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BlackBerry KEYOne tips and tricks: Best hidden and special features

The KEYOne may be an Android handset, but BlackBerry has stuffed in loads of own-brand apps and bonus features to expand its functionality. Our KEYOne tips and tricks guide reveals the best hidden features and functionality, to help you get started and get the most from your new 2017 BlackBerry phone.

Master the KEYOne’s shortcuts

The BlackBerry KEYOne packs loads of handy shortcuts, for jumping straight into your favourite apps and useful tasks.

One of the most obvious is that Convenience Key on the right edge of the phone, beneath the volume rocker. This can be customised inside the KEYOne’s settings menu – just tap the Convenience Key option and then select the assigned action you wish it to perform. Note however that this doesn’t work when the handset is hibernating.

Want to quickly jump into the camera at any time? Just double-tap the power button (i.e. push it twice in quick succession) and the camera app will instantly load, ready for action.

That physical keyboard also packs a number of shortcuts, which can be used to jump straight into specific tasks at any time. For instance, press and hold the B key and you’ll quick-load the web browser. Note that some keys offer a free assignment – in other words, they can be attributed to any app of your choosing, or even a speed dial to one of your most-used contacts.

Here’s a full list of the KEYOne’s pre-set keyboard shortcuts. Any key not listed is a free assignment (just long-press to customise).

W – Voicemail

T – New task

O – Settings

P – Call history

S – Search (either device or Google)

D – New note

K – Administrator lock (requires PIN to be entered)

L – Calendar

C – Compose an email

B – Web browser

N – BBM

M – Hub

Stay secure with the KEYOne

One of the selling points of the KEYOne is the solid security setup, which helps you to stay safe and keep your data under wraps.

The DTEK security suite is the main hub for this. Find it in the BlackBerry KEYOne’s apps menu and get this activated as soon as possible. DTEK clues you in on any potential security holes from its main screen – just tap any potential problems and the phone will help you to solve them.

BlackBerry Password Keeper is another worthy security measure, storing all of your logins in encrypted form. This means you just need to remember one password to access all of your accounts securely. You’ll find it in the KEYOne’s apps menu and all you need to do is follow the instructions to get it set up.

Read next: How to keep your Android phone secure

How to take and edit screenshots on the KEYOne

You can quickly take a screenshot at any time on the KEYOne by pushing the power and volume down buttons at the same time. Note that you’ll need to hold them down for a second or so for this to take effect.

You can also quickly edit and share screenshots of anything you like, using BlackBerry’s Notable app. Open Notable and then minimise it and browse to whatever you wish to screenshot. When ready, pull down the notifications bar by dragging your finger down the screen and tap the Notable entry in there. This takes the shot and gets you ready to edit.

First up, you’ll be asked if you wish to crop the pic. Either pinch in with two fingers or tap the tick button to show that you’re happy. You’ll then be free to annotate the screenshot by sketching with your finger, adding text labels or even sticking other photos on top. When you’re done, tap the tick at the top of the screen to save.

Learn how to use the KEYOne’s Productivity Tab

Quickly drag your finger from the right edge of the screen and you’ll pull out BlackBerry’s Productivity Tab. This gives you some essential information at a glance, including your upcoming schedule as well as any uncompleted tasks you’ve set up. You also get shortcuts to your favourite contacts (as set up in Android), plus any unread messages.

Tap the cog icon at the bottom of the tabs and you can fully customise the Productivity Tab. For instance, you can switch it to the left edge, change the on-screen position and size of the tab and so on.

How to manage your KEYOne’s power consumption

BlackBerry’s 2017 blower is actually pretty energy efficient, offering around two full days of use on a single charge. However, you might need to squeeze even more life out of the KEYOne, if you’re nowhere near a plug point. Which is where the Power Centre comes in.

This app shows you roughly how much battery time you have remaining and offers several means of extending this. You’ll find plenty of quick wins, such as dimming the screen and turning on the battery saver mode. You can also highlight any possible battery-sucking apps and have the KEYOne regulate how much power it drains.

Read next: Get better battery life on your Android phone

More BlackBerry KEYOne help

If you want to learn more about using your KEYOne handset, just look to the phone itself. You’ll find a Blackberry Help app which covers all of the basics as well as some more custom stuff. You can also long-press the H key on the keyboard to jump into the help topics.

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