Whether you are a new BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet owner (maybe you got one for the holidays?) or have had one for a while, here are five of my favorite tips for quicker and more efficient use of the tablet. I hope you can use these to maximize your awesome BlackBerry PlayBook tablet experience!
1. Show and Hide the Keyboard
Whenever you need to quickly access the keyboard, just swipe in from the bottom left of the bezel. To hide the keyboard when you are finished, tap on the hide keyboard button that appears in the bottom left corner.
2. Optimizing BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Battery Life
To help optimize battery life of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, here are a few things I do whenever I don’t have access to a charger and I need to maximize the life of my battery:
1) Dim the screen
- Tap on the battery icon and adjust the brightness slider bar, or access the “Screen” setting within the Settings menu.
2) Enable a shorter Backlight Time-out & Standby Time-Out
- Tap on the gear icon, then tap the “Screen” setting, and then specify a Backlight Time-Out value.
3) Turn off Wi-Fi® and/or Bluetooth® connectivity
- Tap on the Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth icons followed by selecting “Off”.
4) Pause apps when you show the home screen or switch between apps
- Tap on the gear icon, then tap the “General” setting, and set “Application Behavior” to “Paused”.
3. Search using the Browser Address Bar
Instead of visiting a search engine website to perform a search, while using the browser, you can just type whatever you are looking for in the address bar and press the “Enter” key to perform an automatic search. By default your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet uses the Bing™ search engine. To change which search engine is used, swipe down the top bezel while using the browser and select “Options”. Within this menu, you’ll have the option to select which search engine your browser automatically uses.
4. Peek at the Status Bar
The next time you are using an app and need to quickly enable the orientation lock feature or check your notifications or battery life, just swipe down from either the top left or top right bezel. I use this gesture so I can tap on the battery icon and put my tablet into Stand By mode whenever I need to put it away.
5. Managing App and Bookmark Icons
After installing some new apps and games and adding a few bookmarks to your tablet home screen, you might want to move these icons or remove them completely. For each of the following tips, when you are finished, tap on the checkmark that appears along the categories panel in the top left corner.
- Moving an icon – Tap and hold an icon and when it starts to pulse, drag the icon to where you would like to place it.
- Deleting an icon –To remove an icon completely, tap and hold the icon while in the “All” view followed by tapping on the trash can icon that appears when the icon starts to pulse. An important thing to keep in mind is if you remove an icon while in another view such as “Media”, the icon will get removed from “Media” and still appear in the “All” view.
Note: To add a bookmark to your home screen, while browsing a website, tap on the “Star with a green plus sign” icon and then select “Add to Home Screen”.
Bonus Tip – Managing Files
As a bonus, a question I’m asked frequently is, “How can I manage files located on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet?” To do this, you can use USB or Wi-Fi File Sharing, which will allow you to open, copy or delete files that you’ve previously saved. For a detailed overview of how to use Wi-Fi File Sharing (which is my preferred method), check out our post on how to copy files to and from a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using Wi-Fi Sharing.
Got a question about your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet? Leave a comment and let me know! Don’t forget to visit the BlackBerry Community Support Forums as well as saying hi to @BlackBerryHelp on Twitter®.