Jerry reminded me about a feature that was added in OS 4.6.1 that I use every once in awhile. RIM added the ability to set conference call options globally or separately for each call. This can be used to easily dial into a conference call when the reminder comes up or simply remember to call your parents or significant other with a quick click.
Thankfully Jerry was kind enough to write up how to use the feature. Although this article is a bit long, its use is remarkably simple!
If you go into your BlackBerry’s Calendar, then hit the [Menu] key and select Options, you’ll see the second option is Conference Call Options. In the Conference Call Options, you can set a Phone Number and Access Code for both a Moderator and a Participant. Fill in the fields with the appropriate information and save it.
When you need to set up a Conference Call, simply open the Calendar and set up a new Appointment for the appropriate time, invite the people, and check the Conference Call box, and send out the invitation. Then at the appointed time, or the reminder time if you set one, your BlackBerry will dutifully remind you of the appointment, but you’ll have a [Join] button as well as the Open, Snooze, and Dismiss buttons. If you select Join and you were the originator of the appointment, your BlackBerry will automatically dial the Moderator phone number, wait for the call to be answered, and then dial the Moderator Access Code.
If you receive such an invitation on your BlackBerry, you will have the same options appear at the designated meeting or reminder time, but if you select Join your BlackBerry will dial the Participant Phone Number and then dial the Participant Access Code.
So, you’re saying, that’s a great feature, but what if I set up an appointment on my Computer? Well you can set up an appointment with any Calendar application that will automatically dial the Conference Call number on your BlackBerry the same way it would if you set it up on your BlackBerry. The trick is to put the information in the Location field of the invitation. Use "CCM:+18885551234×9999 CCP:+18885551234×2222" (no quotes) as the Location of the information where CCM: is followed by the Moderator Phone Number, the letter x to indicate the end of the Phone Number and beginning of the access code, and CPP: indicates the same for the Participant Phone Number and Access Code. You can add actual Location information by adding a space after the last number in the sequence.
Now anyone using a BlackBerry to attend the Conference Call will have the Join option!
I wish RIM would fix how this works with…
The Conference Call system my company uses which requires you to say your name after your Access Code has been accepted followed and then hit # to join the call. This is easy to program into a Phone Number in the Address Book by using enough Pauses (commas) to allow for the announcement and you to say your name, and then hit #, but the Conference Call fields in the Calendar will only allow Numbers, # and *. You can’t enter a comma (2 second pause) or exclamation point (wait) into either the Phone or Access Code fields (let alone use letters that automatically convert into the appropriate number as they do in the Address Book and Phone). I hope someone at RIM reads this and gets inspired to at least add the Pause and Wait capabilities to the Conference Call Feature!