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Essential BlackBerry Motion tips and tricks to help you master your new phone

BlackBerry Motion tips
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The BlackBerry Motion is one of BlackBerry’s first Android-based offerings, but just because it has Android, that doesn’t mean it’s totally stock Android. As we mentioned in our BlackBerry Motion review, the company has tweaked the software quite a bit to bring it a little more in line with the overall BlackBerry aesthetic. There are a lot of things you can do with the phone, and they’re not all that intuitive. That’s why we’ve put together a list of BlackBerry Motion tips and tricks to help you master your shiny new phone.

If you’re worried about damage, check out the best BlackBerry Motion cases to get some protection.

How to customize the home screen

Like most Android phones, it’s pretty easy to select your own preferred wallpaper, animations, and more by heading to Settings > Display, which will show a menu with a range of different options (need more info? Check out the complete guide). To change your wallpaper, simply hit the wallpaper option. There, you can also edit your screensaver, set how much screen on time it takes before your display turns off, and so on.

How to change what the Convenience Key does

Unlike most other phones, the BlackBerry Motion has an extra button that it calls the “Convenience Key.” It’s located on the side of the device, and you can assign a function to it the first time you use it. Don’t worry though, if you want to change it later, it’s pretty easy to do. Simply head to Settings, then scroll down to Convenience Key. You can then either replace your current shortcut, or set up new ones.

How to take private photos in Locker Mode

Image used with permission by copyright holder

BlackBerry phones are known for their privacy features, and the Motion is no different. The device features a “Locker Mode,” which stores selected photos and files securely and hides them from other apps. To take a picture using Locker Mode, open the Camera app, then instead of hitting the shutter button to take the photo, tap the fingerprint sensor. The photo will then be stored in the BlackBerry Locker, which can only be accessed with your fingerprint or PIN code, and can’t be accessed by apps.

How to add files to the Locker

You may want to store more than just photos in the Locker, and it’s pretty easy to store other files too. To do so, open the Files app, then navigate to the file you want to store. Then, tap the three dots next to the file you want to store, and hit the Lock button. You’ll be asked if you’re sure you want to move the file to the locker. Tap Lock again, and authenticate the move with your fingerprint or PIN code.

How to take a screenshot

BlackBerry Motion review
Christian de Looper/Digital Trends
Christian de Looper/Digital Trends

Taking a screenshot on the BlackBerry Motion is just as easy as on other Android phones. When you’re on a screen that you want to capture, simply hold down the power and volume down buttons at the same time and your screenshot will be captured. To view the screenshot, open up the Photos app, hit the Albums button on the bottom, and open the Screenshots album.

How to use the Privacy Shade

The BlackBerry Motion has an app called the Privacy Shade, which basically allows you to control what’s visible on your phone’s display. The app itself is pretty easy to use. Simply open the Privacy Shade app, then you can move the shade around the screen. To change the size or shape of the Privacy Shade, hit the Settings cog in the top right-hand corner. The first button at the top changes between a circular shade and a rectangular one, the second option opens and closes the shade, the third changes the size of the shade, and the fourth allows you to control how light or dark the area around the shade is.

How to save battery life

Like other Android phones, you can control how your phone uses battery. To do so, open the Settings app, then tap the Battery option. There you’ll be able to identify culprit apps or services for battery use. You can also toggle on or off Battery saver mode, which restricts background activities, animations, and so on.

How to use Smart Lock

Most people stick with their fingerprint and PIN code to unlock their device, but on most Android phones, you can set up Smart Lock, so you don’t always have to authenticate when you unlock, if you’re in a trusted location or the phone knows that you’re using it. To set up Smart Lock, open the Settings app, then scroll down to the Security option. Hit the Smart Lock button, confirm your PIN code, then you can set different ways for the phone to know you’re using it. One option, On Body Detection, basically involves you unlocking the phone once, after which it will remain locked as long as it’s in motion. Another allows you to add Trusted Devices — so if it’s connected to the smartwatch you’re wearing, you won’t have to unlock your phone to use it.

How to use the Productivity Tab

The past few BlackBerry phones have featured a “Productivity Tab,” which allows you to see calendar events, messages, a checklist, and contacts, all at a glance. To use it, simply slide it out from the right of the screen, then tap the option you want along the edge of the display. To edit the Productivity Tab, simply hit the Settings cog on the top right of the display, which allows you to change the side of the display the tab is on, the position of it, and so on.

How to use the fingerprint sensor to go back

On the BlackBerry Motion, you can tap the fingerprint sensor to go back — but you have to enable the feature first. To do so, open the Settings app, then hit the Gestures option. From there, toggle the switch next to Touch to back under fingerprint sensor. Don’t worry — this won’t disable the ability to put photos in the locker. The Touch to back function doesn’t work in the camera app.

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