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Z10 Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts

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  • For the new Z10 user, you’ll find some good stuff here and I urge you to just sit down for 20 miutes and go through each of these. They’ll stick with you that way.
  • For the experienced user, please feel free to post your own tips in this thread! I’d ask that we stay on topic, and let’s get as many as possible posted here.

 Settings

  1. First, find your SETTINGS easily by swiping down from the top bezel. There you will see Settings, Bluetooth, Alarm, Rotation Lock, WiFi and Notifications. In your Settings, you will find your About screen, Network Connections such as your mobile network, Mobile Hotspot, NFC, Airplane Mode, etc.; your email accounts setup, Language and Input, BlackBerry Protect, and many other key settings.
  2. Name your Z10 at Settings > About > Device Name. This is the name of the device a WiFi router will see, when using the BlackBerry Link on your desktop, or when sharing media files.
  3. Remember the Overflow icon, which is noted by the  icon (three horizontal dots) This icon is often seen in the Hub, at the bottom of email compose screens and in many core BB10 apps and will lead you to more settings, options or actions for that screen.
  4. Take a screen shot of your Z10 screen by pressing both the UP and DOWN volumes keys simultaneously. The screen shot is saved in your Pictures folder.
  5. Stop the red LED quickly by tapping the top edge Standby button. Sometimes I don’t have time to even peek at the Hub, and a quick tap of the standby button let’s me get back to work for a few more minutes.
  6. Hub Quick Controls: While in your Hub view, tap the overflow icon ⁞ and then Settings > to find your settings for Hub Display and Actions (change the sort order of messages, download images automatically and more), Hub Management (you can enable and disable which email accounts, Facebook, and Twitter to appear or no in the Hub.
  7. Application settings can often be found by swiping down from the top bezel to find more Settings, Help, or About that third party application.
  8. Disable the Delete Message Confirmation from your Hub screen > tap the overflow icon ⁞ > Settings > Display and Actions > scroll down to and disable the Delete Message Confirmation.
  9. Peek when busy! If your actively in an email or other app like Twitter, you can use one finger swiping slowly up from the bottom bezel to view any mail, BBM or Hub notifications on the left or right of the pane. Keep your finger on the app and swipe back down to continue in the active app, or let go to move to another app. Swiping up from the bottom and over to the right all in one action hides that active app and takes you directly to your Hub.
  10. Check your battery percentage at Settings > About > change the top Category from General to Hardware and the battery percentage is at the bottom of the screen. I’ve downloaded “Battery Watch” from BlackBerry World for free, as an icon on my screen.
  11. Speed Dial settings are found by opening your Phone application and while in the Call List or Contacts view, touch and hold the desire contact to add to your Speed Dial and on the popup side bar, touch the Star icon (Add to Speed Dial).

Typing/Keyboard

  1. Word Substitution on your Z10 works beautifully! Find it in your Settings > Language and Input > Automated Assistance > Word Substitution. We formerly called this AutoText, and it works all the same as before. There are a few pre-loaded, and I make my own, for things such as creating an entry of “hh” which becomes “Headed Home” I often use to let family know I’ve left the office at the end of the day. You can create Twitter hashtags, such as “bbt” becomes “#BlackBerry10”, “myadd” instantly enters my physical office address. Learn to use the pre-loaded entries such as “ld” for today’s date, “lt” for the current time, “mypin” to enter your Z10 PIN, or “myver” to instantly enter your BlackBerry model and OS version installed.
  2. Hide the keyboard on any screen by wiping down with two fingers on the keyboard. Now you can see more of the long BBMessenger chat.
  3. Format your Email to add colored fonts, Bold, bullets, or numbering… While in the email compose screen, swipe two fingers down to hide the keyboard and you’ll see the Attach, Format, Importance and the overflow [⁞] icon… which allows you do BCC: a contact in the email.
  4. Minize the keyboard quickly by touching the space key for two seconds, or by using two fingers to swipe downward on the keyboard.
  5. Switch Keyboards quickly between the QWERTY keyboard and the numeric/symbol keyboard by swiping down on the keyboard with one finger.
  6. Delete whole words by swiping left across the keyboard. Delete two words by swiping leftward with two fingers, three words with three fingers.
  7. Select a word by touching and holding the word, the blue selection box will surround the word. Hold that word a second longer and the entire sentence will be selected. Another second, the entire paragraph will select; a second longer and the next paragraph will select with it, and so on.

Media

  1. Use the Camera on the Lock Screen by touching the camera icon for five seconds… instant camera for the quick shots without unlocking!
  2. Camera Tips: Use the up or down volume to activate the shutter, or simply touch the screen. Touch the Overflow icon for the camera’s Burst mode (touch and hold for sports shots!) or to change the front-facing camera, or the Stabilization mode for shaky hands. The up/down volume keys also stop and start the video camera.
  3. Set your Music Controls to your volume keys by going to your Settings > System Volume > to set the Music Shortcuts to On. Now your device volume up/down keys can be pressed to take you to the next or previous track in your music library.

Calendar

  1. Switch calendar views quickly between the single day view to the week view, tap the screen twice quickly
  2. A six month calendar is viewable, from the month view, by dragging down from top blue month title. From there you can swipe left or right to the previous or future six months, and touch a month to view that month.

Miscellaneous

  1. Customize your icon layout by touching and holding an icon for two seconds until they pulsate… Touch and drag an icon within the current screen and let go to place it; drag an icon across the edge right or left to another panel, or drag one icon onto another to create a new folder with both icons located in that folder (you’ll have a New Folder box pop up where you can name the folder). Rename a folder by touching it a few seconds.
  2. Voice Control can quickly access from any screen by pressing the side MUTE key for two seconds (this is the button between the up and down volume keys).
  3. Just Type! I am amazed at the ease of typing and self-correction of my typing mistakes on the Z10. I just seem to enter gibberish and the Z10 makes sense of it all in 99% of the words. Take time the first two weeks to use the word flick as you type and the Z10 will learn even better your typing and writing habits.
  4. Just Speak! I have never been a big user of my former BlackBerry voice to text apps or services. They just never worked right for me. But WOW, this Z10 is actually getting better and better each time I use the Voice Control. Just like typing, it’s learning my speech pattern, southern accent and idiosyncrasies. Take some time aside to create SMS messages or emails with the Voice Control and then as you do, make the corrections needed. Doing so will make a world of difference in how Voice Control reacts and transcribes your voice input.
  5. Reset the BlackBerry10 Hub by swiping from the top right bezel to the center of the screen, five times in a row. This will often reset any ghost notifications, your email or social media notifications. You’ll see a quick black screen then “Preparing BlackBerry Hub”.

Got your own tip? Post it in this thread. If you’re copying from another blog or source, be sure to give credit where due, with a link.

 

Other great Z10 and BlackBerry10 resources can found at the BlackBerry HelpBlog, The BlackBerry YouTube Channel, the BlackBerry Twitter Support, and at Getting Started with the Z10.

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GOOGLE HOME HUB SAYS NO TO SMART-HOME CAMERAS IN YOUR BEDROOM

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The new Google Home Hub sports a 7-inch touchscreen, a fabric-encased full-range speaker, a light sensor and two far-field microphones. But even more interesting is a hardware feature it doesn’t have.

The $149 device has no camera, so you can’t use it for video calls or taking photos.

While that omission at first blush may not seem like a big deal, it raises a handful of thorny questions about how many cameras and microphones people want to have in their connected homes and how much they trust giant tech companies to protect their data and privacy in their most intimate spaces.

The Home Hub, which Google introduced at its Made By Google product launch event Tuesday in Manhattan, is a mashup of a smart speaker and a tablet that’s often called a smart display. It uses the voice-powered Google Assistant to let you play YouTube videos, check your home security camera feeds and control connected smart-home devices like lights.

The device will go up against a growing list of competing smart displays, including the Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo Show and Echo Spot, the new Facebook Portal, and the Google Assistant-powered JBL Link View and Lenovo Smart Display. All five of those devices include cameras for video chats.

The Hub comes out at time when tech companies are facing greater scrutiny for how they manage users’ data and how much of that information they keep. Just this week, Google shut down its unpopular Google+ social network after the company was forced to disclose a bug that put users’ data at risk. Earlier this year, Facebook sustained a torrent of criticism after the data of millions of people landed in the hands of consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which exploited the information for targeted election ads.

Simultaneously, many of these same companies are asking consumers to add more and more cameras, mics and sensors to control their homes.

So far, smart-home customers haven’t raised persistent concerns about these devices tracking them, instead focusing more on the convenience they can offer. But that dynamic has the potential to quickly change if there’s ever a major breach related to the audio, video and shopping data these electronics can track.

When the Hub comes out on Oct. 22, consumers will get to decide whether they want to make the Hub a bigger success than its many rival camera-toting smart displays. Whether they side more with the privacy of having no camera or the convenience of video features may signal what direction smart home technology will go in the future.

“It’s kind of less is more,” said GlobalData analyst Avi Greengart, who attended the Google event. “They’re omitting a piece of hardware that costs money and does raise some privacy implications.”

Google’s view on going camera-free

While Amazon in particular has pushed full-force into offering smart speakers with cameras, including those marketed for the bedroom, Google took a decidedly different approach with the Hub.

“For us, in general, it’s not about one product or another, just the word camera — hey, put a camera in your bedroom,” Mark Spates, Google’s product lead for smart speakers, said at Tuesday’s event. “It’s a comfort thing. For us, we wanted to make sure that you could use this anywhere in the home.”

Google wanted to give customers that option after finding that people put the Google Home Mini — its most popular smart speaker — in hallways, washrooms, bedrooms and everywhere else in their homes, he said. Looking to build on the Mini’s success and avoid limiting where the Hub can go, he said, Google opted to leave out a camera.

Diya Jolly, Google’s vice president of product management, added that the company saw an opportunity to offer a different kind of smart display, after several competing devices already offered a camera. She said Google was willing to explore adding a camera to a later version, but “we wanted to see how consumers reacted and how they liked” the new Hub.

“We wanted to give users a choice of not having a camera,” she said. “There are many other devices out there that have a camera, but none that doesn’t have a camera.”

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A marketing picture from Amazon of the Echo Spot as a bedroom nightstand clock.Amazon

In stark contrast with the Hub, competing smart displays are heavily promoting their video capabilities. The new Facebook Portal was created especially for Facebook Messenger video calls, and Amazon’s Echo Show and Spot have been marketed for their video call functions. Amazon even included a “drop in” feature that lets people connect automatically with a Show or Spot if they’ve been approved to do so by the device’s owner.

Amazon also created another product called the Echo Look that’s marketed for your bedroom or closet. It uses a camera to take pictures of your outfit choices to give you AI-powered fashion advice. The Spot, too, is marketed as a replacement for your bedroom nightstand clock.

Privacy in focus

In a nod to privacy concerns, Facebook, JBL and Lenovo offer physical privacy shutters for their smart displays’ cameras. Amazon doesn’t, instead offering a button to disable the mic and camera on the Show and Spot.

“Customers have made millions of video calls this year alone, and they tell us that they love the ability to drop in from room to room within their homes or take a photo on our devices, which is why we believe the camera is important,” an Amazon spokeswoman said.

“We also built these devices with privacy in mind from the beginning,” she added, mentioning that when you press the microphone/camera off button, it cuts off power to both pieces of hardware. Also, a red light on the device is used to reinforce the fact that the mic and camera are off. “We will continue to learn from our customers and adapt our products to best meet their needs.”

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Say hi to the Facebook Portal.James Martin/CNET

Following Facebook’s privacy blunders, the company took pains to emphasize the Portal’s privacy features, including the ability to turn off the mic and camera with one tap and the use of a passcode to unlock the screen.

Both Amazon and Facebook said they don’t record, store or listen to your calls through Facebook’s Portal or Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices.

JBL and Lenovo didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story.

By leaving out a camera Google avoids the privacy concerns raised by Amazon’s rival products and prevents a potentially messy video breach from ever happening. Amazon faced criticism for the Look, with one writer for Forbes suggesting its camera may someday be able to identify skin cancer or depression. Amazon strongly denied these claims.

“Amazon is trying something completely different,” Greengart said. “I don’t think it hurts Google to omit it, and for people that do want a camera, there are those options from Amazon and Google’s partners.”

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MICROSOFT HAS KILLED MINECRAFT FOR APPLE TV

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Microsoft is no longer supporting the Apple TV version of Minecraft. The app has has been pulled from the App Store, and an in-game message notes that it won’t receive any further updates, though it’ll continue to be playable. Refunds will be issued for any purchases made up to 90 days before the announcement comes into effect. And it actually went into effect on September 24th, so it’s even more of an indictment of the state of Apple TV gaming that no-one really seemed to notice until this week.

Minecraft is one of the biggest games in history and has managed to find an audience on virtually every console, phone, and computer out there — including the iPhone, from which the Apple TV version was derived. But the Apple TV has been hampered as a games platform ever since Apple bungled the launch by unexpectedly requiring developers to support the Siri Remote. The company backtracked the following year, but the damage was done.

Apple hasn’t entirely given up on Apple TV gaming. Last year’s iPhone keynote saw Sky, the next game from Journey and Flower studio Thatgamecompany, shown off for the first time on the Apple TV 4K. But even that game is yet to see release, and it’s clear that Apple’s focus is elsewhere.

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UBER’S NEXT CONQUEST: YOUR DATA

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After replacing Travis Kalanick in August 2017, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is shifting the company’s focus. Though the company has always sought to become a world-class transportation platform, it has recently begun to describe itself as “Amazon for transportation” — an ambition which indicates the company is making a monopolistic data play.

Amazon has always been an inspiration for Uber’s leadership, but the form of that inspiration has shifted over the course of the company’s growth. Kalanick wanted to emulate Amazon’s strategy of pursuing market share and growth at the expense of profits — or, more accurately, with massive losses before using scale to reduce the marginal cost of expansion to turn a profit. Unfortunately for Kalanick, that strategy didn’t translate to Uber’s ride-hailing business.

Scale economies work for companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon because the digital nature of their operations allows growth at little marginal cost in many aspects of their businesses. This is why many of these digital companies have so few employees compared to traditional auto companies. However, as transportation expert Hubert Horan explained: “Drivers, vehicles and fuel account for 85% of urban car service costs,” making scale economies very difficult for Uber’s ride-hailing service to achieve even as it outsources the ownership and maintenance of vehicles to its drivers.

Uber’s leadership is inspired by Amazon’s platform and the power and dominance that has come with it.

Uber’s margin improvements have typically come from cutting driver pay, not scale economies, and Kalanick’s plan to reach profitability relied on further reducing the share of revenue going to drivers. In the last few years that Kalanick served as CEO, the company became focused not just on developing autonomous vehicles, but on winning the self-driving race. We now know that autonomous vehicles will not be able to replace drivers nearly to the degree Kalanick had hoped, nor on the accelerated timeline he was relying on. This necessitates a new plan for the company’s future.

We don’t know whether Kalanick was in the process of formulating a new strategy, but over the past few months Khosrowshahi’s vision has become increasingly clear. He wants to make Uber into the “Amazon for transportation.” This time, instead of taking the wrong lessons from Amazon on scale economies, Uber’s leadership is inspired by Amazon’s platform and the power and dominance that has come with it.

From Ride-Hailing to Transportation Platform

Though Uber’s ride-hailing service has always been the center of its business, Khosrowshahi’s plan shifts the focus to its app — or, rather, its platform. He’s no longer just talking about the ride-hailing business, but about existing food delivery and freight services along with it, new scooters and bike offerings from Lime, car rentals from Getaround, public transit ticketing through Masabi, and the prospect of flying cars. Basically, the more services available, the more people the platform can serve.

Uber’s approach to autonomous vehicles has also shifted. Rather than trying to win the race to develop self-driving tech, Khosrowshahi has said his ultimate goal is to have “access” to the technology. He opened the door for Google’s Waymo and GM’s Cruise to offer their autonomous vehicle services on Uber’s platform, and Ford AV CEO Sherif Marakby recently told the Vergecast that they’d be open to offering their autonomous service on the platform as well.

Khosrowshahi predicts the traditional ride-hailing service to be only 50 percent of its future business, as scooters and bikes cannibalize the short trips currently made in vehicles. It’s hard to imagine Kalanick making a similar statement, but that doesn’t mean Khosrowshahi’s ultimate goal is any less inspired by monopolistic ideals.

Uber Wants to Control Urban Transportation Data

Uber is a private company with plans to go public in 2019. It has yet to turn a profit. Khosrowshahi has encouraged investors to commit for the long haul, as his plans to diversifying the company’s transportation options will not deliver short-term profits. At the same time, his value proposition to investors has changed: Now, they have access to Amazon-like power exerted on urban transportation networks.

In his book on these new digital monopolies, Platform Capitalism, Nick Srnicek identifies the importance of network effects in increasing a platform’s value. For platforms, data is raw material that can “be extracted, refined, and used in a variety of ways. The more data one has, the more uses one can make of them.”

Uber will not only use data on its own services, but data from every third-party service offered through its platform.

Uber already has a large, global user base (and dataset). The expansion of transportation options on its platform — both its own and those of other companies — adds value for existing users while attracting new ones interested in getting around by anything other than a car. New modes of transport and a growing user base will produce more data, showing the company where more people are going and how additional transport modes are used. Uber will not only use data on its own services, but data from every third-party service offered through its platform. All of this data feeds a flywheel that will improve Uber’s service exponentially over time.

In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Khosrowshahi was asked why he was allowing other services onto Uber’s platform. He likened it to Amazon offering branded products while letting other businesses sell their products through the Amazon marketplace. He left out how Amazon uses its sales data to see which third-party products are selling well and make cheaper versions of its own, undercutting the original product and leaving its seller with no means of challenging Amazon. Will Uber eventually do the same to Lime’s scooters or Getaround’s car rentals? It’s not impossible to imagine.

Cities Need to Act Now

City governments around the globe have struggled to effectively regulate ride-hailing apps, but there’s been some recent progress. In August, New York City passed new regulations limiting the number of ride-hailing vehicles, at least for a 12-month period as it further studies the issue. It will also ensure that drivers are paid the minimum wage of $15 per hour with a bit extra to cover vehicle costs.

Another regulatory bright spot: bikes and scooters. Having learned their lesson from letting ride-hailing companies evade regulation, city governments were quick to develop policies for new micromobility services. Mayors make it known that they, not tech companies, had ultimate authority over what happened on city streets.

As Uber sets out to capture a significant chunk of urban transportation data with its new Amazon-inspired platform model, city governments need to make clear that data from activities occurring on the street is not proprietary information. This data belongs to the people as represented by their government. Uber should not have a better idea of how different transportation data modes are operating than governments themselves.

Under Khosrowshahi’s leadership, Uber’s tone has undoubtedly changed — probably for the better. Bikes and scooters will likely capture a significant portion of the ride-hailing service’s current users. However, Uber’s push to become the world’s dominant transportation platform is cause for concern. City officials must establish their right to transportation data. At the very least, they should build publicly owned alternatives that serve the interests of residents — not multinational companies.

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