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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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PICHAI PUTS KIBOSH ON GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE FOR CHINA

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Google is not working on a bespoke search engine that caters to China’s totalitarian tastes, and it has no plans to develop one, CEO Sundar Pichai told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

“Right now, we have no plans to launch in China,” he told members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee at a public hearing on Google’s data collection, use and filtering practices.

“We don’t have a search product there,” he said. “Our core mission is to provide users access to information, and getting access to information is an important human right.”

Pichai acknowledged that the company had assigned some 100 workers to develop a search engine for totalitarian countries, however.

“We explored what search would look like if it were to be launched in a country like China,” he revealed.

A report about a Google search engine for China appeared in The Intercept this summer.

The project, code-named “Dragonfly,” had been under way since the spring of 2017, according to the report, but development picked up after Pichai met with Chinese government officials about a year ago.

Special Android apps also had been developed for the Chinese market, The Intercept stated, and had been demonstrated to the Chinese government for a possible rollout this year.

“We certainly hope they abandoned those plans,” said Chris Calabrese, vice president for policy for the Center for Democracy & Technology, an individual rights advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

“We didn’t think it was a good idea to build a search engine that would censor speech in order to go into the Chinese market,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Google may have been testing the waters with its Chinese browser, maintained Russell Newman, assistant professor for the Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College in Boston.

“It’s an example of a firm seeing how far down the road it can go before it receives pushback,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “It discovers a limit, then pushes that limit a little more. I’d be surprised if they wholly gave up on the search engine for China.”

Mission: Protecting Privacy

In his opening remarks to the committee, Pichai declared that protecting the privacy and security of its users was an essential part of Google’s mission.

“We have invested an enormous amount of work over the years to bring choice, transparency and control to our users. These values are built into every product we make,” he said.

“We recognize the important role of governments, including this committee, in setting rules for the development and use of technology,” Pichai added. “To that end, we support federal privacy legislation and proposed a legislative framework for privacy earlier this year.”

Pichai also addressed a burning issue for Republican members of the panel.

“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” he said. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”

‘Bias Running Amok’

Among the Republicans on the committee who raised the issue of unfairness with respect to the way Google’s search algorithm treats conservative views was Mike Johnson, R-La.

“My conservative colleagues and I are fierce advocates of limited government, and we’re also committed guardians of free speech and the free marketplace of ideas,” he told Pichai.

“We do not want to impose burdensome government regulations on your industry,” Johnson continued. “However, we do believe we have an affirmative duty to ensure that the engine that processes as much as … 90 percent of all Internet searches, is never unfairly used to unfairly censor conservative viewpoints or suppress political views.”

Political bias is running amok at Google, charged committee member Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.

“You’re so surrounded by liberality that hates conservatism, hates people that really love our Constitution and the freedoms that it’s afforded people like you, that you don’t even recognize it,” he told Pichai, who was born in India.

“It’s like a blind man not even knowing what light looks like because you’re surrounded by darkness,” Gohmert added.

Despite Republican claims of liberal bias in Google’s algorithm, “there isn’t any evidence to back that up empirically,” Calabrese said.

Market Dominance

Committee members also were concerned about Google’s market dominance.

“I’m deeply concerned by reports of Google’s discriminatory conduct in the market for Internet search,” said David Cicilline, D-R.I.

Google has harmed competition in Europe by favoring its own products and services over rivals, and by deprioritizing or delisting its competitors’ content, he noted citing European Commission findings.

“It is important for the U.S. government to follow the lead of other countries and closely examine the market dominance of Google and Facebook, including their impact on industries such as news media,” observed David Chavern, CEO of the News Media Alliance in Arlington, Va., a trade association representing some 2,000 newspapers in the United States and Canada.

“We will continue to urge for more hearings to examine ways in which the duopoly impacts the business of journalism, which is essential to democracy and civic society,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Prelude to Privacy Law

House and Senate hearings in recent months are just the prelude to data privacy legislation that could be introduced next year.

“We’re certainly going to see a wide variety of comprehensive privacy bills filed, and I think we’ll make some progress,” Calabrese said.

“Advocates have seen the need for privacy legislation for a long time,” he said, “and now that we have privacy legislation set to kick in in California in 2020, there’s a lot of companies who would rather be governed by a federal law than they would a bunch of different state laws.”

If a general privacy law is enacted, it shouldn’t use Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation as a model, maintained Alan McQuinn, senior policy analyst for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a public policy and technology innovation organization in Washington, D.C.

“We don’t want to see the GDPR enacted here in the states,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“It is highly likely to create a drag on the European economy and hurt innovation and businesses,” McQuinn explained.

Privacy rules should be styled to fit industries, such as healthcare, finance and commerce, he suggested.

“The sector-specific approach that the U.S. has taken toward privacy has allowed for more innovation,” McQuinn noted, “and created the powerhouse of the digital economy that we have here.”

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AT&T PLANS BUYING GUIDE: WHICH ONE IS THE BEST FOR YOUR NEEDS?

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So, you’ve been thinking about biting the gun and becoming an AT&T customer?

Good thinking, but which plan to choose? Clearly, the abundance of options in AT&T’s roster don’t make the choice any easy, but we are here to help.

A couple of weeks ago, we walked you through all the different plans in Verizon’s lobby, but now it’s time to subject AT&T to the same treatment.

Unlimited plans

AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced and AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced

Ever since AT&T caved in and finally offered truly unlimited plans last year, its Unlimited Plus Enhanced plan has positioned itself as the most-loaded out plan. This plan is perfect for families due to the flexibility of the included line options and the loadout of features, compromise with speed, streaming quality, or the ability to use a mobile hotspot.
Meanwhile, AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced is mostly the same unlimited data/text/voice calls ordeal, but it comes with less features and is a bit more affordable. Both plans are perfect for family usage scenarios, and choosing one over the other would highly depend on your stance towards video streaming quality, mobile hotspot, and speed throttling.
Here’s a rundown of the pricing of the different lines, and after that we’d rundown other notable features of the plan. Note that the prices below have AutoPay and Paperless billing discounts applied to them.

* – Prices after discount with AutoPay and Paperless billing.

It’s obvious that the more, the merrier.

As you can see, once you start adding new lines to the AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced plan, prices become more and more affordable, making them more and more palatable for the regular family of up to four out there, and overall, a better deal.

With prices out of the way, let’s see what the two unlimited data plans offer as far as data allotments, features, and speeds are concerned.
Common strengths of both plans:
  • Free HBO for life: Both plans give you HBO for life. That’s undoubtedly a boon for all fans of A+ TV shows from the likes of Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Wire and many others as HBO has one of the most loaded-out subscription services out there. Have in mind that the actual promotion will start within 2 monthly billing cycles. Of course, if you drop your Unlimited Choice or Plus plan, you automatically forfeit the HBO benefit.
  • Unlimited roaming in Mexico & Canada: Pretty self-explanatory, but with either Unlimited Plus or Choice you get unlimited roaming in both neighboring countries.
  • Unlimited texting from USA to 120+ countries: With either Unlimited Plus or Choice you can text, send pictures and video messages via MMS to more than 120 countries around the globe at no extra cost.
  • AT&T THANKS: AT&T’s benefit program allows you to get insider access to special events, various forms of entertainment like movies and music, as well as get expert help, and many others at no extra cost. The majority of these benefits can be explored and used from the dedicated AT&T THANKS app on the app stores.
  • Military discounts: If you’re qualified military personnel or a veteran you get 15% discount at every monthly bill.
Our verdict: If you want the absolute best unlimited plan on AT&T, you should certainly go for Unlimited Plus Enhanced. It has the most bells and whistles and you shouldn’t worry about throttling that much. Well, at least until you don’t go over 22GB of LTE data per line per month as you’re likely to experience temporary throttling at busier times. Additionally, the 15GB mobile hotspot allotments is well worth it, especially if you use your device to cast Internet in your immediate vicinity. Conversely, if you’re perfectly fine with a bit more throttling in busier time windows and don’t use your device as a mobile hotspot, you will also be fine with AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced.

Limited & Prepaid Data plans

If you’re looking for something else than an unlimited data plan, AT&T’s prepaid ones are here to help. But which one to choose – the eponymous AT&T Prepaid plans or the Mobile Share Flex ones? Let’s highlight all the features and intricate differences and help you make up your mind.

AT&T Prepaid

The good ol’ Prepaid plans are a perfect match for people that value flexibility over anything else. With no annual plan, credit check, or even an activation fee in sight, it’s as close as you can get to freedom when dealing with large corporations. You can have AT&T Prepaid in a variety of flavors, ranging from $30 to $85 per month, depending on your loadout and discounts. Here’s a rundown of the prices and features:
No matter which plan you choose, we highly recommend enrolling into the AutoPay program, which will automatically charge your eligible credit or debit card every billing period. With AutoPay, you eliminate the possibility of having your service terminated after not paying on time. That’s a great thing to have on its own, but the discount on the prepaid plans is another boon to consumers’ wallets.
You can save even more if you bundle multiple prepaid plans together. For a second and a third additional lines, you get $10 off on your total monthly bill, while for a fourth and fifth additional line you get $20 off. This means that you can save up to $110 per month if you combine five Prepaid Unlimited Plus plans, or $1,320 per annum. You can check out the interactive AT&T configurator right here.
Our verdict: From the get-go, we wouldn’t recommend the $65/mo plan as it’s pretty hampered when compared to the others. Sure, it comes with unlimited data in tow, but we don’t like the lack of mobile tethering functionality as well as its inability to stream 1080p video. Albeit pricier, the top unlimited data plan is definitely better value on all fronts. When it comes to the ‘cheaplings’, it all comes to whether you can live with as low as a gigabyte of fast-speed data per month and whether you travel to Mexico and Canada often – if no, you should probably go for the $40/mo plan, but if you are okay with less data and no free-of-charge roaming allotment.

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LOCATION DATA SELLING THREATENS CONSUMER PRIVACY

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Selling location data collected by mobile phones has become a lucrative business, The New York Times reported Monday.

Location advertising sales are expected to reach US$21 billion this year, according to the article. At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from applications with the location services feature activated.

Several of those outfits claim to track 200 million mobile devices in the United States — about half of all devices in the country, the Times reported.

The data is very accurate, coming within a few yards of a person’s whereabouts at a point in time, and is updated often — as frequently as 14,000 times a day, the paper noted.

With that kind of accuracy and frequency, calling the data “anonymous” is a bit misleading.

“If you are collecting a person’s location over time, and it’s tied to a unique identifier, it’s disingenuous to call that anonymous,” said Natasha Duarte, a policy analyst with the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, D.C.

“If you have information about where people are going and where people live, you can build the story of who that location data belongs to,” she told TechNewsWorld.

Someone can learn a lot about you from your location, said French Caldwell, CFO of The Analyst Syndicate, an IT research and analysis group.

“They can tell what your interests are and who you’re meeting with,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Your location data tells more about you than your Social Security number.”

Businesses that collect consumer data typically say they’re not interested in individuals but in patterns. Data collected on individuals is “anonymized” by attaching it to an ID number. However, that ID doesn’t even have the cover of a fig leaf for anyone with access to raw location data.

Those people, who include employees or customers of the data collector, still could identify individuals without their consent, as the Times did in compiling its report.

Not surprisingly, the leaders in location-based advertising are Google and Facebook. Both companies offer mobile apps that they use to collect location data. They say they don’t sell it but use it only internally, to personalize services, sell targeted ads online, and determine if the ads lead to sales in the physical world.

Google did not respond to a request for comment for this story. Facebook, through spokesperson Jay Nancarrow, declined to comment.

Some large companies have started to get in front of the location data issue before it becomes a problem for them. For example, Verizon and AT&T announced during the summer that they would stop selling their customers’ location data to data brokers.

Deceptive Omissions

Most mobile apps request permission to use a device’s location services before accessing them, but the Times found that process could be misleading. An app might ask for location services access for one purpose but use the information for multiple purposes.

“Not all app notices are perfectly clear as to what location data is being used for,” CDT’s Duarte said.

“Often the app will ask, ‘Do you want us to use your location to provide you with local weather information, or personalize your experience, or improve the accuracy of the maps that you’re using?’ They don’t list all the other purposes the data will be used for — like advertising and sales to third parties,” she pointed out.

Some 1,400 popular applications contain code to share location information, the Times reported. About 1,200 were written for Android phones and 200 for Apple models.

In a sample of 17 apps sending precise location data, three Apple iOS programs and one Android offering mentioned that location data could be used for advertising while seeking permission to access the service, the Times found.

Creepiness Factor

Understanding what’s done with location data can be an onerous task for a consumer. It requires reading user agreements and privacy policies, and changing settings for all the apps on a phone.

“That can be incredibly time-consuming,” Duarte said. “No individual has the capacity to do that properly, and it’s not a burden we should be placing on individuals to depend on location-based services.”

How concerned are consumers about possible abuse of their location information?

“Most consumers don’t care, but there’s a creepiness factor that bothers them a little bit,” said The Analyst Syndicate’s Caldwell.

“We’ve all been on the Web and looked at a new pair of shoes or something, and all of sudden all you see in your browser for hours are ads for those things,” he continued.

“The same kind of thing is happening with your physical location,” Caldwell pointed out. “Stores are tracking your location and will start pushing suggestions to you based on where you went in that store. There’s a creepiness factor there.”

Legislation Needed

Consumers are very concerned about what’s being done with their location data, maintained Duarte.

“The problem isn’t that consumers are not concerned,” she said.

“It’s that even if you’re very concerned, it’s impossible for anyone to have the capacity and time to understand all the things companies are doing with your data, and then go into your settings and make the choices that align perfectly with your personal privacy interests,” Duarte explained.

“What really needs to happen is for our laws to recognize that location privacy in a commercial context has to be built into any service,” she suggested.

Congress should pass a commercial privacy law, “which would include limits on how companies can collect and use location information,” Duarte said.

Such a law might include provisions already adopted in Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which allow people to access information companies have collected about them, correct information if it’s used to make important decisions about them, and delete information.

One area where U.S. lawmakers may want to depart from the GDPR is in consent. The European rule allows data to be collected if consent is given by the owner of the data.

“Some uses of information shouldn’t be allowed even with consent,” Duarte said. “One of those uses might be repurposing of location information — collecting the information for a location-based service, then reusing it for something completely unrelated — like location-based advertising — or selling it to a data broker.”

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