The BlackBerry Curve 8520 setup guide and tips and tricks

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Congratulations on buying your BlackBerry Curve 8520! Now you might be wondering what to do with your new phone. I’ll take you walk you through the basic features of your device and what you can do with it. BlackBerry is a powerful platform and if this is your first smartphone, your going to be amazed at what it can do.

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Basic Setup and Getting Started

The first thing you’re going to do is unbox your device, remove the back cover and pop in your T-Mobile SIM Card. To get the SIM card in, look at the diagram and slide the SIM under the metal casing in the device. It should slide in securely. Put the battery back in and close the casing.

UPDATE: I can’t believe I left this out but of course you should set up your email. Setting up your email is easy, you can do it online at your computer, or right from your device. See the official RIM site for step by step instructions on how to set up your email.

Your device will come with a MicroSD card but you should also consider upgrading. The SanDisk 16GB microSDHC Card is the largest of its kind on the market and it will ensure you’ve got plenty of space on your device.

At this point, your device is ready to be used. Before moving ahead, lets get it some basic free software that all BlackBerry devices should have. I recommend you download:

There are a few more tweaks that you can make so your BlackBerry is a little more personal. For example, you can go into the Options > Screen/Keyboard and change the font sizes. You should also arrange the icons on your device, placing the ones you use the most at the top. To do this, simply scroll to the icon, and press the Menu button > Move or Move Folder.

For more tips about some basic device setup, see RIM’s official blog post about The First 5 Things I do When I Get a New BlackBerry. The comments have some excellent suggestions.

Contact Management and Social Networks

Now that you have your device setup done, it’s time to build your contacts and network. Staying in constant communication is a central tenet of the BlackBerry, and you’ll be amazed and how easy it is.

The Facebook app is a big part of importing your contacts. Once downloaded and run, it will update your contacts and provide pictures for them as well. Start exploring the application and let it take over your contacts. It should also populate your BlackBerry Calendar with Facebook events. Check out RIM’s blog post about the latest updates to this software.

The T-Mobile version of the Curve 8520 comes with a favorite contacts section on the homescreen. Personally, I think you should get rid of this because you’ll soon figure out that it’s rendered obsolete by much of the software available to BlackBerry. To get rid of it, you should change your theme. More on that later.

One of the great advantages that BlackBerry has over other platforms such as the iPhone, is its ability to run applications in the background. This means you can turn on all your favorite IM applications, and you’re always available. Your BlackBerry will come preloaded with IM clients such as Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, AIM and ICQ. You can find them in the Instant Messaging folder. If not, they can be downloaded from blackberry.com/instantmessaging. Another great feature of BlackBerry is that your applications are built into the Menu or BlackBerry Button. So if you’re using the camera, and you have Yahoo! Messenger installed, you can always take a picture and press the BlackBerry Button > Send As Y! Messenger
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BlackBerry Messenger is going to be the easiest way for you to stay in contact with your friends who also use BlackBerry. The messenger is based on your PIN, which is found by either typing “mypin” in a dialogue box or going into Options > Status. Start adding all your friends with BlackBerry devices and you’ll soon have a list of contacts that you can message at any time. For more about the basic features of BlackBerry messaging, see RIM’s official blog post on the subject.


If you’re really into instant messaging, consider buying an IM client such as IM+ All-in-One Instant Messenger. This application will really help you stay in touch.

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Multimedia and Entertainment

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is built for music and entertainment. The top of the device has media keys for when you’re listening to music. This is a new feature to the RIM product line and it will come in handy if you listen to a lot of music.

You may have taken my advice above and bought a larger MicroSD card, which will really help you store all your favorite music to the device. You can also complement the music experience with some cool software for your device such as:

Another feature that may be new to you is having a decent camera on your phone. The BlackBerry camera, while it isn’t the most powerful of mobile cameras, still provides with some fun integration into the device. For example, after taking a picture with your device, you can use the “send as” icon on the screen. This option is also available in the menu and will allow you to send the pic via email, Messenger Contact (BlackBerry Messenger) and MMS (also known as picture SMS). You can also send photos to Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, GoogleTalk, Yahoo! Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger.

Games aren’t the greatest experience on BlackBerry compared to iPhone, but you still have a wide range of puzzle and casual games at your finger tips. Some of my favorite games include:

You may be thinking that this is a lot of software so far but it really isn’t. Your BlackBerry device can not only store up to 256MB of applications on the device, you can also save your applications to your SD card via App World. See details about the latest release of App World to find out more.

Also, be sure to download the BlackBerry Cool Store directly to your device as we’ll be having sales constantly and it’s good to check for the lowest price.

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Customizations and Accessories

Themes are an easy way to customize your BlackBerry and make it your own. Personally, my favorite themes are:

Accessories are a fun way to complement the BlackBerry experience. There are a number of accessories available from chargers, to docks and cases. Here are a few accessories you may like for your BlackBerry Curve 8520:

Other Software and Fun Stuff

Your BlackBerry is an incredibly powerful device that can do almost anything you would want from a mobile device. Sometimes the feature isn’t native to the device, but there is almost always a piece of free or cheap software to help you do the trick. Some helpful applications that boost your device experience are:

BlackBerry Cool Users: What else would you recommend a first time smartphone/BlackBerry user do with their new Curve 8520?

  • Aahn

    ya dont m8 u get em of bluetooth

  • Tasha97x

    i have a blackberry 8520 and i have downloaded blackberry app world but it wont let me download any FREE apps! i logg in and it tell my to put my device password in, i do and then it says for example free facebook chat is not available for download from blackberry app world, why is this?

    can i have answers asap please:-)!

  • Nicolerfc

    how do i set up my blackberry cure to send and recieve picture messages

  • Subhash4shen

    if you want to do that try to use bluetoothdongle that connect trough bluetooth
    i lost my data cable and software CD
    And now i use dongle to upload music to my blackberry 8520

  • Manda_hehehexx

    Hey. I have just Bought a Blackberry Curve 8520 and I have a Lebara Sim. How can I get the Internet to Work without a Data Plan?? Help!

  • Sumanthreddy

    some videos were not playing in my bb 8520 which were downloded frm youtube do ineed to change video format,i dont kow hu 2change video format plz some 1 help me

  • Anonymous

    my facebook app doesnt work how do i delete it then re-install?

  • Somhi

    you should go to media>bb menu key>recieve using bluetooth but make sure your bluetooth is on.

  • Lwh96

    I’ve got a bit of an issue with bb app world…….keeps saying my device radio is turned off, and i’ve been on other sites and they’ve told me that if your battery is below 15%-ish, your radio automaticaly switches off, but my battery is like 50% and my connection are all on (WIFI, Mobile Network and Bluetooth) …………Help!

  • Ydagmawi

    be care full its tough joystick is not tat much durable 4 a long time

  • Peacock_anna

    hello,
    I have a blackberry curve and want to download music from my laptop, can anybody recommend a good site to do it from and explain how to do it?
    thankyou

  • Sgriff1976

    help i just got a blackberry phone 8520 but i can not get internet on it i have tried everything but i am struk on what my pre shared key is where and what to i do to get it? i have a wireless internet on my home computer please help

  • Mudassir Shah

    Help !!!! i can’t connect my msn, yahoo, gtalk messangers via WIFI internet services ? is there any permissions settings ….is there any way without activating blackberry services can setup emails and other with help of wifi internet services.

  • Fady Masry

    PLZZ HELP HOW CAN I USE THE MOBILE BROWSER IN MY BLACKBERRY TO DOWNLOAD APPLICATIONS???

  • Ivmbenjo

    How to fix this error “reload Softwares 561

  • guest

    how do i view my profile on bbm on an 8520???

  • kopkid97

    Hw do you download music!!!!!

  • Dana dela torre

    I’ve already dowloaded facebook application and it says: you are currently on a service plan that does not support this application, if you want to use this application, please contact your service provider to upgrade your data plan.

    What am I going to do then?

  • Ebonyy.

    I have a orange sim that i used in my old phone, i now have a blackberry. How do i set the sim up so that i can get blackberry messenger and also GPRS all the time?

    Anyone can help it would be grateful.

  • zhacky

    how can i send via bluetooth plenty of pic or music?…when i send i do it one by one via bluetooth…

  • Ellen

    I got a blackberry curve yesterday on a virgin media contract. I was told in the shop that i would recieve 3 text messages and that one of them would be telling me that my internet services had arrived and that it would be recieved today. I got a text saying that the blackberry services had been set up YESTERDAY and the grps turned to GRPS. I then rang virgin media before to check if it had worked and she said to text a number and wait for it to reply and then it would work. But i didn’t recieve a reply, what do you think i should do without it charging me more on my bill?

  • simplylen

    hi! can any1 help me, how can i download plants vs zombie on my BB8520 using my computer. PLease help me. or email me at lenmartinada@hotmail.com

  • helphere

    alright, so I can’t receive pictures from other phones unless its through bbm. How can I receive pictures through sms/send them?

  • Bayeblade

    how do i get music on it???

  • Maggie

    when my blackberry curve is switched off overnight when i switch it on in the morning my sms messages come straight through but it does not actually say what time they were actually sent it only tells me the time i received them how do i know what time the message was actually sent

  • Hridai

    how to auto lock keypad in bb curve8520

  • SarahAnne_x

    i have windows live messenger on my blackberry, and its on the setting ‘show when im on my phone’ and i can’t seem to take it off this setting, how do i do it?

  • Kim_is_special

    hi i got a blackberry curve 8520 and i can send and recieve bluetooth but can’t find where they have gone and no one else seems to know where they have gone on my phone either

  • VAALENTINAAA

    how can I change the color of the space bar? It comes as blue on the screen, but is it possible to change it to any other color?

  • Ashutoshgarg0007

    first pair with the another phone’s bluetooth and then go to music player and select the option receive using bluetooth ……………

  • Aries12

    My curve 8520 is reading all my text messages to me – how do I stop that??

  • Emma

    Touch screen is rubbish i had one on my old phone i now have the blackberry curve 8520 and it is amazing

  • Squirt1167

    I have the blackberry curve 8520 and i have yahoo install but every time I try to put a picture on it and save my profile it doesn’t stay.

  • Andrew

    How do you pair a Samsung Toco lite with a BlackBerry 8520 to be able to use Bluetooth

  • Squirt1167

    Hi Andrew, no i don’t have samsung toco lite. i can use a bluetooth with my phone.

  • Amitkukreja223

    i want to use internet with my blackberry curve 8520 with normal net pack (GPRS pack) without taking black berry services plz help me

  • Muramyearthur

    i have a blackberry 8520 and it is showimg app error 523,reset
    how do i go with this

  • Unknown

    I have sent my friends requests on BBM but they said that they have not got any requests from me!! What do I do? Do I have to connect to WiFi before I can use my BBM?

  • Satish Patil

    When i go for text message it is come into chat mode.how it will change?

  • Gemma

    what does it mean when theres a little blue speech bubble with a number next to it?? i just cant seem to work out what it is and the number keeps going up. xx

  • Sunset_ofi1992

    i don’t know if my blackberry has already the 4.6.1 system software..how can i find out that?

  • katie

    i would like to know how to put music on my blackberry please?

  • confused

     Hi i’m getting a blackberry curve for my b’day and keep getting told i should get the curve 9300 instead of the 8520 as its better. Also people have told me that the 8520 doesnt have messenger??? i would prefer to get 8520 as my parents are buying it and its cheaper but i’m getting confused :S Help please??!!

  • TheTaz

    One the main differences is that 9300 as 3G support and it also has more RAM so your applications should work faster. As for the messenger you can install blackberry messenger, windows live messenger, yahoo messenger, google talk or any other messenger application that is available at blackberry application world. I had the some hesitation and I went for the 8520 because I don’t think that the use I give it justifies the price difference. I have installed OS5, bb messenger, bb app world, bb protect, fb, evernote, google maps and battery booster pro running smooth =p

  • Mcraygonzaga

    my bb 8520 i locked with globe sim so i use a globe sim but i cant send and recieve txt..i cant also make a call and recieve call.. my my phone have a signal but the green light indicator for signal not appear,.,please help for what i can do,,thanks,.

  • Shakey502

    Hi everytime I try to make a call or recieve 1 my bb 8520 is getting a head set symbol in the top corner and I cant hear anything, but don’t have a headset for it, and bluetooth is switched off, also mute comes up on the screen do you have any idea what the prob is?? thanks

  • Suzy4ever

    Hi. When I have my phone off and later I turn it back on, any texts that i had received while it was turned off only shows the present time. How do i find out what time the text was actually sent at? Thank You.

  • Suzy4ever

    Hi. When I have my phone off and later I turn it back on, any texts that i had received while it was turned off only shows the present time. How do i find out what time the text was actually sent at? Thank You.

  • red_crayon.

    on my friends bb when on a picture she can swipe the track pad and the next picture will come up. on mine i have to come out of the photo and select the next one or pree ‘n’ (next) whilst on the photo. how do i change this?

  • Kayez

    Hi. Can I change the message thread to blue and white instead of plain white?