Monday, December 27, 2010

Video for New BlackBerry users

Now that the holidays have come and gone, there are a large number of new BlackBerry owners.  Whether they received them as a gift, or picked one up at a Boxing day sale, right now there are people out there that are having to learn All About their BB's.  Maybe you remember the first time you got your BlackBerry?  It was a tad bit overwhelming...

So here is a short video explaining how to move and hide icons with a few other quick tips rolled in.  If response is good, I will do more :)

Please forgive the slightly out of focus camera.  Its a lot harder than it looks :)

Mobile Video Link

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Traveling with your BlackBerry

It is almost that time of year when we escape our daily lives, and head out for a little bit of sunshine and R&R. Most people will want to bring along their beloved BlackBerry. The problem is, you can rack up quite a bill using your BlackBerry in another country. Data charges from carriers other than your own can be ridiculous, and certainly not a pleasant way to end your vacation.

So here is what you can do:

First of all, while on the plane you can not have an active mobile connection. Some phones have an "airplane" mode, a BlackBerry does not. Simply click the Manage Connections icon, and uncheck the Mobile Network box. When you arrive at your destination, just recheck that box.

Don't forget that your BlackBerry can entertain you on the plane! Upload music, movies or download a couple of free games from App World before you leave.

 Roaming Data: 

What I recommend for travelers, is unless you HAVE to receive emails/BBM/Twitter/FB while on vacation, set your data to off while roaming. This will allow you to receive calls, but will not use data from the foreign carrier you're connected to. To do this, click the Manage Connections icon, and then click the Mobile network options. In here you will find a drop down box with the options for data. The options will vary from OS to OS (depending on BlackBerry model) but the option you want is "OFF while roaming". This settings tells your BlackBerry to only use data when connected to your carrier (in your home country).
You can however, use wifi (if your BlackBerry has it) to use BBM/Twitter/FB and send and receive your emails. Some hotels have free wifi in the lobby, others charge a fee. One thing you WILL find, is that most airports have free wifi in the departure lounges. This is a great time passer while sitting for 3 hours at the airport. You can start uploading all your pictures to Facebook, or BBM your BFF :-) or Tweet your displeasure about how your holiday is over :-(

I would also recommend contacting your service provider PRIOR to departing, to discuss any special plans you can purchase to keep your mobile traveling costs low.  Some providers offer small packages that allow texting, and phone calls at a lower rate than what you would pay normally abroad.

Enjoy your trip! #TeamBlackBerry

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

P.S.A. Remote backup your BBM contacts!

Sure, you all take a few mins of your week to plug your BlackBerry into your computer to do a backup RIGHT? :s

What would happen if you lost your BlackBerry? Or if it got stolen? No backup? Ouchy! A quick device switch with no backup means you loose everything.

If you're like most people, you store your email on a computer, so there is a copy available somewhere. But what about BBM? The thought of losing all your contacts on BBM is a terrifying thing! Did you know there was an option to backup all your BBM contacts remotely. (for free!)

Since the release of BBM 5.0 buried in the options menu of BBM, there is a remote backup option. You can do either a local backup or a remote backup using one of the email address' that come to your BlackBerry.

How to do it:
In the main BBM window, hit the menu key, and select options. Scroll down about halfway and you'll see the contact list backup. To backup locally (to your device) select local. This is a one time thing and will not continually update as you make changes. To backup remotely, select remote backup, then select one of your email address' from the list. Your BlackBerry will send a confirmation email to yourself to confirm its a legit email address (and associated to your BlackBerry).

Once this is done, you will be able to transfer your BBM contact list from one device to another quickly and easily via the remote restore feature. You'll never be without your BBM BFF's ever again :-D

Friday, November 26, 2010

Password keeper...the little APP that can!

Let's face it, the further we go in to the digital age, the more time we spend online.  Spending more time online means more accounts,  more login information, and more passwords.  There is little we can do about it though.  Sure you could make all your logins and passwords the same, but while that may be simple, it is certainly not very safe.  However, having so many different logins and password can be confusing and hard to keep track of.  In my experience with friends, most people don't keep proper track of this very important information.  Some of these you may only need every so often, for example, when setting up a new computer.  Others you may use weekly, or daily at work.  Trying to keep them straight is the trick.  Enter the little APP that can: Password keeper!  It's already on your BlackBerry, and you probably didn't even know it.  It comes pre-installed, and makes its home inside the Applications folder.

The icon itself looks like a small safe.  When you open this app for the first time, you will be prompted to enter a password twice.  It is VERY important that this password is one that you will never forget.  This is the password that will protect all you other passwords :-)

Once you have entered your password, you are greeted by an almost blank screen with the only option being to enter a new password. here you will be prompted to enter some information.  Enter in a title, username and password and a website (if you want).  Save and exit.  Use this every time you use a login and eventually you will have all your accounts listed.

I know what you're thinking :-)   What happens if you forget your password for password keeper?  You get 10 attempts to put in the correct password, after that?  They all get erased!  This keeps people from "snooping" or "hacking" your BlackBerry in hopes of find out all your secret information.

Now, go grab all those little post-it notes you have with all your passwords on them, and take a few minutes to enter them all in to Password keeper.  You never know when it just might save a call to tech support :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

3 fingered reset

Let's face it, BlackBerrys aren't perfect. Sometimes they act funny, or just plain do weird stuff. Most people know that when your BlackBerry goes nuts, the solution is simple: Pull the battery. It's simple, and effective. But what if your BlackBerry has a protective case on it? It can be a real chore to remove the case, pop off the battery cover and pull the battery.

One solution would be to download an app like Quickpull that allows you to reset your BlackBerry with a few button clicks.

But what if you're short on free memory or just don't want another app on your beloved BlackBerry?

Try the 3 fingered reset. This is similar to Windows (ctrl-alt-delete) and can be done on any full keyboard BlackBerry (including OS6).

Hold down the ALT key on the left side of the keyboard, simultaneously hold down the aA key and the Del keys on the right side.

You will see the LED light, and your BlackBerry will automatically start rebooting. When its done, it will be fresh and ready to go!

Please keep in mind that your BlackBerry will be unusable for 2-5 minutes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

OS6 and Universal search

This week has been a VERY good week for OS6 leaks for BlackBerry handsets, so I figured now was a good time to talk about one of my favorite features of the new OS: Universal search!

In my day to day work travels I have run in to quite a few clients who have a Torch. Oddly enough, most of them knew nothing about Universal search, or that it was even available with OS6. With the amount of OS6 leaks (9700, 9330, 9650,and 9100) in the last week alone, many more users have switched over to the newest OS.

Universal search is a very useful tool that allows you to search your entire phone for a keyword or name directly from your homescreen without even opening an app!

On your homescreen simply type the name or word you wish to locate. Universal search will scan your entire phone looking for that word or name. In the attached picture, I started typing the name Anthony. The displayed results include: Names in my address book, emails, music and ringtones.
You might also notice a few more icons, including a search of Youtube, Google and even Poynt.

This makes finding people, emails and pictures very simple and quick.

Give it try right now on your OS6 phone and leave a comment to let us know if you like this new feature!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cross Platform Instant Messaging!

Now I know you guys and gals are all cool and own a BlackBerry. But I also understand that not all of your friends can be as cool as we are :-D
Add SMS to BBM
I have friends with iphones, Android phones, and just regular dumb phones. My problem is, BBM is my favorite form of communication (next to a phone call).
Here are several methods of having BBM like conversations with your non-BlackBerry friends.
#1- Add your friend to BBM via their phone number. Since BBM 5.0/OS 5.0 users are able to add SMS right into BBM. To do this, click add a contact from inside BBM. Then select the third option (if its not there, its because you don't have OS 5.0) "Add a text messaging contact". This will place your friend in BBM, but is really just sending a text message to them. Be careful here, if you don't have a text messaging can get very carried away chatting not realizing every response is costing you 15 cents!

Kik Chat

#2 in App world download Kik chat. . This is a cross platform IM program. It runs on most popular platforms including iphone and Android. You will have to create a user ID and add your contacts (you will need to know their user name). What I like about this program is it has the same D and R that we've all grown to love in BBM. Unfortunately it lacks the ability to send photos or videos or voicenotes. The developer is promising many of those features in the near future. Keep in mind that this program uses your data connection and not SMS/text so it should be free of charge to use.


#3 in App world download PingChat! . This is another cross platform IM program. It also runs on all major platforms. Again you will need to create a user ID and you must also know your friends user ID. Once added, you can link them with their contact card in your address book. This will assume any picture they have assigned to them in your address book as well. I found PingChat! to have more features (you can send pictures, and voicenotes ) but it lacks the D and Are of BBM, and somehow feels clunky and difficult to navigate. It does however, do what it says it will do, and that is allow you to send BBM like messages using your data connection (not SMS/text) to other smartphones for free.
Now all you have to do is convince your non BlackBerry friends to install the App of choice and you can begin to enjoy IM messaging across smartphone platforms!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bedside mode

So if your BlackBerry is anything like mine, it is a virtual symphony of buzzes and beeps and music. I have different ringtones for my most used contacts, and different vibrations for each email account I have. Add in tones for BBM and Facebook and you'll understand what I mean.

Problem is my BlackBerry charges beside my bed and I certainly don't need all that noise when I'm sleeping. Enter Bedside mode. Since OS 4.6 this little known feature is designed to keep your BlackBerry quiet when not required.

How to find it:

Locate the clock icon on your desktop and click on it. The clock face will pop up on your screen. Hit the menu button, and select options. You'll see a similar menu as pictured. Under the while charging menu select enter bedside mode. Once you select this a few extra options will show including the time settings. As you can see from my settings, if I charge my BlackBerry anytime after 11pm it will automatically enter bedside mode.

Now scroll down a little bit in the same clock options screen. These settings tell the phone what to do when in bedside mode. As you can see from the second picture, I disable the LED, dim the screen, and switch my profile to silent. If you check off the disable radio, your phone will not receive and emails, BBM or phone calls. Let's say you wanted to have no emails or messages, but still need to have your phone working? Select the phone only profile instead of silent.

This will keep your BlackBerry quiet when you need it to be, and as soon as you unplug your phone from the charger it goes right back to normal again!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New project...The OMAberry

So, since I became a BlackBerry abuser I have converted many others to my illness :-D

In the past I have even gone so far as to "loan" a good friend one of my old BlackBerrys to try out for a bit. The result is always the same, a new BlackBerry abuser ;-)

My list of converted folks includes:
My wife, my 2 sons, my BFF and at least 10 or so friends. But never have I ever attempted something like this. My mother just turned 70, and while at her house for her birthday party I noticed her VERY old Nokia flip phone. A couple of years ago, for her birthday I bought a small micro SD card and put some music on it. She plays it every day while walking the dog. But now I was actually considering giving my 70 year old Mom a BlackBerry? Am I nuts? My Mom has never been much of a techie, but she enjoys and adapts pretty well :-D

So I dug out an old BlackBerry 8900, made a quick trip to a local vendor and purchased a new purple (her favorite colour) housing. I spent the night setting it all up for her. Hid the icons she doesn't need, put a cool desktop picture for her and called Rogers to get a data plan put on her line.
The next day, I drove by my moms house and presented my gift. She was even more worried than I was :-)

I swapped out her SIM card and Micro SD card. I also setup her BIS account and her BBM. I then showed her how the phone and music works (as that's what she uses the most). I also quickly showed her how to use the camera.

I left her for a week to feel out the phone, and become comfortable with its operation....

And today, I received a sign that I had done the right thing...

I got a BBM from my Mom!

How cool is that :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Show your BBM friends what you're listening to!

So, I would hope that you have long since stopped carrying your ipod and just put all your music on your BlackBerry. Its a pretty straight forward thing to do. Most new BlackBerrys come with a small (4 gig) micro SD card. If not, an 8 gig is $20 at most retailers. OS 6 has brought the media player pretty close to ipod levels. But your BlackBerry is so much more :-)
One of favorite "little" things since OS 4.6 has been the inclusion in the BBM options, to show what music you're listening to. It basically broadcasts the title and artist of the song in your status window for all your BBM contacts to see. It can be quite the conversation starter!
To enable this option, in BBM select your profile. Just below your PIN is a checkbox that says show what I'm listening to.
That's it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quick list of BlackBerry typing tips

Our friends over at BBgeeks posted up an excellent guide to help increase your typing speeds on your BlackBerry :-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Need a flashlight?

Have you ever been in a situation where you could really use a flashlight? Did you know you have one built in to your BlackBerry?
Simply open the video camera and press the spacebar. This turns the LED flash on. When you're done, simply press the spacebar again to turn it off!
That's it!
No app required :-D
(note: will not work on the Curve 85xx series nor the Pearl 8100)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On a Mission...

So, a local radio host was invited to the Torch launch party I attended last Monday and was given a free Torch to use. One BIG problem....he's a Iphone guy. Not that there's anything wrong with that :-D

So, I heard him on the radio talking about the party and how he didn't think he was going to try the phone at all. Well, being the BlackBerry addict that I am, I immediately contacted him via Twitter and told him he should really give it a try.

I have since been in contact with him several more times, and it would appear that I have managed to convince him to try it out.

Hmmmmm. I'll let you know how it turns out :-)


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Toronto BB 9800 Torch launch party!

I was invited to the VIP Torch launch party in Toronto on Monday. This was a private function with many of Toronto's elite in attendence. It was held at the Dolce Social Ballroom in downtown Toronto.

With plenty of celebrities from Toronto's television and music scene on hand, as well as the blogger elite, we were treated to a great time. There were plenty of staff on hand showing people the virtues of the new 9800 handset, and the power of the new OS 6. @ambermac was on hand doing a live video stream of the event as well as having her Twitter feed up on a larger than life Torch. There was an artist painting large murals of the Torch on the wall, as well as a DJ taking requests via BBM!

After a quick welcome speech from the marketing team, we were all invited to go upstairs on the patio. Once up there we were treated to more eye candy. Above the bar was a 50' TV screen showing all the tweets containing the #Torch tag. There was also a DJ playing music using 2 Torch 9800's!

We were then treated to the best thing of all. All attending were given a free BlackBerry 9800! As if this wasn't enough, we were also given a BlackBerry bluetooth gateway!

All in all, it was a great party and a fabulous way to bring the new Torch 9800 to Toronto!


It all started with this...

So, I used to be just a BlackBerry (power) user.  Until one day something happened to me that changed the way I felt about my trusty device.  I posted an article on telling the tales of that day.  Most thought it was a great story, some thought I was full of $h!t.  Truth be told, it did sound a bit over the top.  But it was all true. 

That day has turned in to a new hobby of mine.  I love my BB, and I want to help others love their BB's too!

Check out the full story here:


This is a test of the new all about my bb Blog site !