are looking to conserve battery life you want to turn off push email. To do this go to Settings > Accounts and select the email account you want to change. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and toggle off "Use push if supported". Hit Save at the top right-hand side of the screen.

Save to draft

To save a draft message, in an email, select cancel, and then save the draft from there.

Sending from a specific email account

If you've got more than one email account on the BlackBerry Z10 you can choose which one you need by swiping down from the top of the screen. Once in Compose you can change which account you want to send from by dragging down from the top of the display.

Attaching a file

Hold and press on the space bar on the on-screen keyboard of the Z10 and it will reveal a panel with an Attach icon on it. Tap on the icon and you can then attach a picture, video, audio, contact, appointment, or even a file.

Formatting your emails

Hold and press on the space bar to hide the on-screen keyboard, then press the fountain pen icon called "Format". A WYSIWYG menu appears giving you control over bold, italic, underline, and other features like font size and colour.

Refining search

In the inbox you want to search, press the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the screen and then type in your search request. Once that's happened you can then press the three lines at the top left of the screen to reveal the refine search element. You can search All Fields, or break it down via From, To, Cc, Bcc, Subject, and Message. You can also search via Unread, Attachment, Received, Today, Yesterday, and Last Week. Recent Searches are also listed if you are searching for the same thing frequently.

Keyboard

BlackBerry users love their Qwerty keyboard, but just because BlackBerry has ditched the hardware buttons for an all touchscreen affair with the Z10 doesn't mean there aren't any tricks to be learnt and tips to help you get even more out of your phone. Here are a stack of keyboard tips and tricks to speed you up.

Swipe to reveal the keyboard

Whatever you are doing a two-finger swipe from the bottom of the screen reveals the keyboard. Handy when you need to type something quickly and you can't find the keyboard icon.

Hide keyboard

Press and hold on the spacebar, or swipe with two fingers from the top of the keyboard to hide the keyboard.

Voice activation

Press and hold the full stop to activate voice commands and dictation.

Selecting predicted words

The BlackBerry 10 keyboard is clever in that it will try to predict the word you are typing before you've finished typing it. It does this by highlighting words on the keyboard for you to select. To do that, flick upwards on the key directly beneath the word. If the idea of the suggestions appearing on the keyboard is confusing you can also set it so they just appear at the top of the keyboard in three columns. To change this go to Settings >Language and Input > On-Screen Keyboard and then opt for In-Column in the Text Prediction Display settings.

Turn on numbers and symbols

Instead of tapping on the "?123" and "&%" buttons to toggle through the various character key sets, you can simply swipe down from the top of the keyboard with your thumb.

Capitalise letters

Holding on a particular key will automatically capitalise the letter.

Extended characters

Hold and keep holding on a particular key you want. Hold down on R for example and you get the symbol for a registered trademark. To select the extended character you want simply scroll through the characters available. Lifting your thumb completes the process.

Quick full stop

Hit the spacebar twice and it will give you a full stop with a space after it, just like BB 7 users have been able to do on the keyboard

Deleting words

Make a quick swipe across the keyboard from left to right.

Multiple language support

If you type in both English and French, for example, at the same time you can set up the BlackBerry to detect which languages you are typing in and provide appropriate suggestions and corrections. To set this up go to Settings >Language and Input > Input Languages > Add/Remove Languages. You can add multiple languages and only have to do this once for the system to work every time.

Mute Keyboard volume

To set this up go to Settings >Language and Input > On-Screen Keyboard and the set the slider at the top of the page to the desired volume level. We recommend to zero.

Turn off flying word animation

It looks pretty but can be annoying. To turn it off go to Settings >Language and Input > On-Screen Keyboard and toggle the Show animation button off.

Automated Assistance

There are lots of ways BB10 tries to help you when using the keyboard working out the way you type and then fixing it accordingly. You can customise what you want and don't want by going to Settings >Language and Input > On-Screen Keyboard and selecting Automated Assistance. Here you can set how fierce the Auto-Complete feature is, whether or not to Enable Auto-Capitalize the first letter after a full stop and to clear your Learned Words if you feel it's got you all wrong.

Camera

The camera on BB10 is basic, but there are still some nifty things it can do that are hidden away waiting to be found, like quickly seeing the picture you've just taken and turning on TimeShift.

Turn on TimeShift

In the camera app press the camera icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen and then the face in a circle

See the last picture you took

Like Android and iOS the last photo you took is shown in the bottom left-hand corner. Tapping on it takes you through to the photo gallery, however pressing and dragging to the top right-hand corner expands the image so you can see it clearly.

Pinch to Zoom

You can zoom the camera in and out with a two-finger pinch. A progress bar indicates the zoom level.

Changing camera settings

There aren't many settings to change, however you can change the aspect ratio and the scene mode. To do so, press on the three dots at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

Volume keys as a shutter button

Either of the volume keys can act as a shutter button when in camera mode.

Browser

With a fast browser and plenty to manage in the settings try these BlackBerry 10 browser tips to get the most when it comes to surfing the internet from your BlackBerry Z10.

Turn on Adobe Flash

The BB 10 browser supports Adobe Flash, but you'll have to turn it on. To do this, open the browser app, press on the three dots at the bottom right corner of the screen and then go to Settings > Display and Actions. Here toggle the Adobe Flash button.

Turn on Private browsing

We know, you want to do a spot of secret shopping and so want to cover your tracks. Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Private Browsing.  While you're there you can also set how quickly you want the phone to automatically remove your web history too.

Making form fonts bigger

Go Settings > Display and Actions > Default Font Size and set it to something around 20. When you tap to place the cursor in the field of a form, the page will automatically zoom to the font size you set.

Sharing a page to Twitter

Press the three dots, press Share, choose how you want to share the page.

Search

Just start typing in the url and it will automatically start recommending stuff. To change the Search Engine, press the coloured search icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen. You can choose from Bing, Google, and Yahoo.

Creating a shortcut on the home screen to your favourite site

Go to the site you want the shortcut to, press on the three dots, press on "Add to Home Screen" call it what you want then press "Save"  and it will be added to your apps grid.

BBM

BBM gets plenty of new tricks in BlackBerry 10 including Video calling and the ability to share your screen.

Making a video call

BBM now supports video calling. To make a video call select a contact or go into a conversation you are already having and press the green camera button in the top right-hand corner.

Sharing your screen in a video call

BBM Video how features screen sharing so you can do presentations over BBM. To do this press the share screen icon that looks like two rectangles with a bowling ball in the middle.

General

Beyond the key apps or areas of the site, there are lots of general tips and easter eggs to be found in BlackBerry 10.

Rotation Lock

If you don't like working in landscape you can lock the screen via a Rotation Lock setting. In the apps grid swipe down with one finger from the top of the screen and then press the Rotation Lock icon (pressing the words won't work). You've now locked your screen to either portrait or landscape depending on what orientation you are in at the time you pressed the button.

Taking a screenshot

Press both the volume up and volume down button at the same time

Turning off or managing NFC

You might not need NFC all the time. To turn it off go to Settings > Network Connections and turn it off.  You can also manage how NFC works in the same place, whether or not you want to be prompted before sending and receiving files and whether you want to allow NFC Card Transactions.

Setting ring tones for everything

Settings > Notifications and then the service you want to change the tone or alert for.

Turning Volume keys into music shortcut buttons

Settings > System Volume and then toggle Music Shortcut button. You will now be able to press and hold the volume up and volume down keys to skip through songs.

Change the Wallpaper

Settings > Display > Wallpaper

Changing Screen Lock Timeout

Settings > Display > Screen Lock and change it from 10 seconds to 5 minutes.

Finding your phone

BlackBerry offers a free service called BlackBerry Protect. To turn it on you have to go to Settings > BlackBerry Protect and then turn it on. From any browser on your computer or otherwise you can then log into the service via protect.blackberry.com and see where your phone is, send messages to it, and even remote wipe it.

Setting a password for your BB10 device

All that personal information and then you don't bother to set a password for the device. To set one go to Settings > Security and Privacy > Device Password. Unlike iOS you can set a word rather than just a number. You can't, however, set a finger gesture like in Android. You can then set it to automatically lock your phone after a set time or to automatically lock the device when holstered.

Share your media with your TV

If you've got a DLNA supported television you can share music, pictures, and video from your BB10 device. To do this go to Settings  > Media Sharing and decide what you want to share.

Turn of LED light

The red light is like an addiction. It's flashing that must mean I've got a message, I must resist. If you need extra help you can turn off the red LED by going to Settings > Notifications and toggling the LED light off. Phew.

Universal Search

You can customise what you search for in Universal search by going into Settings > Search > Categories. Here you can then set what you want to search in and what you don't. It means you can ditch searching through your music for example. Handy if your boss is also called Alicia Keys.

Turning your BlackBerry into a USB Mass Storage device

Go to Settings > Storage and Access  and then toggle the USB Mass Storage button right at the bottom.

Magnify everything

If your eyesight isn't as good as it used to be, or you always forget your glasses you can turn on Magnify mode that allows you to pinch to zoom in on the screen at anytime to let you view what's on it just like you pinch to zoom in on a website in a browser. To turn it on go to Settings > Accessibility and turn Magnify Mode on.




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