Monday, March 2, 2015

BBM for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android updates now available

As expected, thanks to the earlier announcement, BBM has now been updated for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android. The feature list for this update is rather large and includes custom BBM PINs, Android Wear support, Password protection and landscape mode for iOS users plus, you can now share photos in group chats and have multiple BBM channel contributors. You can have a look at the full rundown below or just head on into your respective app store and grab the update right now.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

BlackBerry 10.3.1 Battery Tips

If you are using a BlackBerry 10 device and would like to maximize your battery life here are some tips that can help you out!

Check for BlackBerry 10 OS Updates

Whenever a BlackBerry 10 OS update is released, make sure you install it on your device so you can take advantage of optimizations that can help improve your battery life.

Typically, you’ll receive a notification of an update, but to manually check for updates, open Settings, tap Software Updates, and then Check for Updates.

Battery Saving Mode

Introduced in BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1, Battery Saving Mode can extend your battery life when you need it most.

When Battery Saving Mode is enabled your smartphone will automatically adjust the following settings, but you can customize what happens by going to Settings > Battery Saving Mode:

  • Screen brightness is lowered
  • Screen does not turn on for notifications
  • Limit Maximum CPU performance
  • Turn off Advanced Interactions
  • Turn off Data Services*
  • Turn off Location Services*

* By default, Turn off Data Services and Turn off Location Services are not enabled

By default, Battery Saving Mode will turn on when your battery level reaches 20% but you can choose a different threshold for this setting or manually turn Battery Saving Mode on or off.

To do this, just tap on the Battery icon that appears in the Quick Settings menu, or optionally tap Battery saving in the Quick Settings menu to review and adjust your Battery Saving Mode settings.

BattSaveQS

If you don’t see Battery saving in your Quick Settings menu add it by going to Settings > Quick Settings and checking Battery Saving Mode.

As soon as you start charging your device Battery Saving Mode will automatically turn off. You can easily tell when Battery Saving Mode has been enabled because Device Monitor will show a yellow background when viewing your Battery details as shown in the following screenshot.

DeviceMonitor

To customize Battery Saving Mode complete the following steps:

  1. On the home screen, swipe down from the top of screen
  2. Tap Settings > Battery Saving Mode
  3. Do any of the following:
    • To set the power level that your battery must reach before Battery Saving Mode turns on automatically, drag the slider at the top of the screen left or right.
    • To change which settings are adjusted when Battery Saving Mode turns on, select or clear any of the checkboxes.
    • To stop Battery Saving Mode from turning on automatically, turn off the Turn on Battery Saving Mode Automatically switch.

You can also setup your device to enter Battery Saving Mode whenever you are using Bedside Mode overnight for example. To do this, open the Clock, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap Settings. Within this screen, toggle the switch next to Battery Saving in Bedside Mode.

Run When Minimized & Run in Background Permissions

The Run When Minimized permission allows apps to continue performing tasks after you minimize the app on your BlackBerry smartphone.

In addition to this permission, you should also review which apps have the permission to Run in Background. This permission is used by some apps that continue to run even though an Active Frame for the app isn’t shown. This can also be referred to as a ‘headless’ app.

To help extend the life of your battery, consider turning off these permissions on apps you do not use frequently. Doing so can help save A LOT of battery life so we strongly recommend reviewing these permissions every so often as you install more apps on to your device.

To identify which apps have these permissions, and optionally turn off these permissions on a per app basis, complete the following steps:

  1. On the home screen, swipe down from the top of the screen
  2. Tap Settings > Security and Privacy > Application Permissions
  3. Tap the Permissions drop-down listing do one of the following:
    • Tap Run when Minimized
    • Tap Run in Background
  4. Select an app from the listing, and then optionally turn off these permissions.
  5. Restart your device for the change to take effect

Tip: Device Monitor is an easy way to identify apps that may be using a lot of battery life. If you do notice an app or game that is using a lot of battery life consider adjusting the permissions by tapping on the Change your app permissions option, or consider removing these apps.

Advanced Interactions

Added in BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3, Advanced Interactions can help you do things more efficiently as well as help you save power using the Flip to Save Power feature.

FlipToSave

By default, Flip to Save Power is turned on and causes your smartphone to turn off its display whenever it is placed facedown on a flat surface.

To review your Advanced Interaction settings, go to Settings followed by Advanced Interactions.

Android Applications

Android apps may continue running when the display is off and we recommend you close these apps when not in use. To do this, press X in the lower right when the app is minimized.

BlackBerry Blend

If you have setup BlackBerry Blend so you can access your smartphone using your computer, consider closing the Blend app on your computer when not in use. Doing so can help save battery life if your computer isn’t set to automatically sleep, or suspend after a period of inactivity. To do this, right click on the Blend icon followed by selecting Quit or Close depending on what type of computer you are using.

BlendSettings

The ‘Remain Signed In’ option will create a persistent connection to your device, and decrease battery life so only use this option when needed. To change this setting if you have selected it in the past, open BlackBerry Blend and click the gear icon in the top right corner followed by clicking Remain Signed In.

Accounts

If you set up multiple accounts that support email, contacts, and calendar synchronization, only enable synchronization for accounts that you plan on using to ensure that only necessary activity occurs. To review account synchronization settings, tap Accounts within Settings, and then tap the account you want to customize or delete.

Device Monitor

Device Monitor, first introduced in BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2, was updated with the release of BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 so you can monitor data usage over your Wi-Fi and cellular connection.

When you select an item from the Device Monitor list, you can view additional details such as CPU, memory, mobile network, and Wi-Fi® usage statistics. You can also view applications you installed, the amount of space those apps take up, and delete applications.

If you haven’t already, consider adding the Device Monitor to the Quick Settings menu for fast one touch access to this useful feature. To do this, go to Settings followed by Quick Settings and check the box next to Device Monitor.

Connections

The radios on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone are designed with efficiency in mind, so turning off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth®, or NFC as well as changing your cellular connection to use a different network technology may not improve battery life. We recommend using Wi-Fi whenever possible because it offers substantial power savings; so make sure you are actively adding Wi-Fi networks and hotspots to your smartphone as you come across them.

Note: If you’ve set up Media Sharing, considering turning off it temporarily if need to maximize your battery life (Settings > Media Sharing).

Charging

Your BlackBerry 10 smartphone is designed make efficient use of the battery, however, you should still follow best practices to maximize your battery’s lifespan. Always use an official BlackBerry® charger, charge for an extended period of time when possible, avoid charging in small increments (for example, less than 15 minutes), and do not your leave smartphone in direct sunlight (for example, on your vehicle’s dashboard) or in extremely cold temperatures.

Notifications

If you receive a lot of notifications throughout the day, consider reviewing and customizing your notification profiles. If your smartphone is set to vibrate when notifications arrive, this uses more battery life than having the LED light up. BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 also includes a new feature that can turn on your screen whenever a new notification is received.

Battery Saving Mode will turn off this feature but you can optionally turn this feature off completely by going to Settings > Notifications > Lock Screen and toggling the switch next to Turn on Screen for New Notifications.

If you also receive a lot of notifications overnight, swipe down from the top of the screen after you lock your smartphone to enable Bedside Mode, which turns off all notifications.

For help customizing your notification profiles open the Help app on your device and search for “Change your sounds, notifications, or ring tones” or review the user guide for your device. You can find it here: http://docs.blackberry.com.

Review Application and Game Refresh Settings

It’s a good idea to review the refresh settings within your favorite third-party apps and games, as some of them might maintain active connections to services or data that is still being transferred. Refresh settings are typically found in the settings screen of an application so make sure you review these screens after you install a new application or game.

Don’t forget to double check your application and game permissions as well because some of them may have the ability to run when minimized, or run in the background which can affect battery life

Screen Brightness and Dark Themes

A significant way to reduce battery usage is to decrease the brightness of the display. Within Settings, tap Display, and then move the Brightness slider to a reduced setting that you find comfortable.

If you are using a device with an OLED display such as a BlackBerry® Z30 smartphone, the BlackBerry® Q10 smartphone , or the Porsche Design P’9983 smartphone from BlackBerry consider using a dark theme, which results in lower battery consumption. You can find an option to enable a dark theme in BBM™, the Contacts app, and the Calendar in the Settings screen for the respective apps.

To try out the dark theme, open these apps and swipe down from the top of the screen. After selecting the dark theme, close and re-open each application for the change to take effect.

Lock Screen

To prevent accidental taps and presses that can turn on your screen (and decrease battery life), lock the screen by pressing the Power/Lock key on the top of your smartphone before you place it into your pocket, purse, etc. Doing so can help prevent your device screen from waking up accidentally which can use battery life if this occurs frequently.

Screen Lock Timeout

In addition to pressing the Power/Lock key to lock your screen, you should customize the Screen Lock Timeout setting. This setting controls how long your smartphone waits after being left idle before turning off the screen. To adjust this value, go to Settings, tap Display and change the Screen Lock Timeout.

Use a Case or Holster

Depending on which of type case or holster you use, putting your device in it may or may not turn off the display. On top of protecting your smartphone, using a case that turns off the display is a great way to save battery life because the display is shut off as soon as you insert your device.

To browse a variety of these cases, visit http://www.shopblackberry.com or check the available cases provided by your local retailer(s).

Got a question? Leave a comment and let me know!

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Snap v3 Beta 3 now available for download

With two beta releases already out there, it's now time for Snap v3 beta 3. As expected, this release brings along with it several bug fixes and changes including some changes to address download issues, scrolling and there's now additional layout fixes for the BlackBerry Passport as well. That's just a small list of additions, you can view the rest below.

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BlackBerry Knowledge Base explains the removal of Adobe Flash from OS 10.3.1

As some folks have noticed, especially BlackBerry Classic owners and those running OS leaks, Adobe Flash has been removed from BlackBerry OS 10.3.1. For their part, BlackBerry has never really said much about the situation directly but the BlackBerry Knowledge Base was updated with an explanation for the removal. As expected, it mentions Adobe stopped development of mobile Flash back in 2011 and the mobile web is now moving to HTML5.

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