Black Berry as a Phone

A Phone's Gotta Do What a Phone's Gotta Do...

From the Princess phone to smartphones, telecommunication has certainly come a long way! The past century has witnessed growth at a laudable rate, and why shouldn't that be the case? Communication has and will remain one of the most important aspects of human and social existence. And what can be a better medium than a compact, mobile, and flexible gadget—the smartphone! In addition, the multitude of bells and whistles only contributes to its appeal, making it a winner all around. As means of communication take on newer avatars, you can be assured that the smartphone promises to keep up.

Verbal communication is not only direct in nature, but is also one of the fastest mediums of communication. Barring the advantage of visuals and nonverbal communication offered by video conferencing, telephone delivered messages do prove to be one of the most effective means of sending and receiving instant responses without the requirement of close proximity while adding personalization. Let's delve into the wide spectrum of options that the BlackBerry's Phone application offers.

It's a Phone Alright

Who said the job of a phone is only to make and receive calls? What if I told you that the BlackBerry's conference calling facilities; voice attachment playback in MP3 format; Bluetooth enabled technology that allows hands-free usage built-in speaker phones; and voice activated dialing is only the tip of the iceberg? Without further adieu, let's get cracking and have a look at some of the basic functions of the Phone application along with guidelines to using them.

Receiving a Call

When you get a call, if you want to answer it, just press the green button or Answer key to activate the call. There are other options that are made available to you as well. Depending on convenience, you can set your BlackBerry device to automatically answer the call on removal from the holster. To do this, set the Auto Answer Calls to Out of Holster, which is part of your General Options in the Phone application. There is another feature that is offered to the flip-phone users (BlackBerry Pearl) which allows for answering calls upon flipping open the phone.

To end a call, just press thered key or Power button. If you have assigned a picture to a contact, then the picture along with the name and number of the person flashes on your screen. For details on how to assign pictures to contacts, check out Chapter 7.

Muting an Incoming Call

If you want to switch the ringer off without disconnecting the call, press the mute button, which for most BlackBerrys is at the top of the screen. However, in the BlackBerry Pearl 8230, this button is situated on the upper-left side of the device. The symbol for the mute button is a speaker with a strike across it.

Rejecting a Call

Many times, one does not or cannot answer an incoming call. If you do not wish to do so, just press the Ignore button on your screen. This is usually the red or end call button on your BlackBerry screen.

Making a Call

Similar to receiving a call, if you are calling someone from your contacts list with a picture attached to it, their name, number, and picture will flash on the screen (as shown in Figure 3-1).

To make an outgoing call, you can do one of the following:

■ Activate it from the Call Log application.

■ Activate it from the Contacts application.

■ Activate it directly.

Figure 3-1. An example of an outgoing call from Shikha

Activate Calls from the Call Log Application

This is a feature usually used when one has recently received, made, or missed a call and knows of its presence in the call log. If this is the case, then calling the person can be carried out by pressing the Answer key (green button). On doing so, a list of all the calls (up to a maximum storage time of 30 days) appear on the screen. You can select the desired number from here with the help of your trackball. Once this is done, press the Answer key again to call. You can also add the person to your list of contacts from here. For further details on this process, please refer to Chapter 7.

Activate Calls from the Contacts Application

You can also choose whom you would like to call from your Contacts application. If this icon is not on your Home screen (which happens if it isn't one of your first six icons on your application page), then go to the application page and select Contacts. Here you will get a list of your contacts in alphabetical order, along with specific details such as company name, if you entered this at the time of saving the contact's details. Select the desired person using the trackball and press the Answer key.

Activate Calls Directly

This actually is an extension of your Contacts application, and allows you to make calls using your keypad directly. Once you start typing the contact's name, you will get a list of names that are applicable to the keys you have typed on the screen. Select one using your trackball or track pad and press the Answer key. Your call will be activated. You can also simply dial a number from the keypad. How easy it is to forget the simplest processes!

Call in Progress

With phones as advanced as they are today, you can have multiple calls activated at the same time. No more do you hear the engaged tone when the person being called is busy. Instead, you are greeted with a computerized voice asking you to hold and your call will be answered shortly. Thus, while you are in the middle of a conversation on your BlackBerry, there are various features available to you. To access these features, during the course of the call press the Menu button. Let's have a look at some of them now.

Notes

That's right, no more scrambling for paper or pencil to take down notes. You can take notes while you are in the middle of a call. Just select this feature from your menu list. Type out your note and end the call normally. You do not need to save it either. It's been saved already in your call history. To view the note(s), go to your call log and highlight the person with whom you had the conversation and press on the Menu key. One of your options here is View History. Upon selecting that, you will get a list of calls made to and received from that person. If there is a note attached with a particular call's log entry, you will see a draft icon next to it (see Figure 3-2). After clicking on the call entry, select Edit Notes to get all the notes you made during that particular call. Here, not only can you view the note, but can edit it also. To delete the note, press the Menu key again and select Clear Field. The note will be removed.

Total Calls: 14

Figure 3-2. History of calls made to and received from Shikha along with drafts saved

Mute

Do you have an embarrassing or noisy situation in the middle of the conversation? Or get into a crisis that requires your attention while talking to a potential client? Well, tackling it won't be difficult. Just politely excuse yourself for a short period and mute the call. Select this option from your menu list and no one will hear what's going on at your end (see Figure 3-3). To resume the conversation, just click on the Mute key again. Remember, even though you mute the call blocking out the possibility of being heard, you will still be able to listen to what is being said on the other side of the line.

0:12

^JVlutecP

Ms. Shikha Gupta

+9140662233

Work

My Number +9199898770

ODD Airtel df 5:23pm

Friday, September 18

Figure 3-3. A call on Mute. Notice the circle around the symbol.

EDGE!..ill CTED

Hold

This is a feature that may or may not be available to you depending on your service provider and the plan that you opt for. This is used when one is already part of a three-way conversation (involving two other numbers). As Figure 3-4 shows, to invite a fourth person to the conference, the existing call must first be put on hold before the third number can be dialed.

Figure 3-4. A call on Hold. Notice the circle.

Transfer

This is your ticket to get out of a conference call without disturbing the existing setup. Just click on this option and you will exit the call alone.

Activate Speaker Phone

You could activate the speaker phone, either by choosing Activate Speaker Phone from the menu, or by simply pressing the speaker phone key on your keypad. To turn it off, do the same. Remember, when you activate this feature, the volume is increased considerably. Holding the phone next to your ear can cause serious damage to your hearing. Hold the phone at a slight distance from your face and continue conversing (see Figure 3-5).

Connected Ms. Shikha Gupta +9140662233 Work

My Number +9199898770

Friday, September 18

Figure 3-5. A call on Speaker Phone. Notice the circle around the symbol.

Enhance Call Audio

You could adjust the bass or treble of the audio as per your preference by selecting this option. However, if you are using a Bluetooth enabled device or hands-free, this feature might not be available to you (see Figure 3-6).

Connected Ms. Shikha Gupta My Number

+9140662233 +9199898770

Work

(HOD Airtel EDGEI.ill eirte^ips 5:24PM ϑd

Friday, September 18

Figure 3-6. A call with enhanced Audio. That is the symbol for enhanced Bass.

View Contacts

This will take you to your Contact list. You can check numbers and details directly from here.

View Calendar

Need to check your schedule in the middle of a conversation? Simple. Click on this option and it will take you to your Calendar. Work on your Calendar from here while the call remains undisturbed. You can also save entries.

View Messages

If you want to confirm something but need to check your mailbox first, choose this option. It will take you to your messages inbox where you can work on it even while the call is on. Check your e-mails, text messages, and PIN messages through this application.

Switch Application

If you wish to switch to another application that is not one of the above, you could choose this feature. This allows you to stay in the call and check out other applications simultaneously. End the call normally. Another option is to press the Escape key. Here the device confirms your request by asking if you would like to exit to the Home screen. When you select Ok, it takes you back without disconnecting the call. To return to the call, just press the Call key (green button).

This is particularly useful for professionals using the device. Cross referencing a document that is in the Word To Go application or forwarding an e-mail can be done while the call is on. One could edit a calendar entry or compose e-mails with attachments without having to hang up. The advantages of such a feature are tremendous. Even though the handset needs to be physically moved from the ear to accomplish such tasks, that can be easily altered by using hands-free devices and through Bluetooth.

Accepting a Second Call

Accepting a second call while in the middle of one is also possible. By pressing the Menu key, you could either:

1. Put the previous call on hold by selecting Answer-Hold Current. This will activate the incoming call. To return to the previous call, press on the Menu button and select Swap.

2. Drop the current call and answer the incoming one by selecting AnswerDrop Current. This ends the previous conversation and makes the second call the only one activated.

Some Minor Adjustments

Everybody has their own likes and dislikes. That's what makes everyone an individual, right? While some might like a flashy ringtone; some might prefer more sober ones; some might like high speaker volume and some might not.

You can make adjustments to the ringer volume, ringtone, and vibration options, when in and out of the holster as well as whether you would want a repeat notification, in just one quick step.

In your call log, without highlighting any one particular contact click on the Menu button. Here select Set Ring Tones. On doing this, you can adjust all of the above parameters to your liking (refer to Figure 3-7). Once you are done, Save it from the menu list.

Phone in Normal

Out of Holster: Ring Tone: Volume:

Repeat Notification: Number of Vibrations:

In Holster: Ring Tone: Volume:

Repeat Notification: Number of Vibrations:

Tone

Airteljingle

Medium LED Flashing 2

Vibrate+Tone Airteljingle Medium LED Flashing 2

Figure 3-7. Settings to alter ringtone, volume, and notification

Downloading Ringtones

Choose the ringtone of your choice from the innumerable sites available online and select the option that allows you to e-mail it to yourself. Make sure you mail it to an email id that is associated with your BlackBerry device. On receiving the e-mail, highlight the link and click on the Menu button. Next, select the Get Link option. When it opens in your browser, choose the Save option. Make sure you save it in your ringtones folder. You'll find this in Media Application. You could also find the list of ringtones and save it in your Media Card Memory. The path is as follows: Media Card/BlackBerry/ringtones. Once it is downloaded, close the Browser screen. Congratulations, you have successfully downloaded the ringtone. Now, you can set it up as your default ringtone. Please see Chapter 9 for more details on Downloading Ringtones.

Setting the Default Ringtone

To set your default ringtone, go to your Profiles application and select Advanced. Highlight the profile you want to set it for (Loud or Normal), press the Menu button and select Edit. From the list that appears, choose Phone. Now you are just one tiny option away from setting up your downloaded ringtone: go to the Ring Tone option (see Figure 3-7) and hit the trackball. Here in the list, you will find the ringtone you had downloaded. Select it and voilà, it's set.

Call Logs

Relying on memory is one thing, having it stored is quite another. The information provided in the call logs is simple to digest as the indicators next to the number give a clear understanding as to whether a call was received, made, or missed (see Figure 38). To learn about the different indicators, check out Chapter 2.

You will find your call log if you press the Answer key from the home page.

!■■■«> 06:52 PM

15EEj IV K1

3 EDGET-.ill

Airtel

C2ËD

My Number: +9199898770

\i Ms. Shikha Gupta ^ Mama ^ Sanjiv Gupta ^ Tanya Gupta ^04066221000X34 ^ +919652729 ^ Viraf Kalyaniwala

Figure 3-8. Call log list in the Phone application

(M)

6:45p

(W)

09/09

(M)

09/09

(M)

09/09

09/09

09/08

(W)

08/17

NOTE: Sending a call log entry, its history, and the notes attached with it is also possible. To do so, highlight an entry and click on View History. Once that is opened, click on the Menu button again and select Forward.

You could also send the selected person an SMS, MMS, and e-mail from here directly.

The Call Log feature is very crucial as it gives vital information on who, what, when, why, and how. Let's take one at a time.

This tells you who called. If the person is already a saved contact, then the number is displayed along with picture (if any). Another who that it illustrates is who called whom— without any ambiguity on the latest received, dialed, or missed call lists. These can be easily identified with the help of the indicators next to the call.

What

This tells you what time the call was made along with the date.

When

This tells you when you called and when a call was received. Without taking up extra space, it records the history of the conversations. When highlighting a contact, pressing the Menu button and selecting View History gives you details of the calls made and their durations along with notes (if made) on each.

This tells you why the call was made in the form of notes, which can be saved during the course of a conversation (as was illustrated earlier in the "Call in Progress" section).

How Long

This tells you how long the call lasted, accurate to the second.

Speed Dialing

We all have our set favorites—people we call most often—so it makes sense to assign them a speed dial number so that you do not have to select their names from call logs or contact lists repeatedly. But what is speed dial? It is nothing but the ability to call someone without having to select their contact details. If you assign a number to that contact, then, upon pressing that number for a couple of seconds, the contact is called automatically. You can do so from any application or screen, be it your message list, Home screen, or Phone application.

Assign a speed dial number to a person from your Phone application, by choosing the Add Speed Dial option from the menu list. After confirming the name and number of the person you wish to assign the speed dial number or letter to, you will be taken to a page from where you can select the character (see Figure 3-9). If at a later stage, you wish to alter this, it can be done by selecting Remove Speed Dial instead.

|_BJ Mama (W) +919849030 |£|Tanya Gupta (M) +919820330 (DJSanjiv Gupta (M) +919866677

lli ifj liL

LiJ HI

Figure 3-9. Page showing speed dial numbers and the characters assigned to each

View Speed Dial List will take you to a page listing out all the assigned keys to the contacts. It is from here that the contact assigned to a speed dial can be edited. When you highlight the contact in the list and press the Menu button, the contact can be moved to another speed dial key, can be replaced by another contact, or can be deleted altogether from the speed dial list.

The flexibility of more than two people using individual handsets communicating simultaneously is offered by a conference call. Thus, through this feature three or more people can engage in a conversation together. The reason why this becomes special in the case of the BlackBerry as opposed to using any other conference line is the portability and easy accessibility that the device offers. Also, all the callers involved do not have to have the same gadget and can join the call from any telephone device that they use. Calling multiple people on the go has its own set of advantages—suddenly, I

Conference Calls do not dread traffic jams or waiting rooms any longer. Another great example of the BlackBerry's "keeping you connected" advantage!

Make a Conference Call

While you are in conversation with one person, if you wish to turn it into a three-way conference, click on the Answer key. Select the person you wish to invite and click on the Answer or Call key again. All the while, the person you were originally having the conversation with is on hold. Thus, once contact is established with the new caller, click on the Menu key and select Join. Your three-way conference is activated.

Leave a Conference Call

To leave a conference call—irrespective of whether you initiated it or not—without disturbing the setup, press the Menu button and select Transfer. In this manner, you will have disconnected yourself from the call while the other participants carry on.

Have a Private Conversation During the Conference Call

If during a call you wish to discuss something with your associate on the side, click on your Menu button. From the list select Split Call and choose the person you wish to speak to separately. Now you have been muted from the conference call and can hold your own conversation without fearing that you will be overheard. To return to the conference call, select Join from the menu list.

Disconnect Someone from the Conference Call

In order to drop a particular participant from the conference call, you need to select the Drop Call option from the menu list. On selecting the person's name, she will be disconnected from the conference call.

NOTE: Leaving a conference without disturbing it, having a private conversation while the conference continues, and disconnecting someone from the call are features that are dependent on your service provider and the wireless connection your BlackBerry device is connected to. For further details, please contact your wireless provider.

Your Voice Is My Command

Voice dialing is a feature in which the handset identifies the command by your voice. It is almost like talking to your phone or dictating to it. Though the obvious limitations that come with accent are understandable, the features are responsive enough to deal with them. So get ready to start talking to your phone.

You can activate the voice dialing application by pressing the key on the left side of the phone—the Left Convenience key. After doing this, a computerized voice will ask you to "say a command." If you wish to call someone, say, "Call." After this, the phone will ask who you wish to call. Here, you can either take a name or can spell out a number then after a confirmation, the call is connected. To end the call, press the End button.

When using this feature, specific needs require specific instructions. You might not want unnecessary confirmations or prompts, or you may choose to alter something as basic as the language of communication. Some of these settings can be changed as discussed in the following sections.

Altering Language

If you would like to communicate with your device in another language, you can do so by changing the Language settings in your Device options. In the Voice Dialing Language (see Figure 3-10), you will find multiple languages to choose from. Change it accordingly and Save.

Language

Language: English Input Language: English (United States) Voice Dialing Language:_

Name Display:

English (United States)

First name Last name

Input Language Selection Shortcut:

Enable Quick Selection: Notify Me:_

Alt-Enter No

Figure 3-10. Voice Dialing settings where language can be altered

Altering Sensitivity Levels

According to your settings, you could end up with too many matches or too few. Neither of them is desirable and that's why they can be altered so easily. Just go to Voice Dialing in the Device options and change the settings accordingly. For fewer matches, set the Sensitivity level towards Reject More. For more matches, set it towards Reject Less. Save and exit.

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