BlackBerry How-To: Customize "In-Holster" Call, Alert Settings

CIO.com's mobile master Al Sacco explains how to change and set custom BlackBerry notification- and alert-settings for RIM smartphones when used along with compatible holsters, cases and pockets.

Did you know that certain Research In Motion (RIM) and third-party holsters, cases and pockets are designed to work along with your BlackBerry smartphone to not only protect it from damage, but to save you battery and offer custom "in-holster" notifications and alerts?

BlackBerry 6 Sounds and Alerts Options Page
BlackBerry 6 Sounds and Alerts Options Page

If not, you're missing out on a number of cool and valuable features that help set BlackBerry apart from its competitors.

Not a holster-on-the-belt kind of person? No, me neither. But that's okay. The custom BlackBerry "in-holster" features also work with any BlackBerry case or leather pocket with the necessary "sleeper magnet," the majority of which are made by RIM. (Check out RIM's online store, ShopBlackBerry.com, for a complete list of official cases/holsters/etc. that allow for custom BlackBerry notifications and battery savings.)

Keep reading for details on how to modify and set custom BlackBerry smartphone in-holster settings. (Note: The following instructions apply to any BlackBerry smartphone running RIM's BlackBerry 6 mobile OS.)

BlackBerry Holster Alert/Vibration Settings for Individual "Profiles"

You can set your BlackBerry smartphone to play specific alert-sounds and/or vibrate while in a compatible holster with sleeper magnet, whenever e-mail messages, phone calls or application notifications are received.

To set in-holster profile settings, first choose the profile you want to modify and then open it by clicking the Profiles key, located in the top-left corner of your BlackBerry 6 smartphone's home screen. Next, scroll all the way down to bottom of your profile list and click the Change Sounds and Alerts option. (Note: By selecting this option, you're modifying only the active profile. In other words, you need to set each individual profiles as active to change settings for those specific profiles.)

To modify your in-holster notification settings for phone calls, click to open the Phone Ring Tone listing within Change Sounds and Alerts. Then change the Play Sound option to Always, In holster or Out of holster.

Finally, modify the holster settings for the Vibrate listing on the same page, based on your preferences, save your changes and you're all set.

To modify holster setting for e-mail, text messages and a variety of other applications, return to the Change Sounds and Alerts page, and choose Sounds for Selected Profile this time around. On the following page, select the appropriate message-inbox, application, etc., for which you want to customize in-holster settings. Then follow the process detailed above to customize each individual in-holster sound- and vibration-alert.

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BlackBerry Holster Settings: Answer/End Calls via Holster

BlackBerry smartphone users who own RIM or third-party holsters/cases/pockets/etc. with compatible sleeper magnets can set their smartphones to answer or end calls when they're removed from or inserted into a holster. This feature can help save time and make it easier to handle calls while using a BlackBerry along with a compatible holster.

BlackBerry 6 In-Call Settings Options Page
BlackBerry 6 In-Call Settings Options Page

To modify call-end/call-answer holster-settings, tap the green Send Call button, and on the following screen, hit your BlackBerry Menu key--directly to the left of your trackball/trackpad--then pick Options. Next, open up the In-call Settings menu, and you'll see a section titled "Answer or end calls automatically".

In this section, simply set both the Auto End Calls and Auto Answer Calls options to one of the following choices, depending on your desired actions: Never, Into/Out of Holster, Slide Open/Close or Both.

Finally, tap the BlackBerry Menu key once again, choose Save to save your settings, and you're good to go.

BlackBerry Holster Settings: Lock Your Smartphone via Holster

BlackBerry smartphone users who own RIM or third-party holsters/cases/pockets/etc. with compatible sleeper magnets can also use those cases to lock their handhelds upon entry.

BlackBerry 6 Password Options Page
BlackBerry 6 Password Options Page

To modify your BlackBerry's holster-lock settings, open your main BlackBerry Options menu--the icon looks like a wrench in most BlackBerry "themes." Next, scroll down to the Security options and then open up the Password section. On the following page, fill in the checkbox next to the words "Lock Handheld Upon Holstering.

Finally, click your BlackBerry Menu key again and save your settings. (Note: If you use a password to lock your device, you'll need to enter it to modify this particular setting.)

Now your BlackBerry will lock anytime you place it in your holster/case/etc.

Open New Messages When BlackBerry is Removed from Holster

Your compatible BlackBerry holster/case also lets you automatically open up new messages when you remove your smartphone. In fact, your BlackBerry may be set by default to open new messages when removed from a holster with a compatible sleeper magnet.

BlackBerry 6 Message Display and Actions Options Page
BlackBerry 6 Message Display and Actions Options Page

To enable or disable this feature, open up your BlackBerry Messages inbox and click the BlackBerry Menu key. From the dropdown menu, choose Options, and on the following screen, pick Message Display and Actions. Then scroll all the way down and set the Auto Open Newest Messages After Removing Device from Holster options to Always, Never or After Sound or Vibration, depending on your preferences.

Save your changes via the BlackBerry Menu key, and you're all set.

Read more about BlackBerry Profile customization here.

And check out all my BlackBerry-related tutorials, along with a variety of tips and tricks, on my BlackBerry Bible page.

AS

Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for CIO.com. Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Al at ASacco@CIO.com.

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