Five Tip Friday – BlackBerry Brian’s Favorite BlackBerry PlayBook Tips

Happy Friday #TeamBlackBerry! You’ve seen Ty’s favorite BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet tips already, so this week I’m going to share mine. I have put together a list of my favorite tips which I provide to friends and family when they buy a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Some tips have been around for a while, and others have popped up with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0. For example, do you know how to use reader mode in the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet browser? That is just one of the valuable tips I’ll provide today. Even if you have owned your tablet for a while, you might learn something new today!

Meet me after the break for more:

1. Display Hidden Status Icons

The status bar that runs along the top of your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet screen is home to settings, the battery indicator, notifications, and more. When viewing the device in portrait mode, however, some of the icons can become hidden due to limited space.

You can quickly view all of the status icons on the left or the right side by tapping the right or left edge of the date and time situated in the middle of the status bar (as per the screenshot below).Go ahead and give it a try yourself!

To display the date and time again, tap the empty space in the status bar.

Tip: To view the status bar while using an app or game, you can use the peek gesture. To learn more, check out our post on how to use the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet gestures.

2. Calendar and Alarms from the Status Bar

This is a quick one you might have found while trying out the last tip. Clicking on the date and time in the status bar displays the current month’s calendar – I often use this to confirm what day of the week a specific date falls on. You can also swipe left or right to view a different month.

Travel a lot? Tap the calendar once to view date and time settings so you can change between time zones or 12- and 24-hour time quickly.

Below the calendar, you will see the current time your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s alarm is set for and if it is turned on or off. This is an easy way to set your alarm for a new time; tapping the alarm clock opens the clock app from where the alarm is set.

3. Reader mode for Webpages

Reader mode brings clarity to reading content on webpages in the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet browser; the surrounding website, ads, and other objects are quickly removed, showing only the content’s images and text in a style more often related to an RSS reader app than a web browser.

Tip: Interested in using RSS feeds? Check out how to subscribe to an RSS feed using the BlackBerry News App for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

When reader mode is available, a blue icon that looks like an open book will appear on the top left of the screen, directly below the navigation buttons. It works in both portrait and landscape mode and is enabled by tapping the icon, which then opens the content in a reader mode. To close the content and go back to the webpage you were viewing, click the “X” to the left of Close in the top left corner.

4. The Browser Context Menu

After using the reader mode from the previous tip, you might want to save an image from the article or webpage you are reading. This couldn’t be easier:

1. Tap and hold the image
2. When the Context menu is displayed select “Save Image”
3. Use the current name or type a new name
4. Tap “Save”.

Note: The image, like all other downloaded files, is saved to the “Downloads” folder on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

The context menu also allows you to “Copy Image Link” should you want to share it with someone. You can also “View Image” if you want to view it on its own without the rest of the content from the page you are viewing.

5. Message Search Filters

From within the messages app on a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, you can filter emails in two ways. The first method is to type a search term into the text box; from the first letter you type, the app will start to filter your emails. The second method is the real tip here because I find it faster. Let’s say you need to find an older email from a work colleague named BlackBerry Ty:

1. Tap the latest email received from BlackBerry Ty to open it
2. Tap the magnifying glass in the top left corner of the messages app
3. A list is displayed with different filtering options

4. Tap the square next to the filter to select it, and all messages in your inbox on the tablet will be searched for the selected filter.

There are other filters available – Unread, Today and Last Week, for example – so make sure you try them all.

Did you find these BlackBerry PlayBook tablet tips helpful? Leave a comment and let me know!

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