BlackBerry Bible: Everything You Need to Know About Your RIM Smartphone--and PlayBook Tablet

From keyboard shortcuts and tricks from mobile experts, to free software downloads, battery life tips, device reviews and insider commentary, we offer you our expert guide to help you master your smartphone and earn a BlackBerry black belt.

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Five Essential RIM BlackBerry Keyboard Tips and Tricks

Add another notch to your Research In Motion BlackBerry black belt with these great smartphone keyboard tips and tricks.

BlackBerry Torch 9800 and Bold 9700 Keyboards
BlackBerry Torch 9800 and Bold 9700 Keyboards (Image Credit: Brian Sacco)

Advanced Keyboard Shortcuts for Power Users

Always looking for new ways to do more with your RIM BlackBerry? Learn the following tips and tricks, including two from the co-CEO of RIM himself, and take your smartphone prowess to a whole new level.

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.

More Advanced BlackBerry Keyboard Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Think you know all the typing, messaging, browser and navigation shortcuts for your BlackBerry smartphone? Don't be so sure. We've got new valuable tips and tricks in our most recent list of BlackBerry shortcuts for advanced users.

BlackBerry GPS Navigation Tips: Mastering BlackBerry & TeleNav Navigator

TeleNav Navigator gives BlackBerry and other smartphone owners instant access to a slew of valuable features, including audible driving directions with real-time traffic alerts, various maps and mapping services and local search. Here's how to get even more from one of the best BlackBerry navigation applications on the scene.

BlackBerry How To: Change E-Mail Signatures (BIS & BES)

BlackBerry e-mail auto-signatures let you save time on typing and reduce unnecessary strain on BlackBerry thumbs, as well as proactively apologize for possible typos. Follow these simple steps to create, modify or erase BlackBerry e-mail signatures--for both personal, or BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), and corporate, or BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), accounts.

BlackBerry Tips & Tricks: Boost Your BlackBerry Digital Camera Experience

The latest edition of Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry Connection newsletter went out yesterday, and the mailing included more than a dozen tips and tricks on how to improve your BlackBerry-digital-camera know-how. Most of the suggestions are fairly basic, but they're worth a look--especially if you frequently employ your smartphone to snap pictures. I've also got a couple of related tips of my own that you won't find in any RIM newsletter. Keep reading for specifics.

image of a couple on couch taking pictures with BlackBerry

BlackBerry Tip: Delete Carrier Crapware, Icons (We're Looking at You, AT&T)

Did your wireless carrier push out a handful of unwanted apps and games to your BlackBerry? No worries. Delete or hide those dastardly downloads with these simple steps.

BlackBerry Bold Tip: Fix AT&T Cellular Video Glitches

Since the first time I fired up the AT&T Cellular Video application on my BlackBerry Bold 9000, I've experienced maddening variation in streaming video quality due to the device's tendency to switch back and forth between 3G and 2.5G EDGE while Cellular Video is in use--even with full 3G network coverage. The service usually works great over 3G, but it's a choppy nightmare over the slower EDGE cellular connection. Luckily, I found a quick workaround that helps ensure my Cellular Video experience is as smooth as possible.

BlackBerry How To: Back Up and Restore Handheld Data

Backing up the information on your BlackBerry regularly can be the difference between a minor headache--temporarily missing contacts--and a full-blown catastrophe--permanently deleted personal data. Follow these four simple steps and avoid the later scenario.

Five Tips: Get More Battery Life from Your RIM BlackBerry

Nothing lasts forever--especially your BlackBerry's battery. But you can prolong the life of your power supply. Follow these five tips to extend your RIM smartphone's run time.

image of BlackBerry Desktop Manager screen

How To Use BlackBerry Desktop Manager to Load, Update, or Remove Software

Unsure of how to load new applications on your BlackBerry using Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry Desktop Manager software instead of over the air? Check out this step by step guide.

BlackBerry How To: Change Home Screen Images, Backgrounds

Customize your RIM BlackBerry smartphone in no time using unique home screen images. Follow these three simple steps to locate, download and change BlackBerry wallpapers.

BlackBerry How To: Set Custom Ringtones, Notification Profiles and Exceptions

Your BlackBerry lets you assign specific ringtones to individuals and even create your own phone profiles and exceptions so important calls can still ring through when the device is on vibrate. Here's how.

BlackBerry How To: Download and Install New Themes

Your Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry can be equipped with a plethora of "themes" that reflect how icons and data are presented on your home screen. Here's how to find the right themes for you, then download and install new options.

BlackBerry How To: Free Up Device Memory

Power users of BlackBerry smartphones need all the device memory they can get. These seven tips can help free up memory and keep your handheld running as smoothly as possible.

BlackBerry How To: Determine Memory Use, Avoid Performance Degradation

Load up too many apps without proactively managing your BlackBerry's memory and you could end up with an underperforming--or even worse, frozen--smartphone. Here's how to determine memory use, as well as total application space, and avoid trouble.

image of BlackBerry Curve with microSD cards
BlackBerry Curve 8320 with microSD Cards

How To Insert, Format and Use microSD Memory Cards

Your RIM BlackBerry may not have as much built-in memory as that fancy new iPhone, but it has something Apple's smartphone doesn't: A microSD card slot for external flash memory. Here's how to set up and use a BlackBerry memory card, encrypt data and use your BlackBerry like a USB stick.

BlackBerry How To: Wipe Handheld Clean, Restore Factory Settings

In several situations, Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry users will want to delete all the data on their smartphones and restore their default settings. The following five-step process walks you through wiping your BlackBerry good and clean.

Screen shot of BlackBerry Wipe Handheld Option screen
BlackBerry 8830 World Edition from Verizon Wireless

BlackBerry Tip: Hard v. Soft Resets, and When to Perform Each

Resetting your Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry occasionally will help maintain your smartphone's health. This week's tutorial explains the difference between a hard and soft reset--and a double soft reset--how to perform resets, and when each type of reset is appropriate.

How To Use a BlackBerry as a Bluetooth Modem for Your PC

Using your RIM BlackBerry as a tethered modem for your laptop can help avoid pesky hotel, cafe and airport hot spots and save a stack of cash. But in this wireless world, who wants to be "tethered?" Follow these steps to cut the wire and use your BlackBerry as a Bluetooth modem.

BlackBerry Tip: Create New Word, Excel, PowerPoint Files in Documents to Go for FREE

While experimenting with the Standard Edition of Documents to Go that comes along with BlackBerry handheld operating system (OS) v4.5, we discovered a way to create new Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files on my BlackBerry--even though this functionality is supposed to be restricted to the Premium Edition of the software.

image of BlackBerry 8830 World Edition from Verizon Wireless
BlackBerry 8830 World Edition from Verizon Wireless

Attention Verizon BlackBerry 8830 Users: Unlock Int'l GSM for FREE

All you Verizon Wireless BlackBerry 8830 World Edition users out there want to listen up: You can unlock the international GSM portion of your phone's radio (900/1800 Mhz) through your wireless carrier without dropping a dime. Here's how.

The Best Ways to Carry Your BlackBerry In Style

Whether you prefer to tote your BlackBerry smartphone in a holster or case on your belt, or within a skin or sleeve in a jacket or pants pocket, here's a list of your best options for practical, stylish cases.

Software Downloads

Free Android Apps for BlackBerry PlayBook: 10 Best Downloads

RIM recently released a major software update for its BlackBerry PlayBook that enables it to run Android applications. Android-on-the-PlayBook pickings are somewhat slim right now, but there are some quality apps out there if you know where to look, starting with these 10 great free downloads.

Google Android Logos on RIM BlackBerry PlayBook
Images via Google and Research In Motion

BlackBerry PlayBook Apps: 5 Worthy Downloads's Al Sacco recommends another round of great applications for BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, including apps for e-reading, social networking, keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams and scores and more.

BlackBerry PlayBook Apps: 8 Great Free Downloads's Mobile Maestro Al Sacco recommends another batch of quality BlackBerry PlayBook apps. Access your favorite social networks, quickly take notes, draw sketches and build scrapbooks, kill time with simple games and much more with these free first-rate apps.

10 Great Games for Your BlackBerry PlayBook

The Angry Birds are coming soon to a BlackBerry PlayBook near you, in the meantime there are plenty of excellent games already here that truly put the "play" in PlayBook. Here are 10 of the best, and most are free.

BlackBerry PlayBook Apps: 10 Must-Have Downloads, All Free

Quality apps for RIM's new tablet are few and far between right now, but they do exist.'s Al Sacco recommends 10 great PlayBook apps currently available and worthy of your attention.

19 Must-Have BlackBerry Apps for Newbies

Which BlackBerry applications should every new RIM smartphone owner download immediately?'s BlackBerry expert Al Sacco lists the best choices -- and all but one of these mobile apps are free.

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Slider
BlackBerry Torch 9800 Slider (Image Credit: Brian Sacco)

Free BlackBerry Apps: Seven New, Must-Have Downloads's mobile expert Al Sacco recommends another round of great, free BlackBerry smartphone applications to help you locate and download new and obscure music, share files across multiple mobile devices, get a grip on air travel and much more.

Free BlackBerry Apps for the Holidays's mobile maestro Al Sacco handpicks ten BlackBerry applications--six of which are completely free--that can help with shopping, travel, personal entertainment and much more this upcoming holiday season.

BlackBerry Apps: Four Types to Avoid

Not every BlackBerry application is all it's cracked up to be.'s BlackBerry expert Al Sacco highlights four types of BlackBerry apps you'd do well to avoid.

Free BlackBerry Apps: Nine Torch 9800 Compatible Downloads's BlackBerry watcher Al Sacco rounds up nine valuable, free BlackBerry apps that'll run on RIM's brand new BlackBerry Torch 9800 slider smartphone.

Free BlackBerry Apps: Your Smartphone's 10 New Best Friends's BlackBerry-watcher Al Sacco offers up details--and download links--for ten of his favorite, free BlackBerry smartphone applications.

BlackBerry Travel Apps: 10 Must-Have Downloads

Before your next trip, check out 10 of the best travel-minded mobile applications for BlackBerry smartphones.'s road warrior Al Sacco shares details and download information.

More BlackBerry Apps for Summer Travel

Think smartphones and summer vacation, like oil and water, simply don't mix? We beg to differ. Just because you employ your BlackBerry for work, doesn't mean it can't play hard, as well. The following 10 BlackBerry apps are guaranteed to enhance any getaway - and help you realize the full potential of your mobile device.

LinkedIn for BlackBerry Connections Screen
LinkedIn for BlackBerry Connections Screen

Free LinkedIn for BlackBerry App Now Available

BlackBerry users can finally download the new, free LinkedIn for BlackBerry application, which offers mobile access to basic LinkedIn functionality including the ability to view contacts' status updates, respond to new connection invites and send and receive LinkedIn messages.

Xobni for BlackBerry Now Available: Mobile Contact Mgmt. Redefined

BlackBerry users just got a whole new way to store and access contacts on the go: Xobni for BlackBerry.'s Al Sacco says the new app's a must-have for any and all heavy e-mail users with large contact lists. Here's why.

Free BlackBerry Downloads: Five Can't-Miss RIM Smartphone Apps

Looking for the best free BlackBerry apps on the Web? Our latest set of no-cost downloads includes a mobile search option that gives new meaning to the term "hands-free" and an awesome Internet radio app that saves your stations and settings across multiple devices: PC, iPhone, BlackBerry, whatever.

Free BlackBerry Apps: Four Great Downloads--and One Free Game

Most folks agree: The best kind of BlackBerry app is a free BlackBerry app. On that note, you're sure to appreciate the following five free downloads, which include a great new way to gauge your smartphone's connection speeds and a mobile-version of a classic video game.

screen shot of BBTetris in Action
BBTetris in Action

Free BlackBerry Downloads: Five Essential Apps

There's no shortage of free BlackBerry downloads for your RIM smartphone. The real challenge is not simply locating freebies, it's finding quality free BlackBerry software. That's why we put our thumbs to the keyboard and came up with five of the best free BlackBerry downloads on the Web.

Free BlackBerry Apps: Five (More) Can't Miss Software Downloads

These five great free BlackBerry applications can help you stay up to date on news, keep in touch with colleagues and friends, communicate with social networking contacts and instantly diagnose the "health" of your handset.

Free BlackBerry Storm Downloads: Five (More) Must Have Apps

In the three months since RIM released the BlackBerry Storm in the United States, mobile software developers haven't wasted any time cranking out applications for the first touch-screen BlackBerry. Here are our picks for five of the best free BlackBerry Storm downloads the Web has to offer.

Free BlackBerry Storm Apps: Seven Must Have Downloads

RIM released its brand new touch screen BlackBerry Storm less than a month ago, but you can already find a number of quality mobile applications available for the device--and many of them won't cost you a dime. Here are our picks for the best seven free BlackBerry Storm apps on the Web.

image of BlackBerry Storm with CIO logo
RIM BlackBerry Storm

Six Free BlackBerry Downloads You Don't Want to Miss

Get the most out of your RIM BlackBerry smartphone without ever opening your wallet. Check out the following six free downloads.

Six (More) Free BlackBerry Apps You Need to See

Some things in life really are free. Check out these six fantastic BlackBerry applications.

Free BlackBerry Software: Five (More) Apps for Your RIM Smartphone

We know you BlackBerry lovers can never get enough software for your RIM smartphones--especially free downloads. So we assembled another handful of BlackBerry applications you don't want to miss. Grab all five of 'em right here, gratis.

image of RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900

RIM Execs' Favorite BlackBerry Apps: Eight Downloads

Research in Motion executives, including a VP of global alliances, a product management director and the co-CEO, share their favorite BlackBerry downloads.

Best (Free) Mobile Twitter Apps for BlackBerry

Twitter lets you share details on whatever you're doing. But how many truly interesting activities happen in front of a PC? Thanks to these mobile Twitter apps for BlackBerry, wherever your smartphone goes, Twitter can follow.

Free BlackBerry Downloads: Five Open Source Mobile Apps

Can't get enough free BlackBerry downloads? Don't worry, we're here to help. We've gathered a handful of open source apps to help customize--and optimize--your RIM smartphone.

How-To Video: Install and Use Six Free Killer BlackBerry Apps

Quickly learn to install and use a half-dozen free downloads. This video shows you how.


BlackBerry Bold 9930 Review: An Enterprise Evaluation

RIM's new BlackBerry Bold 9930 from Verizon Wireless has made quite an impression on's Al Sacco; he's calling it without a doubt the best BlackBerry ever for businesspeople. But there are a few key areas in which it is lacking. This in-depth, "business-savvy" Bold 9930 review explains.

BlackBerry Bold 9930 Front and Rear (Image Credit: Brian Sacco)
BlackBerry Bold 9930 Front and Rear (Image Credit: Brian Sacco)

BlackBerry 6.1: Six Cool, New Features in RIM's Upcoming Mobile OS's Al Sacco highlights six noteworthy new features in the next version of RIM's mobile OS, BlackBerry 6.1, which should ship with new smartphones later this year.

BlackBerry Balance Details, Images: RIM's New Way to Separate Work and Play

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) earlier this month officially announced the upcoming version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), v5.0.3, at a media and analyst event in Boston.

CEO Teardown: BlackBerry-Maker RIM's Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie's "teardown" slideshow series picks apart tech's most infamous CEOs. Today, it's BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion's (RIM) co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie who take a turn on the ol' chopping block.

BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet: 10 Key Features and Facts's Al Sacco spotlights the 10 things any and all tablet watchers--or anyone else interested in RIM's first tablet computer--should know about the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook.

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Review: Hot Hardware but Software Lukewarm's BlackBerry Black Belt Al Sacco reviews the BlackBerry Torch 9800, RIM's first BlackBerry smartphone with both a touch-screen and traditional, full QWERTY BlackBerry keyboard. Verdict: The slider hardware is sure to impress, while the software may actually depress BlackBerry enthusiasts. Here's why.

BlackBerry Torch 9800 with Slide-out Keyboard
BlackBerry Torch 9800 with Slide-out Keyboard (Image Credit: Brian Sacco)

BlackBerry HS-700 Bluetooth Headset Hands-On Review

Al Sacco puts RIM's brand new BlackBerry HS-700 Bluetooth headset through the paces. The verdict: It's RIM's best headset to date, and the HS-700 could even give the leading headset-makers a run for their money...but it's a bit pricey and those voice-calling commands still need work.

BlackBerry Bold 9650 Review: An Updated Tour, Not Much More's Al Sacco reviews RIM's new BlackBerry Bold 9650, an upgrade to the popular BlackBerry Tour. The verdict: RIM's latest smartphone gets the job done in style, but it may not satisfy true smartphone geeks. Here's why.

BlackBerry Bold 9700: Why It's RIM's Best BlackBerry Ever

RIM's latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Bold 9700, is now available in the United States from both T-Mobile and AT&T.'s BlackBerry guru Al Sacco explains why the Bold 9700 is the best RIM smartphone ever (think: battery life) despite minor drawbacks (think: on-device storage.)

image of RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9700
RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9700
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