BlackBerry 10 Design Flaw: Gestures on Lock Creates Pocket Dialing Problems



The new BlackBerry 10 OS has a feature that starts off seeming pretty cool, but it turns out it’s actually a pretty terrible design flaw. When we first saw BB10, it was really cool to see the device get woken up with a gesture swipe. The OS even does this fun thing where it wakes the device up right at your finger tip, revealing the homescreen in a gradient fashion. But after using BB10 for over 7 months and having the most pocket dials in my entire life, I can tell you it’s definitely a design flaw.

With gesture unlock, there’s 2 main ways that you end up pocket dialing. First, if you don’t have a password on your device, you’re in for some serious trouble. The device will not only pocket dial, but pocket email, upload, pic snap, video record and more. If you’re device is password protected, it still manages to make Emergency Calls (911) and take pictures and video.

To prevent all of this, you have 2 options. You can opt to buy a case that protects your phone from accidental gesture wake ups, or you can turn off gesture wake up entirely.

To turn off gesture wake up, go to Settings > Display > Allow Gestures when Locked > Off.

This is all too bad because I personally love gesture wake up.

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  • Kyrluckechucker

    Tbh never had any issues with this, had it since launch! :p

  • Diego Nei

    Do you think pocket dialing is bad?

    My Z10 twitted pictures from my pocket! I was really confused when I checked twitter and saw all those strange uploads.

    Was a great laught afterwards though..

  • Diego Nei

    It’s not something that will happen to everyone. Some kinds of fabric get completely ignored by the sensor while others get interpreted like fingers.

    I got myself a leather holster. Was always the plan and solved the issue. ^^

  • Scott

    Do you remember to “lock” the device before pocketing it, by pressing the on/off button? The only time I’ve every pocket dialed was when I didn’t lock it first and my hand probably touched the screen as I was placing it in my pocket.

  • Kyle McInnes

    Yes, I do remember to lock but that doesn’t prevent the device from using the camera and Emergency Call. It only seems to happen in warm/hot weather conditions. Maybe there’s a software fix on BlackBerry’s side.

  • Kyle McInnes

    I once pocket-uploaded a pic to facebook and thought it was weird when Likes started rolling in. I was so happy to see the pic wasn’t anything embarrassing. Very lucky.

  • Diego Nei

    It’s not like the contents of our pockets can do any harm to our reputation… right? lol

  • WalterB

    Really, this is an article? There are ways to avoid pocket dialing with any smartphone, blackberry included. This is journalism??? I think not!!!

  • Kyle McInnes

    No, sorry, you’re wrong. BlackBerry 10 is way worse than any other smartphone for pocket dialing. I’ve tried others. I’ve never once accidentally woke up an iPhone because you can’t make the slider go sideways in your pocket.

  • nate

    Does no one have a pin on their phone?

  • WalterB

    You missed my point, not surprising. The blackberry phone is one simple gesture to wake up the phone compared to two gestures on your iphone. This is an advantage if you own a blackberry. If you want to put a phone in your pocket, you can disable this feature, get a case or a holster. You people with iphone are getting desperate trying to justify why you have one.

  • WalterB

    In Kyle’s case, such a picture may hurt his reputation? Lol

  • justin

    I have had my Z10 for nearly as long as they have been around and I have never once had a pocket dial or any sort of pocket activity happen. I don’t know how you guys are doing it but I dont think its much of a design flaw if at all

  • Novay Jose

    I have never, ever, pocket-dialled on my Z10 or my Q10.

  • Caspan

    I have dialed 911 over 7 times with my phone because of this. One time the police showed up to my baseball game I was playing in because I dialed 911 and they could hear yelling and screaming (baseball game) then hung up. They pulled the GPS from my number and were there in 5 minutes. Never has this every happened with another device i have owned.

    I have had to do exactly what you said which is turning of screen gestures about 3 months ago to prevent this embarrassing event from happening again. Also it took police away from a real situation where someone could have been in real trouble.

  • Diego Nei

    Even worse. You risk pocket-wiping the device. Remember that’s what happens when 10 wrong passwords go.

    Leather pocket cases I say!

  • Caspan

    Not possible, depending on the limit you set after a few tries of 7 for me the device forces you to actually type the word “BlackBerry” to make sure this issue does not happen. With myself and 7 password tries you have to type in blackberry 3 times before you can wipe that device. Pretty sure an accidental wipe will never happen..

  • Diego Nei

    I’ll take your word on this one as I am not in the mood to risk wiping my Z10. :)

  • Kyle McInnes

    If you have to buy a case of a holster to stop pocket dialing then it’s a design flaw.

    Also, I don’t use an iPhone and since when does that even settle an argument?

  • Kyle McInnes

    Thank you! It’s a real problem and I’m not just making it up.

    Here’s a thought: BlackBerry couldn’t use many of the slide to unlock gestures that would have protected the device from accidental wake-ups because they’re patent protected.

  • Caspan

    The only time it has happened for me fro what I can deduce is when I am sweating (Cutting Lawn, Playing baseball) and my leg moisture can go through my pocket wall to be seen as a touch. I also always face my screen towards my leg when it’s in my pocket to protect the screen from being hit by corner of desk etc. So I an thinking the 2 combined cause this issue. If i place my device screen out i bet it would not happen but then you run the risk of breaking your screen.

  • Kyle McInnes

    I would agree that heat seems to play a big part. The worst pocket dialing I ever experienced was on a very humid/hot day.

  • Ducca683

    What happened to the “…you are holding it wrong!” statement…? I was expecting few, but none to be seen…

    PIN is a solution to your pocket dials … And maybe leatherhosen.

  • Caspan

    No as Kyle mentioned that Emergency calls can still happen even with a PIN. Holster or facing your screen away from your leg i think is the only option. Or BlackBerry rethinks their swipe up to unlock.

  • Cliff Mathew

    I had the exact frustrating experience described in the article. Will try the remedy suggested in this article.