Five Tip Friday – Five reasons why BlackBerry Maps is awesome!

Five Tip Friday

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BlackBerry® Maps is a great app that lets you view maps and receive directions on your BlackBerry® smartphone. Whether you need step-by-step directions to your destination, or are looking for businesses, restaurants and addresses nearby, BlackBerry Maps helps show you the way. Here are five tips to help you get the most out of BlackBerry Maps – which you can download for free for BlackBerry smartphones using BlackBerry® Device Software 4.1 or higher as well as BlackBerry® 6 OS and BlackBerry® 7 OS.

To find out which version of BlackBerry Device Software or BlackBerry OS you are currently using, click here. In the event you need to install BlackBerry Maps, click here, enter your email address and a download link will be sent to your BlackBerry smartphone. To use BlackBerry Maps, you’ll need to have a wireless data service plan from your service provider.

1) Send Location

BlackBerry Maps allows you to send a location as a message in an email or instant message, for example. The message that you send includes a link to the location so that the recipient can view the location in BlackBerry Maps on their handset. You have a number of mediums that you can use to share your location, which is really convenient! To send a location:

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Send a location you are viewing on a map, press the Menu key.
    • Send a location that’s in a list, such as your list of Favorite locations, go to the list; highlight the location and press the Menu key.
  2. Click Send Location.
  3. Specify which medium you’d like to use to share your location.

2) Add to BlackBerry® Traffic

If you have BlackBerry Traffic installed on your smartphone, you can easily add a location from BlackBerry Maps as a destination that you can then select in BlackBerry Traffic. This will allow you to get suggested routes as well as determine your estimated time of arrival – plus the ability to avoid traffic! To learn more, check out my post, BlackBerry Traffic 3.0 Released, Now with Voice Guidance! To use this feature, whenever you are viewing or are at a specific location, press the Menu key and select “Add to BlackBerry Traffic” from the menu.

Tip: Use the Application Switcher (press and hold the Menu key) to switch between BlackBerry Maps and BlackBerry Traffic. This is a great way to view your trip on a map and get suggested routes before leaving for your trip.

3) Find a Location

BlackBerry Maps is a really easy way to find a specific address, store, café and more. By default, a search will be completed near the center of the map unless you specify a different location before searching. To perform a search manually, complete the steps below.

  1. On the Home screen, click the “Maps” icon.
  2. Press the Menu key then select “Find a Location”.
    • To search for a point of interest such as a business or landmark, in the Find a store, café, etc. field, type the information for the point of interest.
    • To view a new location, type an address in the “Find an Address” field.
  3. 3. Press the Menu key then select “View on Map”.

If you are viewing a location other than your current location, you can get directions to this spot from your current location by pressing the Menu key and selecting “Navigate to Here”. Your BlackBerry smartphone must have an internal GPS receiver or be paired with a Bluetooth® enabled GPS receiver to perform this task.

Tip: Customize your directions using “Route Options” – just press the “Get Directions” button along the toolbar followed by “Route Options”, which allows you to select the fastest or shortest route in terms of distance in addition to avoiding highways and/or tolls.

4) North Up vs. Track Up

A small feature that makes a big difference is the ability to change how the map appears when you are following directions or using the “My Location” feature. “North Up” is selected by default, which means the top of map is always North. My preferred setting is “Track Up”, which is designed to allow you to have your current direction as the top of the map. Try each setting using the steps to see what you prefer.

  1. On the Home screen, click the “Maps” icon.
  2. Press the Menu key and select “Map Orientation” followed by “North Up” or “Track Up”.

5) Favorites

Store your favorite locations so you can quickly reference them in the future!

  1. On the Home screen, click the “Maps” icon.
  2. View a location on a map.
  3. Press the Menu key then “Add as Favorite” and confirm with “OK”.

To learn more about the features offered by BlackBerry Maps, make sure you visit the BlackBerry Maps website and check out this awesome demo.

Got a question or tip you’d like to share? Leave a comment and let me know!

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