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P is for Previous… Unless You Have A BlackBerry Torch 9800

peopleinboxes Since I received the BlackBerry Torch 9800 yesterday there has been one little change that is driving me batty. Its is not a huge deal but to me it is truly an mind blowing change on RIM’s part and I don’t know what to make of it. I asked a couple of friends who are also sporting Torch’s and they did not notice it until I pointed it out…

So you are probably asking what is (choose a crazy adjective) Ronen talking about? I am talking about keyboard shortcuts in the email and messaging application. For some reason RIM decided to swap around the functions of two of the most common keyboard shortcuts in the email app. I am not sure how many of you use keyboard shortcuts but I live off them.

On every other QWERTY BlackBerry until the 9800 you would hit “P” to go to the PREVIOUS (read older) email and “N” to go to the NEXT (read newer) email. On the BlackBerry Torch 9800 RIM turned the tables. If you hit the “P” (Previous) key you will be taken to a newer email and if you hit the “N” (Next) key you will go to a older email. Maybe this is what RIM meant by “Less an evolutionary leap, more of a triple axel”?

At first I thought my device had to be defective… For a long time I used to hate Viigo for having this reverse use of the P and N key until they changed it. They finally changed it before being bought out by RIM but now it is coming back to haunt me!

If anybody else has a chance to try this out PLEASE let me know if you found a fix. I have been having a hard time trying to remember that N stands for Previous… It reminds me of an old app I once installed on my old bosses computer that would constantly change letters while he was typing fast. Hopefully RIM has a fix for this fast. For now I am just trying to use the touchscreen to swipe left and right between messages. At least that has remained the same. Older messages on the right, newer messages on the left.

Out of pure curiosity sake. Do you use keyboard shortcuts in the messages application? Let me know in the comments.

9 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I suspect that the usability testing that RIM has talked about surrounding the development of BB6 revealed that people found it more intuitive the new way.

    Interestingly enough, I have been a BB user now for a little less than 2 yrs and I still mix these two up. I know, on a purely logical level that P should be the previous day (the screen below) and that N should be the next day (the screen above) but my mind always thinks of it in terms of the interface or maybe it is better described as visually. That is, in the e-mail app, I seem to default to the notion that N should be the next screen (as opposed to day) and P should be the previous screen. Since the e-mail app is set up to sort descending by day that means that I want to use N to get to the previous day (the screen below) and P to get to the next day (the screen above). i have taught myself to abandon this reflex for the most part but I remember that it used to drive me crazy.

    Hopefully, what I just wrote makes sense. The short of it is, this new “meaning” for P and N makes perfect sense to me.

  2. Im using shortcuts only in broswer (R for reload page, G for Go To etc.) and if i selecting text (Alt+Trackpad) :)

  3. Without msg shortcuts my phone some days would be nothing more then an expensive paperweight. My 9000’s trackball will not roll downwards 3/4 of the time.

  4. Previous and Next are interchangeable since what differs is usually which item in the timeline is considered “previous” or “next” (not always date determined).

    i.e. in BerryReader, if you hit “N” it actually goes to an older feed in the timeline, “P” goes to newer.

    But I agree that swapping it after a long time could be confusing.

  5. I’m with Newcomer. It took me a long time (and I still get it backwards sometimes) to habitally hit N for up and P for down. Next and Previous are directional, not necessarily time oriented. If you open an app and scroll down from the top, Previous should take you back from where you came. Next should move you forward towards where you haven’t been yet. I know when I open the BB email app, my cursor defaults to the top. I think RIM is realizing they need to change it to make it more intuitive, but that also means driving their most loyal customers absolutely crazy for a few months until they swith their thinking.

  6. RIM better have a REALLY good reason for departing from years of precedence.

    I know Tammy had to hate every email I sent in during Tango as every bug I reported I ALSO complained about P and N acting opposite the OS way.

  7. Maybe it was a bug or error in the os…

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