by Al Sacco

RIM BlackBerry Storm 9530 User Guide Reveals New Keyboard Shortcuts

Nov 03, 20083 mins
Data Center

All you CrackBerry addicts and gadget geeks dying to get your thumbs on Research In Motion’s (RIM) first touch screen BlackBerry, the Storm 9530 from Verizon Wireless, just got some more material to tide you over until launch day: This weekend, what appears to be a semi-finalized version of the Storm user guide was leaked online and it can be downloaded for free.

RIM BlackBerry Storm 9530 User Guide

The BlackBerry Storm 9530 user guide offers up lots of information on how navigation will work on the touch screen Storm, expected to hit Verizon Wireless U.S. stores in mid-November. You’ll also find details on the user interface. Interested parties should rush on over and download the guide as soon as possible, as RIM has been known to have such pre-release materials removed by threat of legal action.

I offered up my hands-on first impressions of the Storm a couple of weeks back after spending some time with the device at the BlackBerry Developer Conference in Silicon Valley, Calif. Though I haven’t spent more than an hour or so perusing the information, the Storm user guide confirms one of my suspicions from those early impressions: The first touch screen BlackBerry will pack a new set of keyboard shortcuts—slimmed down as they may be.

The user guides that ship along with most BlackBerry devices don’t get too in depth when it comes to keyboard shortcuts—RIM and the carriers typically include a small BlackBerry Tips and Tricks flyer for that—and the Storm 9530 guide is no exception. However, the few details that the guide does include on keyboard shortcuts confirms that they’ll be different than the ones available to users of current BlackBerry devices with physical keyboards.

For example, to enable number lock while typing on the BlackBerry Storm’s virtual keyboard, you simply hold the 123 key until a lock icon appears on that button. To turn number lock off, you hold the 123 again until the icon disappears. Similarly, to enable capital lock, you must hold the Shift key until another lock icon appears.

Currently, number lock can be enabled on BlackBerry devices with full QWERTY keyboards by clicking the ALT and Left Shift keys. Capital lock is turned on by clicking ALT and Right Shift. Devices with SureType keyboards, like the new BlackBerry Pearl 8220 Flip, have slightly different keyboard shortcuts. For example, Pearl users can turn on number lock by first holding the Shift key and then pressing ALT.

Another new Storm shortcut: you can hit the BlackBerry “Globe” key while in landscape typing mode to switch input languages. The BlackBerry Globe key itself is a new addition to RIM smartphones, and I’m betting it will be used in combination with a variety of keys for additional shortcuts, as well. BlackBerry devices running handheld OS v4.5 and earlier let you quickly change typing input language by clicking ALT and Enter simultaneously; however, the same key combination seems to lock the BlackBerry Bold, which runs handheld OS v4.6.

Download your copy of the BlackBerry Storm 9530 user guide, check it out for yourself and let me know if you come across any other interesting tidbits.