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BlackBerry Motion Tips & Tricks Guide: Best hidden features

Our BlackBerry Motion tips guide runs through some of the best security features, gesture support, camera tricks and other cool tools you might not know about. 

The Blackberry Motion is a sleek mid-range mobile with a strong emphasis on security and all-day battery life. One of its biggest strengths is the excellent software, a feature-packed blend of Android OS and BlackBerry’s best features from throughout the ages. With that much complexity, any new users will need a helping hand to discover the most useful elements and get to grips with the interface.

Our BlackBerry Motion tips and tricks guide shows you some of the best hidden features that you might not know about, as well as the most useful shortcuts, gestures and other helpful stuff.

Easier one handed use on the BlackBerry Motion

The Motion isn't exactly compact, so one handed use can be a little tricky. Thankfully there's a handy shortcut to help, tucked away inside the Gestures menu within the phone's settings.

The Show Notification Panel option allows you to swipe a finger down the fingerprint sensor in order to drag the notifications panel into view. Definitely much easier than stretching right up to the top of the display.

How to automatically silence your BlackBerry Motion during meetings

The BlackBerry Motion’s handy Meeting Mode will automatically silence your phone and stop any notifications from disturbing you when an event is scheduled. This can be customised to only apply to certain calendars and specific event types, which is handy.

To turn on Meeting Mode, head to the Calendar app and dive into the settings menu. In there you’ll find the Meeting Mode, which can be activated and personalised.

Get to grips with the Motion’s Power Centre

One of the best bits of the Motion is its fantastic battery life. All the same, BlackBerry has kindly included a feature-packed Power Centre tool, which helps you to get the longest possible time between charges.

Open the Power Centre app by tapping the icon in the apps tray and you’ll be presented with a list of potential improvements you could make. Any items with a red battery icon next to them should be addressed if you need to slow your power drain. For instance, you might be advised to change some display settings or toggle some other features.

From here you can also adjust specific settings for individual apps. You can set the resolution and frame rate they use for instance, which can be kept low for any non-demanding apps.

How to quick load the camera

Want to take a quick snap? Rather than fumbling around unlocking the Motion, just double tap the power button and you'll launch straight into the camera app, ready for action. This shortcut can be found in the Gestures section of the settings.

How to scan a business card using the BlackBerry Motion’s camera

Just picked up a business card and want to add the details to your Contacts list? Activate the camera and tap Mode, followed by Scanner. You can swap to the business card setting using the icon next to the flash toggle, and then all you need to do is align the card within the on-screen box and tap the shutter button. We recommend good lighting, for a clean text capture.

When you’ve taken your photo, poke the OCR icon to transfer the info directly into your contacts. This isn’t a perfect feature by any means, but a quick adjustment of a couple of fields should be all it takes to get things ready to save.

How to take a private photo

Another slick security feature is the ability to take private shots with the Motion’s camera. You can do so at any time inside of the camera app, simply by tapping your thumb to the fingerprint sensor instead of the shutter button. Be sure not to press it however, as that will simply exit the camera app.

Any photos that you take this way will be stored in the BlackBerry Locker. You can access this by tapping the Locker icon in the apps tray, and you’ll need to scan your fingerprint before you can see anything inside. The Locker can also be used to store other sensitive docs.

Note that we occasionally struggled to get this secure photo feature to work. If that happens, try closing the camera app and starting again. You can shut it down by tapping the recent apps button to the right of the fingerprint scanner, and hitting the ‘X’ in the right corner of the camera widget.

What is the BlackBerry Motion’s Privacy Shade feature?

The Privacy Shade tool is a quick and easy way of viewing some possibly sensitive information, without worrying about people snooping over your shoulder. Switch it on and the majority of the display will be shaded out, with just a small scrollable box left visible. You can move this around by dragging with your finger, to see what you need and keep everything else hidden.

To turn on Privacy Shade, just tap the app in the apps tray. This can also be setup as a shortcut in the notifications bar, by editing the shortcuts.

Get organised with the Productivity Tab

Over on the right edge of the BlackBerry Motion’s desktops you’ll notice a sliver of a tab, just about lurking in view. Press your finger to this tab and drag it onto the screen and you’ll pull out the Productivity Tab, which is a great organisational feature.

As well as a quick glance of your day’s calendar entries, this window offers a glimpse of any unread messages (an alternative to the BlackBerry Hub), a list of current tasks and fast access to your favourite contacts. Personally, it’s the tasks list and calendar glance that we find most useful, saving us from ducking into the relevant apps a few times a day.

Tap the cog icon at the top of the Productivity Tab and you can set it up just how you like. For instance, you can swap it to the left edge, change the exact position and transparency of the tab, and even remove it entirely if you find it a waste of desktop space.

Need more BlackBerry Motion tips and tricks?

Just tap the BlackBerry Help app and you’ll find a bunch of useful tutorials and other helpful advice about your feature-packed phone.

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