BlackBerry FAQ

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I have had the 9630 Tour for about a week now. That one week has been school time for me, as this is the first time that I am actually using a BlackBerry device (and a BlackBerry subscription too).

In this article, I will present useful information and tips on BlackBerry usage. Some of the information below may be specific to the Tour, but the majority work for all modern BlackBerry devices.

  1. Bluetooth file transfer
    Sending of files to my N900 works fine. Bluetooth receiving is a greater headache. You need to select “Receive using Bluetooth” in the menu. Even at that connection kept failing
  2. Documents editing
    The built-in Documents to Go suite offers editing capabilities (including .docx) out-of-the-box for devices running OS 4.5 and beyond
  3. Is it possible to use data bundle on a BlackBerry?
    Yes; you can. The trade-off is that you won’t be able to use that plan with any of the built-in apps that require a BB service e.g. email (except for Gmail), browser, chat. Third party apps will be able to use that connection though.
  4. Can you use a BlackBerry device as a modem with PC?
    Yes; you can. You need to download BlackBerry Desktop Manager to your PC for you to be able to do that.
  5. Does BIS service also include web browsing or do you have to pay additional for web browsing on the BlackBerry?
    It includes web browsing if you select “Internet browser” in the browser settings and use the correct APN. If those settings are not correct, you are billed from the airtime balance on your SIM.
  6. USSD issues
    I was unable to check my balance or load airtime until I had subscribed for BIS service. I simply kept getting an error. After subscribing to BIS, USSD codes worked just fine.
  7. How to get USSD codes i.e. codes in the format *…# working
    Go to “Options” – “Mobile Network” – put “Data Services” in the off position – “Network Selection Mode” should be “Automatic” – “Network Technology” should be “Global”. After completing these steps, turn the phone off then remove and replace the battery – All should be well. After processing the USSD codes for BB services you will need to re-enable Data Services in the Mobile Network Options Menu in order to gain data services
  8. File Manager
    No built-in file manager The file manager is hidden away under the “Media” menu. To access it, go to Media> BB button> explore.
  9. Web Browsing
    The built-in browser does not work (even hides) if there is no BIS subscription. The browser supports javascript, but not flash. Some advanced functionality do not work, and there is no option to open multiple pages or tabs
  10. Battery life
    Battery life is good. With a constant connection to a 3.5G network for PUSH email, BB chat, and some web browsing, the Tour held its own for about 48 hours. In comparison, my N900 would have been dead in 10 hours max under those conditions.
  11. BlackBerry Chat
    Really cool, though restricted to only BB users. Includes ability to record and send audio files, among others.
  12. Performance
    There are very few lags in the user interface, except for booting, which takes ages. The interface is simple (no eye candy) but works with little or no annoying lags
  13. Navigation
    Navigation on the Tour is by BlackBerry’s popular trackball (used with the BB menu button), instead of the optical track pad on newer Blackberry devices. The trackball gave no issues, but note that scrolling down a long page can be a pain.
  14. Social Networking
    The Tour has apps for Flickr, Facebookand MySpace built-in. The Facebook application is the best that I have seen on any mobile device.
  15. How to change my number
    Dial ##000000 send and change the mobile directory number to your number then hit the BlackBerry menu then save.

This page will continue to be updated with more information as I discover them, or as you ask questions.

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Post Tags: apps | mobile | mobility | smartphones


15 Comments »


15 Responses to BlackBerry FAQ

  1. bosun99uk says:

    1.The bluetooth on BB is very stubborn to many steps, have had several friends asking me to help out.

    2.This is my best feature and one that can make ME buy a BB.The Documents to Go suite is cool.

    3.Using data bundle on a BlackBerry, is having half BB enjoyment

    4.BB as modem, i dont have a BB but I have the DM on my Laptop I installed it to help a friend update the os, it is not bad at all.

    5.Does this mean I can not use third party browser when I am on BIS (will I also be billed from the airtime balance on my SIM for party browser), I still dont know why the BIS is not fully integrated into the entire BB.

    6.cant really confirm this cos i have some pp that use a BB and they are not on BIS, just using it like a normal phone.

    7.Thank God, third party option is available for file manager.

    8.Here comes my qs again, can i use third party browser on BIS, hope no

    9.Good battery, a good phone shd do 48hrs

    10.BB chart, more like the only reason why some pp buy a BB.

    11.no OS upgrade.

    12.I love track bar.

    13.What of TWITTER, not there, ok, i guess i will download an app for that.

  2. igoma d n says:

    i have a bb phone that is lock with one network. Can it be unlock….ple help and the link to get the unlocker software.

  3. artwales says:

    Nice write-up Yomi, but you still havent mentioned in detail the efficiency of the BB email,i believe that is what the BB is most noted for

  4. quam says:

    @igoma d n what network is it locked to and where are you located, i might be able to point you to where you can unlock it

  5. @artwales: Glo say they are currently upgrading their BB service. Things have been epileptic. As such, I cannot give a valid review of the BB service itself now.

    My subscription ends in two days. If Glo does not get their acts together before then, I’ll probably try another week with BIS on MTN. By then, I should be able to give a valid assessment.

  6. I have just updated the FAQ above with tips for enabling USSD code usage and changing your number on your BB device.

  7. bosun99uk says:

    Thanks for that I was cracking my head for a solution.

  8. Gabriel Shaze says:

    As for number 4. Does that mean one can connect a blackberry to a PC as a modem to surf the net without any additional cost? I.e using your BIS subscription. Pls could you thru more light there- thanks

  9. Gabriel,

    That really depends on your network provider’s policies. You may ask your operator. However, in the majority of the cases, you will not be able to use your BIS subscription for tethering. You will need a separate bundle plan or use pay-as-you-go internet.

  10. olaDele says:

    @Yomi: There is actually a native file manager application on bb os 5.0. On earlier versions, the file manager can be accessed by going to media>? button>explore

  11. olaDele,

    Thanks. I finally stumbled on that. Why did RIM hide it away like that? Cheers!

  12. omololu says:

    Please I don’t understand the ‘changing your number stuff’…I don’t mind if someone sheds more light on it

  13. Lookman says:

    Hi yemi,

    I tried FAQ 7 with my storm 2 it did not work. Can please explain i detail

  14. bernard okoronkwo says:

    i have a bb phone that is lock with vodafone network. Can it be unlock….ple help and the link to get the unlocker software.i want to use mtn on it

  15. Cece says:

    hello Yomi,

    Pls i need urgent help. I was browsing with my laptop tethered to my BB last year when Zain was still my carrier.
    Now that Airtel has taken over i can no longer connect both devices.

    Is the configuration settings on both the desktop manager and on the TCP/IP of the BB changed. If so, pls help with the new settings.

    Honestly, the Airtel BIS has been crappy, it took them 5 good days to activate me yesterday.Even as of now, i can’t access my Opera and Bolt browsers, the internet browser is too slower, even BBM, FB and twitter loses connections badly

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