Five Tip Friday – BlackBerry smartphone connections

Five Tip Friday

The weekend is close, so you know what that means…it’s Five Tip Friday here on the Inside BlackBerry Help Blog! Today’s topic is connections on a BlackBerry® smartphone, such as how to turn off the LED indicator that flashes when you have an active Mobile Network or Bluetooth® connection. I’d also like to share one of my favorite links that you can reference whenever you need to find out what an icon on your Home screen means. For example, do you know what this connection-related icon means?

Find out after the break!

If you guessed that the above symbol means Roaming, then you are correct! Here are some more tips:

1. Identifying Icons

A great bookmark to have on your smartphone is the Icon Guide that is available for BlackBerry smartphones using BlackBerry® Device Software (OS) 5.0 or later. These guides provide an easy way to identify what an icon on your Home screen stands for in case you haven’t seen it before. Just select one of the guides below depending on which version of the BlackBerry OS you are currently using. If you don’t know which version you are using, click here to find out how to identify your BlackBerry smartphone software. To view other handy docs for your BlackBerry smartphone, make sure you visit http://docs.blackberry.com.

2. Specify Roaming Options

In most cases, your BlackBerry smartphone automatically connects to the appropriate wireless network when you travel outside your wireless service provider’s coverage area. This is referred to as roaming, and you can tell when this is occurring because a triangular roaming indicator appears at the top of the home screen.

Depending on your wireless service plan, you might be able to turn off data service (email messages, PIN messages, text messages with attachments, and browser service) on your BlackBerry smartphone so that only phone and basic text messaging are available. You can also set your smartphone to turn off data services when roaming, which prevents you from incurring data roaming charges. For more information about roaming, contact your wireless service provider.

To control roaming options on a BlackBerry smartphone, complete the following steps.

1. On the Home screen, select the connections area at the top of the screen or click the “Manage Connections” icon.
2. Select “Networks and Connections” followed by “Mobile Network”.
3. Do one of the following:

  • To turn data service on or turn off, change the Data Services field.
  • To turn data services on or turn off when roaming, change the While Roaming field.
  • You can also set the smartphone to prompt you that you are about to roam, so you can make the choice then about whether to leave data services on or off. To set that feature, change the While Roaming field to Prompt.

4. Press the Menu key and select “Close” to save your changes.

3. How to tell if you have a Wi-Fi® network connection

When you are connected to a Wi-Fi network connection on your BlackBerry smartphone, new icons will appear on the Home screen that will help you identify if a successful Wi-Fi network connection was made. Using my BlackBerry smartphone, for example, I have a connection to the Rogers™ mobile network and the corporate Wi-Fi network (corpbb). Notice the new icons that appear beneath the 3G Connection Indicator icons in the top right corner?

Here’s a quick overview of what these Wi-Fi specific icons mean:

This icon appears when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, and you can access BlackBerry services such as email, BBM™ and Internet browsing over the Wi-Fi connection.

When the icon appears grayed-out like this, your Wi-Fi connection is turned on, but you are not connected to a Wi-Fi network; or, you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, but you cannot access BlackBerry services over the Wi-Fi connection. For more information, check out my post on how to connect to a Wi-Fi network in addition to the user guide.

4. Enable/Disable the Network LED Coverage Indicator

Whenever you receive a new notification on your BlackBerry smartphone, you’ll notice that the LED flashes red to get your attention. When you don’t have a new notification, however, you might notice that the LED flashes green, which means that your BlackBerry smartphone is connected to the wireless network.

If you want to disable the green LED from flashing, all you need to do is complete the following steps:

1. On the Home screen, select “Options”.
2. Select one of the following options based on your BlackBerry device software version. (If you don’t know which version you are using, click here to find out how to identify your BlackBerry smartphone software.)

  • If you are using BlackBerry Device Software (OS) v5.0, select “Screen/Keyboard”
  • If you are using BlackBerry® 6 or later, select “Display” followed by selecting “Screen Display”

3. To disable the flashing LED, specify the following for the LED Coverage Indicator:

  • If you are using BlackBerry OS v5.0, select “Off”
  • If you are using BlackBerry 6 or later, uncheck the box

4. Press the Menu key and select “Save”.

Tip: Want to disable the red LED whenever you receive a new notification? If so, review your Sound and Alert Profiles which allow you to specify when the LED flashes red depending on what type of notification you are receiving. To learn more editing Sound and Alert Profiles, check out the user guide for your smartphone.

5. Enable/Disable the Bluetooth LED Coverage Indicator

If you have turned on Bluetooth in Manage Connections, you’ll notice that the LED starts flashing blue when you are using Bluetooth functionality. For instance, when using BlackBerry Bridge™ with a BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, the LED on your smartphone will flash blue every so often. If you want to turn this LED off, complete the following steps:

1. From the Home screen, select “Manage Connections”.
2. Select one of the following options based on your BlackBerry smartphone software version. (If you don’t know which version you are using, click here to find out how to identify your BlackBerry smartphone software.)

  • If you are using BlackBerry Device Software (OS) v5.0, select “Bluetooth Options”
  • If you are using BlackBerry 6 or later, select “Bluetooth Connections”

3. Press the Menu key and select Options.
4. To disable the flashing LED, specify the following for the LED Coverage Indicator:

  • If you are using BlackBerry Device Software (OS) v5.0, select “Off”
  • If you are using BlackBerry 6 or later, uncheck the box

5. Press the Menu key and select “Save”.

Got a question about your BlackBerry smartphone? Leave a comment and let me know!

About Ty Williams

Community Content Manager & Blogger @ BlackBerry. Connect with me on Twitter @TyWilliamsCA

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