Make Your BlackBerry Work for You: Personalize Your Phone

Blackberry-your-own

So you just landed a BlackBerry. Once the age-old sidearm of corporate goons everywhere, the BlackBerry is now equally essential for keeping your friends abreast of your latest late-night urban adventures, updating your zombie fiction blog fresh with new entries, or cutting contracts for the indie record label you run out of your basement. Whatever the case, you’re holding onto the digital equivalent of a crunchy new backpack, still full of paper display wadding from the store: It’s all about what you put in it. Confused about where to start? Here’s a quick list of steps to making your BlackBerry uniquely yours.

Visit App World

It’s number one on the list for a reason. Half the fun of owning a smartphone is the near limitless supply of apps that can turn your humble phone into a GPS tracking device for your workouts, cookbook, news reader, or gaming platform. Just point your phone to BlackBerry.com to download BlackBerry App World, if it doesn’t already have it. Need a shortcut to find the very best? We’ve got you covered. Check out our top BlackBerry apps.

March to the Beat of Your Own Ringtone

That stiff corporate ringtone will keep you out of trouble at the office, but you’ll also find yourself reaching for the phone every time some dullard with the same phone gets a call. Get your own ringtone. Since BlackBerrys accept standard MP3 files, you don’t have to pay a dime. CrackBerry.com has a great guide to setting up your first custom ringtone, plus an expansive library of freebies.

Wrap It Up

Sooner or later, your shiny new phone is going down. And unless you want a nice collection of battle scars from every fumble, you had better put some plastic between phone and pavement. OtterBox makes some of the toughest cases out there if you don’t mind the bulk, Seido offers great variety, and Speck makes some of the most stylish. You can snag a case from any number of online retailers for cheap, but we recommend buying in person to inspect the fit and finish – not to mention size – before laying down any money.

Snag Some Accessories

With protection squared away, perhaps you can afford to invest in any number of other useful BlackBerry add-ons. Want to talk without a hand glued to your ear? Consider a Bluetooth headset. Appalled by the thought of walking around with a headset on like the hired muscle at a nightclub? A Bluetooth speakerphone also does nicely when you’re in the car. Constantly tapped into your favorite Last.fm or Pandora station? A nice pair of headphones like Klipsch’s Image S4 make all the difference. ShopBlackberry offers a great one-stop repository of authentic BlackBerry accessories.

Switch That Wallpaper

New BlackBerrys come with some pretty sleek wallpaper, but after a few weeks, you’re going to get tired of looking at the same blue-to-black gradient. We once again recommend hitting up CrackBerry for a great selection of free prefabs, or getting more artistic by taking your own shot with the phone camera and setting it as your wallpaper. And nothing’s better for remembering your favorite pet, city skyline or significant other than plastering it all over your phone.

Load up on Multimedia

Your BlackBerry may have been designed as a phone, but right out of the box, it’s equal parts jukebox and portable television, too. Checking your BlackBerry manual will show you how to load the phone with digital music from your computer via USB cable: just grab all the Muse, Silversun Pickups or Ra Ra Riot tracks it can handle and send ’em over. But getting those high-def Sons of Anarchy episodes or all three seasons of Arrested Development over won’t be quite as easy. You may have to transcode video on your PC to a format the BlackBerry will recognize. BlackBerry Video Converter makes it easy.

Get Connected: IM, MMS, Texts, E-mail

Your new BlackBerry will walk you through setting up an e-mail account, and receiving text messages is self-explanatory, but sending MMS and IMs through the phone gets a little trickier. For MMS, make sure that you’ve updated to the latest version of the BlackBerry operating system, since some older versions don’t support it. Afterwards, make sure you enable MMS under your settings, which should give you the option to send video and pictures you capture as MMS messages. As for instant messaging, BlackBerry.com offers links to individual apps for every instant messaging client, but you can also download a single app, like IM+, that works with many networks.

Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Mobile

Master your iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with our favorite tips and tricks

If you're one of the lucky folks that managed to snag an iPhone XS or XS Max, you may be wondering how to use your new phone in a post-home button world. Here are a few of our favorite iPhone XS tips and tricks to get you started.
Home Theater

How to make your TV squeaky clean for not much green

Not sure how to clean the LCD, OLED, or plasma display that's the cornerstone of your living room? You don't need to buy expensive cleaning solutions to clean your TV -- we'll teach you how to do it with simple household items.
Home Theater

TV calibration 101: Here's how to tune up the picture of your new TV

You’ve got your new TV out of the box, but now what? Our TV picture adjustment guide takes you through the simple steps to get the best picture from your brand new TV so you can set it and forget it.
Mobile

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Clash of the titans

Anyone seeking a great new smartphone with plenty of money to spend has two amazing options, but which is better for you? We pit the Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro in various categories to help you choose.
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Music

The best new music this week: Prince, Brockhampton, Mountain Man, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases. On tap this week: Prince, Richard Swift, Christine and the Queens, Brockhampton, and Mountain Man.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Computing

What's the best laptop? We've reviewed a lot of them, and this is our answer

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Mobile

The best iPhone XR screen protectors to keep that big screen safe

The iPhone XR is Apple's midsized iPhone, and it's worth protecting. You might have picked up a case, but what about the screen? Keep your display safe with the best iPhone XR screen protectors.