Five Tip Friday – Enhancing the Phone App on a BlackBerry smartphone

FIVE TIP FRIDAY / 01.13.12 / tywill1

It’s an app that’s vital on the BlackBerry® smartphone – the Phone app! Although BlackBerry smartphones can do all kinds of wonderful things for you – they are “smart” phones after all – it’s good to note that you can also use it to make straightforward phone calls if you wish. Today I’d like to share five tips that you can use with your Phone app, including how to enhance sound quality! Grab your BlackBerry smartphone and let’s get started.

Note: The tips below apply to BlackBerry smartphones with a QWERTY keyboard, such as the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900. To learn more about using the Phone app if you are using a touch screen-only BlackBerry smartphone (such as the BlackBerry® Torch™ 9850/9860 smartphone), please review the user guide for your BlackBerry smartphone.

Dial Letters

The next time you come across a phone number that contains a word or letters, you can have your BlackBerry smartphone enter the corresponding numbers automatically so you don’t have to try to figure out what numbers you need to enter. All you need to do is specify the first part of the phone number – for example, 1-800 – and when you need to enter a letter, hold down the “ALT” key and enter the letters or words contained in the phone number.

Volume Controls

When using the BlackBerry smartphone handset, you have a few options that can help improve sound quality during a call. To enhance call audio while on a call, press the Menu key and select “Enhance Call Audio”. You can then select “Boost Bass” or “Boost Treble” to help improve the sound quality of your current call. (Note: Sound quality settings do not apply to Bluetooth®-enabled headsets.) You also have the ability to improve sound quality for all calls; to do this, complete the following steps:

  1. Press the Phone key or select the Phone app from the home screen
  2. Press the Menu key, then select “Options” followed by “In-call Settings”
  3. Within Audio Enhancement, specify your desired values.

Tip: You can also specify the default call volume as well within this screen. F or example, if you find yourself constantly turning the volume up whenever you make or receive a call you can set your BlackBerry smartphone to use the same volume level as previous calls which is my preferred setting or a specific volume level such as 75%.

Speed Dial

You can quickly dial a specific contact or your voice mail using speed dial shortcuts on your BlackBerry smartphone. Here’s a quick overview of how to manage the speed dial list:

1. Press the Phone key or select the Phone app from the home screen
2. Press the Menu key, then select “View” followed by “Speed Dial List”
3. Highlight a contact or phone number
4. Press the Menu key and select one of the following options:

  • To add a new contact, highlight the speed dial key, press the Menu key and select “New Speed Dial”
  • To change the contact that is assigned to a speed dial key, highlight the speed dial key, select “Edit” and select the new contact
  • To assign the contact to a different speed dial key, highlight the speed dial key, press the Menu key and select “Move” followed by picking the new speed dial key
  • To delete a contact from the Speed Dial Numbers list, highlight the speed dial entry, press the Menu key and select “Delete”.

Auto Dial Extensions

If you frequently use extensions, you can add them to a contacts phone number in the Address Book. The next time you contact someone from your Address book that has an extension specified, the extension will be entered automatically after the call is placed. To take advantage of this feature, open the Address Book, edit a contact, and add a pause or wait after the phone number followed by the extension you need to enter. Here’s how to add a pause or wait to a phone number that’s contained in your Address Book:

  1. Open a contact, then select a phone number and scroll to the end
  2. Press the Menu key and select “Add Pause” or “Add Wait”
  3. Type the additional numbers of the extension
  4. Press the Menu key and select “Save”.

Adding Contact Pictures

A simple way to personalize your BlackBerry smartphone is by adding images to your Address Book contacts which will allow you to see a photo of who you are speaking with, or receiving a call from provided they are listed in your Address Book.

You can do this manually while editing a contact, but if you use BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) or Facebook® for BlackBerry smartphones, you can optionally have these apps automatically specify an image, you can also add contacts to the home screen. To learn more about how to this feature works, click on one of the links below depending on which app you are currently using:

Bonus Tip – View Phone Status Information

With this tip, you can easily identify details such as how long your last call was as well as the total amount of time spent on calls. To access this information, open the Phone app, press the Menu key and select “Status”.

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

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