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FAQ: Homescreen Shortcut Keys Guide (QWERTY Devices)

JerryD was kind enough to submit this great guide about all the Homescreen shortcuts for full keyboard BlackBerrys. With no further delay I give you JerryD:

I use the BB Dimension Zen theme, and love having just the six icons down the left side (5 applications plus the Menu icon), and an unobstructed view of my wallpaper. The five icons are applications I use ALL THE TIME, but you won’t find any of the native BlackBerry applications (the things I NEED the BlackBerry for) there (Messages, Address Book, Calendar, etc.)!

If you go through the icons on your home screen and watch the name that appears, you’ll notice most of the native applications have a letter underlined. This indicates the Home Screen Shortcut Key for that application, and that application will be run when the underlined key is tapped for 1 second or less.

However, you need to have “Dial From Home Screen” set to No in the Phone Application’s Options –> General Options for this to work. On a full QWERTY device with 26 Speed Dials available, I hardly ever need to manually dial anyway. The Dial From Home Screen setting has no effect on Speed Dials which must be held down for more than 1 second to be invoked, and even if I need to manually dial a number, it’s one extra tap of the Call button.

As for the applications I NEED AND USE all the time? I simply tap the appropriate key to bring it up instantly! No more scrolling around to find an icon – tap and it comes up!

Here’s a list of the shortcut keys* and the applications they invoke:

AAddress Book
BBrowser
CCompose
D – Memo Pad
F – Profiles
HHelp
K – Lock
L – Calendar
MMessages
N – BlackBerry Messenger
OOptions
Q – Enterprise Messenger (Q) [not all versions]
R – Alarm
SSearch
TTasks
U – Calculator
V – Saved Messages
WWap Browser (displayed name may vary)
X – Windows Live Messenger (X) [v2.1.32]

Notes:

  • REMEMBER: You tap the key (for about 1/2 second) to invoke the shortcut.  If you hold down the key longer, you will either invoke a programmed speed dial, or be asked if you want to assign the key to a speed dial if it’s not already assigned.  This also makes up for not being able to dial from the Home screen as you have 26 speed dial keys available.
  • When you use one of these shortcut keys, the selected icon in the shortened Zen menu is not changed. However, when you display all icons (by hitting the [Menu] key), the application associated with the shortcut key you tapped will be selected.
  • I am not aware of any way to program a third party application to a key.
    (I’d love to have Google Maps mapped to G!)
  • The above list was compiled using a BlackBerry 8800 running v4.2.1.70 on AT&T.
    (who renamed Wap Browser to MEdia Net)
  • Enterprise Messenger is listed as BlackBerry Enterprise Messenger in the Applications list, and connects to my Enterprise LCS server.
  • There may be other (RIM) applications like Enterprise Messenger that are not part of the standard OS that map the keys not listed above.
  • If you’re a BES Admin, you may want to investigate the possibility of forcing the Dial From Home Screen setting to No through IT Policy (If you don’t actually support the users, the Techs that do will thank you!). Why? Because Options is never in the same place! Where it is located is dependent on the theme in use! I’ve seen it on the Home screen, under the Settings folder, under the Tools folder, and sometimes those folders or Options is under the Applications folder. If you’re supporting the BlackBerry and can simply say to the user “tap the O key” to bring up Options – you save yourself and the user a bit of frustration!
4 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Other possible keys:
    G – GTalk (might launch the installer if you don’t have it installed)
    P – phone (at least it works in my Curve)
    P – Peek-a-boo: http://tinyurl.com/6e23o9
    Q – QSMS: http://tinyurl.com/5gpp3g
    Q – QuickNote: http://tinyurl.com/6obp8g / http://bbtips.mobi/fullapps.htm#29
    X – ToDo Matrix (if you have it installled)
    Y – Yahoo Messenger (might launch the installer if you don’t have it installed)
    Z – BizMathica (if you have it installled)
    .
    I’m almost sure I have seen the I key be used by some application. Apparently, only E has been left alone so far.
    .
    We really should be able to customize these keys at will. Especially considering I never use some of the compulsory ones. They might as well give room to something I really use.

  2. Nice, very useful!

  3. “If you’re a BES Admin, you may want to investigate the possibility of forcing the Dial From Home Screen setting to No through IT Policy (If you don’t actually support the users, the Techs that do will thank you!). Why? Because Options is never in the same place! Where it is located is dependent on the theme in use! I’ve seen it on the Home screen, under the Settings folder, under the Tools folder, and sometimes those folders or Options is under the Applications folder. If you’re supporting the BlackBerry and can simply say to the user “tap the O key” to bring up Options – you save yourself and the user a bit of frustration” I don’t see the point of this, since the options you need to get to are under the phone app.

  4. E (newer SameTime messenger) and I (IdeaMatrix) are both taken, if the apps are installed.

    Check out a more complete listing at http://www.blackberryfaq.com/index.php/Home_Screen_Shortcuts

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