Five Tip Friday – BlackBerry Smartphone Search Tips

FIVE TIP FRIDAY / 10.05.12 / tywill1

Considering the amount of information most of us carry on a daily basis on our BlackBerry® smartphones, I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips on how you can find specific information much faster on your BlackBerry smartphone. Since we are all about efficiency today, let’s dive right in.

1. Search for Contacts using Initials only

Looking for a method of finding specific people within the Contacts app on your smartphone? If so, instead of typing out their first name followed by last name, consider typing just their initials instead. Using my name as an example, instead of having to type “Ty Williams”, I can enter “T W” instead and get the same results.

2. Remote Messages Search

Something I consider a ‘must know’ tip is how to perform a remote search of your messages. This is very useful thing to know in the event you need to look for information that you know is in your inbox, but no longer contained on your BlackBerry smartphone. Provided your email accounts support this feature, I strongly recommend trying it out because I love it and I think you will too!

BlackBerry® 6 and BlackBerry® 7 OS

  1. Open Messages
  2. Press the Menu key, then select “Search By” followed by “Advanced”
  3. Change the “Search Messages” option from “On Device” to “Remotely”
  4. Enter your search query and select “Search”.

BlackBerry® Device Software 4.5 to 5

  1. Open Messages, press the Menu key and select “Search”
  2. Change the “Search Type” from “Local” to “Remote”
  3. Enter your search query and select “Search”.

To help you get the most out of remote search, I recommend reviewing the BlackBerry Knowledge Base article “How to perform a Remote search for email messages“.

3. Universal Voice Search

For those using a BlackBerry 7 OS smartphone, in addition to performing a text-based Universal Search, did you know you also have the option of performing voice searches as well? All you need to do is select the Universal Search field on the Home screen followed by tapping on the microphone icon that appears on the right. Provided you have an active network connection and your device language supports this feature, you can start performing voice searches.

After performing several searches, hop into the BlackBerry smartphone device options and select the “Search” option. Here you’ll be able to customize what items appear when using Universal Search as well clearing your search history, disabling web suggestions, and customizing extended providers such as third-party applications. To learn more, check out our blog post on how to use Universal Search.

4. Search Shortcuts

For those that use a BlackBerry smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard such as a BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 smartphone, listed below are several shortcuts you can take advantage of to help you perform searches in various situations. Something to keep in mind is depending on the typing input language you are currently using on your BlackBerry smartphone, some of the shortcuts listed below might not be available.

Search for an item on your BlackBerry smartphone Start typing on the Home screen
Search for text in a message Press S
Search for text in a file or an attachment Press F
Search for text on a webpage Press F*
Search for text in a presentation Press F

Note: In order to perform searches while using the BlackBerry® Browser, Browser shortcuts must be enabled. While using the Browser, press the “Menu” key, select “Options” and check the box next to “Enable Keyboard Shortcuts”.

5. Using a QWERTY Device? Consider Home Screen Shortcuts

One of my favorite tips when using a BlackBerry smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard is enabling Home screen shortcuts. This allows you to use specific keys to open various apps such as:

  • M = Messages
  • N = BlackBerry Messenger
  • B = BlackBerry Browser
  • T = Tasks
  • L = Calendar

What’s awesome about this is you can still use Universal Search. All you need to do is hit “S” – the shortcut for Universal Search – followed by entering your search query. For example, to search for tacos, from your Home screen hit S followed by typing “tacos”. Pretty easy and super efficient!

To learn more about this feature as well how to enable it, read our blog post on how to use shortcuts from the BlackBerry home screen.

Got a tip on performing efficient searches with your BlackBerry smartphone? Leave a comment and let us know!

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