RIM BlackBerry Storm Shortcuts: 20 Touch Screen Tips and Tricks

The new BlackBerry Storm smartphone is packing a brand new version of RIM's handheld OS, v4.7, and with that OS comes a whole new set of shortcuts. These 20 tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your shiny, new Storm--and its SurePress touch screen.

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Tue, November 25, 2008

CIO — RIM's first touch screen BlackBerry, the Storm, is also the first RIM smartphone to run BlackBerry operating system (OS) version 4.7, which incorporates a wide variety of new, touch-based keyboard and device shortcuts, as well as gesture-based navigation methods.


I haven't put down the Storm 9530 from Verizon Wireless since I first laid my thumbs on it last week, and though it took a bit of time, I've uncovered and mastered some great new BlackBerry Storm tips and tricks, including new ways to type special characters; fresh scrolling techniques; click-free message searches; precise text navigation; and an easy way to delete multiple messages in one fell swoop.

Pre-4.7 versions of the BlackBerry handheld OS are jam-packed with valuable shortcuts and other tips and tricks, the majority of which I've covered in my BlackBerry Tips of the Week, so I won't focus on the shortcuts already available within previous version of the BlackBerry OS. Each and every one of the following 20 BlackBerry Storm shortcuts, though perhaps present in another BlackBerry OS, somehow incorporates the Storm's new SurePress touch screen.

So sit back, relax, fire up that Storm and get ready to become a whole lot more familiar with RIM's latest addition to the BlackBerry family.

On Key: BlackBerry Storm Keyboard Shortcuts

The BlackBerry Storm is touch-screen-based, and as such, it lacks a physical keyboard; however, three types of on-screen, virtual keyboards are available to users: 1) RIM's SureType keyboard, which is a QWERTY keyboard with more than one letter/number on each key (available only in portrait mode); a multitap keyboard that resembles the keys on a traditional cell phone (portrait mode); and a full QWERTY like the one found on your computer keyboard (landscape mode only).

To switch back and forth between keyboards in portrait mode, simply click the BlackBerry Menu key whenever a keyboard is displayed, and click "Enable Multitap" or "Enable SureType."

-To quickly bring up the Storm's onscreen keyboard, swipe a finger upward from the very bottom of the screen to the middle.

-To quickly hide the Storm's keyboard, swipe a finger downward from the top of the keyboard to the very bottom of the device's screen.

-Accented, or "special," characters can be typed via Storm in both portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) views. To enter in a special character while in portrait or landscape mode, such as an ï, bring up the on-screen keyboard, depress the "i" key--but don't click it--and a number of options appear on screen, one of which is ï. To choose that character, simply click it on screen.

--To activate number lock, bring up the onscreen keyboard and then hold down the "123" key for about two seconds until a lock appears on that button. The number pad will then stay on screen until you either hide it or tap the "123" key again to return to the normal keyboard layout.

--To activate capital lock, bring up the onscreen keyboard and then hold down the "Shift/Arrow Up" key for about two seconds until a lock appears on that button. The number pad will then stay on screen until you either hide it or tap the "Shift/Arrow Up" key again to return to the normal keyboard layout.

-To change text input languages, hold the Storm in landscape mode, bring up the virtual keyboard and click the "Globe" key found directly to the left of the Space key. Next, scroll to the desired language, highlight it and click the Storm's screen to select.

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