Author: JosephO

How to set up your BlackBerry as a drive on your PC (ASK JOE)

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“My Blackberry won’t show up on my PC Explorer as a drive.”

Chances are that this option is just disabled. You can check by going to Options then Memory. Make sure that Mass Storage Mode Support is set to “On” and Auto Enable Mass Storage Mode When Connected is set to Prompt or Yes. If for some reason these options are enabled then we may need to have a follow up question and answer. Let us know if this works for you in the comments.

Thanks for the question Steve B.

(This answer was provided by the Ask BlackBerry Joe column. If you have a BlackBerry question, leave it for me in the comments.)

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Playing a video on your BlackBerry Bold 9000 (ASK JOE)

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blackberry bold video
Image via datadave

“If you didn’t use the BB Media Manager to convert/transfer video files, what are the best formats and settings to use for a video file so that it is playable on the BlackBerry Bold?”

I would recommend encoding video in mp4 format. This is the same format that RIM uses for their sample videos. As for the bit rate and video sizes, go to RIM’s official site to get these specs for all devices.

Supported formats

Recommended video format for local playback

Thanks for the question Leila.

(Have a BlackBerry question? Leave it for me in the comments.)

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Upgrading your BlackBerry OS from your phone (ASK JOE)

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“I own the 8310 model BlackBerry… I received an email about upgrading my system from 4.2 to 4.5… Is there a way I can do that from my phone itself?”

The simple answer is, Hopefully in the future! Within the newer OS’s (4.5 and above) there is a wireless update item under Options, but this particular feature has yet to be enabled by any carrier. RIM has implemented the ability but it hasn’t been taken advantage of yet. The only option available right now is to update using you cable and supported OS download. But good things are in store for the future option of updating your Blackberry wirelessly.

Thanks for the question Cast TROY.

(Remember, these answers are part of my Ask BlackBerry Joe column. If you have a BlackBerry question, leave it for me in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer it.)

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How to disable your BlackBerry backlight in Media Player (ASK JOE)

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“Now that I can import iTunes playlists and album graphics to my Bold, how do I stop the backlight from turning off during playback when the unit is plugged in to power? Best I can find is 2:00 minutes. Help!”

You do have the ability to disable this option. If you go into Media Player options (Media icon> Menu > Options) and set the “Turn Off Auto Backlighting” option to No, your backlight will stay on while the Media Player is operating. Unfortunately you will have to disable this option if you are just running on battery because it will drain your battery very quickly.

Thanks for the question MDMcKelvie.

(If you have a BlackBerry question, leave it for me in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer it.)

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How to set up your new unlocked BlackBerry (ASK JOE)

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“I got a Curve 8900 from T-Mobile and have it unlocked for use on AT&T. Now what… Is there a good answer. I am reading everything from just put in SIM, download generic service books, wipe device, download OS delete vendor file. Please help.”

You have got it down, that’s exactly what you do. But you may also want to configure your APN to work with AT&T’s network.

Options> Advanced Options> TCP/IP. APN should say APN: wap.cingular Username:WAP@CINGULARGPS.COM Password: CINGULAR1

Something else that may make life easier is AT&T had begun sending out its own carrier specific service books for the 8900, so you may be able to bypass all the headache of manually setting up your T-Mobile Branded 8900 for use on AT&T’s network!

Thanks for the question Mike.

(If you have a BlackBerry question, leave it for me in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer it.)

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How to stop your BlackBerry from clearing messages

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“My blackberry has been clearing my phone log at random. Yesterday it also cleared all my text messages. Why is it doing this and how can I stop it from doing it?”

This seems to be a feature RIM has implemented when you run out of device memory. Phone logs and messages begin to purge themselves to allow the OS to continue running smoothly. There are several ways to fix this issue, the first being to manage your memory. Uninstall any applications you don’t use and through the Desktop Manager. Remove items such as languages, sample videos and help files if you don’t use. The second way to help to keep your Berry from running out of space is to delete old messages and clear Browser cookies and cache.

Menu key and select Options > Cache Operations. Clear History & Clear Cookies

Lastly, Themes are a memory hog. Try to limit yourself to as few as possible. “Plus” themes seem to be a lot bigger in size than standard Today, Icon and Zen themes. So be aware of the size when installing new themes.

Thanks for the questions Susan A.

To get your BlackBerry questions answered by BlackBerry Joe, leave them in the comments.

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How to change the default browser on your BlackBerry

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“How do you change the default browser from the blackberry one to a 3rd party browser app?”

The short answer is: you can’t. This is one functionality I wish existed with the Blackberry OS. It would be nice to fire up your favorite Browser when clicking a link from within an email, text or other 3rd party application. There are other browsers out there that I think blow the native Blackberry browser out of the water in terms of function such as Bolt and Opera Mini but unfortunately RIM hasn’t given us the option to change this as of yet! RIM are you listening?

Thanks for the questions Ryan!

This is part of Joe’s weekly Ask BlackBerry Joe column. To get your BlackBerry questions answered, just leave them in the comments.

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Ask BlackBerry Joe - Get all your BlackBerry questions answered

133 Comments

A while back we ran an article that asked “Do you need help with your Blackberry?” We had a good response to that question and so now we’re going to give you the opportunity to “ask away”!

To get your BlackBerry question answered, just leave it in the comments.

Weekly I will be picking some questions and we’ll address them every Friday. There is no question too big or small. So what are you waiting for? Ask away!

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Top 5 apps for a new BlackBerry user

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We had a lot of feedback last week for our daily Blackberry Cool Twitter Question of the day.

The Blackberry community unanimously voted Viigo as the most recommended application for a new Blackberry user.

Over half of the total responses included Viigo as one of the 3 choices. Closely behind in the number 2 spot was Twitterberry. This wasn’t to surprising due to the many replies we received in such a short period of time. Last but not least, Google Maps was the 3rd most recommended application.

There are some other applications that deserve an honorable mention. They are SocialScope and Slacker Radio. There you have it. Know someone with a new Blackberry? Here’s a list that will get them started in the right direction:

1. To download Viigo for your BlackBerry, go here.

2. To download Twitterberry, go here.

3. To download Google Maps, go here.

4. To get an invite to SocialScope, go here.

5. To download Slacker Radio, go here.

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Simplify your BlackBerry experience with custom keys

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quicklaunch

So if you’ve been looking for an application that will simplify your Blackberry experience, look no further. QuickLaunch by NikkiSoft allows you to launch applications, websites and compose messages along with other things from as little as 2 clicks. Configuring QuickLaunch is a breeze and is an application that every Blackberry owner shouldn’t go without. QuickLaunch supports 83XX, 8900, 9000 and 95XX devices with 4.5 OS or above.

Install was fast and simple and configuring was a fast and straight forward process. After installing I setup my left convenience key (through the Blackberry Screen/Keyboard options) to launch the app and when pressed it brought up the sidebar which defaults to the right side of the screen (but can be changed to the left). The QL Settings menu is simple and only has four configurable items; menu locations, font size, right-side convenience key action and left side convenience key. (The convenience keys will have priority over other mapped applications while the QuickLaunch menu is opened.) QuickLaunch allows you to set the convenience keys (left, right or both) to close QuickLaunch if an app is not launched using the application.
Click through to keep reading about QuickLaunch for BlackBerry

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