4 ways to dramatically boost your BlackBerry use

Get more from your BlackBerry

The BlackBerry is a crutch for many small business owners, but are you getting the most out of yours? This month, we look at how to make it work faster, encrypt your personal data and how different apps can increase functionality.
Secure your BlackBerry

Security has always been a strong point of the BlackBerry; in fact, it’s so secure that several countries have threatened to ban them, as their security services don’t have the ability to crack the encryption. However, there are ways to make your BlackBerry even more secure. If you go to the  ‘Options’ menu and select  ‘Security Options’, you’ll find a feature to activate data encryption of contacts and media files.  You’ll need to set a password, which is done within the separate ‘Password’ sub-menu.

Additional layers of security can then be added using apps from BlackBerry App World. SBSH’s SafeWallet Pro (£4.79) is designed to act as a password-protected safe store of sensitive information, such as passwords and bank details.

Conference call up to five people

BlackBerrys allow you to make conference calls with up to two people as standard. First, phone a number as usual, then put the recipient on hold – it’s an option found by pressing the  ‘Menu’ button. Then, make a second call as usual, press the  ‘Menu’ button again and select the  ‘Join’ option.

However, if you want to make conference calls with more than two people then there’s an app for that. Melon Mobile’s Advanced Conference Call (£15.89) from BlackBerry App World enables you to conference in up to five participants, and adds additional features such as conference scheduling and pre-conference notifications.

Making your BlackBerry faster

If your BlackBerry is crawling along at a frustrating pace then it’s likely that it has run out of memory. The Memory Cleaning feature can be enabled to flush the memory at regular intervals, from once an hour to once a minute. This is part of the BlackBerry’s  ‘Security Options’ and can be found in the  ‘Advanced Security Options’ menu. By selecting the feature, the BlackBerry will get rid of any temporary files left over from apps running in the background, avoiding memory clogging.

Alternatively, you could free up memory space by deleting a few of the installed applications. A complete list can be found in the  ‘Applications’ options within the standard  ‘Options’ menu.

Speeding up your downloads 

If you’ve had your BlackBerry for some time then it’s likely to be set up to use older 2G connections and EDGE connectivity for browsing the web, rather than the faster and now more commonplace 3G connection. To check whether the right type of connectivity is enabled, enter the  ‘Mobile Network’ sub-menu within  ‘Options’. At the bottom of this menu is the  ‘Network Mode’ selector. If the device is 3G-capable, make sure both the 3G and 2G options are selected to get the fastest connection.


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