How to Use the BlackBerry Storm

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The BlackBerry Storm is the first BlackBerry device to rely almost completely on a touchscreen for navigation, instead of the familiar BlackBerry keyboard and trackball. Because of the new method of input, even experienced BlackBerry users may have difficulty figuring out how to use the BlackBerry Storm at first. The BlackBerry Storm is still primarily a phone and email device, although it does have a decent amount of multimedia features and a growing collection of applications.

The Touchscreen


One of the most difficult things to learn about how to use the BlackBerry Storm, especially if you have used other BlackBerrys before, is how to navigate only using the touchscreen. The BlackBerry Storm touchscreen uses a technology that they call Surepress. Surepress not only lets you hover the pointer with your finger without making a selection, it also gives you a tactile sensation when you press down on it. This lets you use the touchscreen in the same manner you would use a mouse. The touchscreen can also recognize more than one input, so you can press in two different places on the screen to select two different things. When you need to type on the device, a QWERTY keyboard appears on the screen. If you rotate the phone to one side, the keyboard expands, making it a little easier to type.

Making and Receiving Phone Calls

On a Call

Press the green key under the screen, or the “Phone” button on the screen, to access the phone portion of the BlackBerry Storm. To make a call, input the phone number on the dial pad, or choose the “Contacts” tab at the top of the display and type in the name of your contact. Press the green button below the screen to place the call.

Once you are on a call, you can activate the speakerphone, mute your line or add a third party to the call by pressing the buttons on the touchscreen. You can also adjust the volume of the call by using the up or down buttons on the right side of the device.

When you get an incoming call, the phone will ring and the screen will display the called ID, or the contact name and picture, of the caller as well as three buttons. You can press the button to accept the call or the one to ignore the call and send the caller to voicemail. You can also choose to silence the ringer, but neither pick up or ignore the call.

Text Messaging and Email


If you have used messaging on a BlackBerry before, then how to use it on the BlackBerry Storm is almost the exact same process, it just looks a little different. Press the “Messaging” button on the main screen to go into the messaging folder. Here you will find all of the messages you have sent and received. You can also choose to press the “SMS” button, which takes you to a list of only the SMS messages you have received or the email button, which will take you to the inbox for that email account. If the keyboard is in your way while you are looking through the list of messages, press the BlackBerry key and choose “Hide Keyboard” from the menu.

Press the BlackBerry button to get into a menu where you can compose an email, SMS or instant message. Type the email address or the phone number into the appropriate box, then type the message. Press the “Enter” key to send SMS messages and the “Send” icon to send emails. The message will then appear in your message list. When the message has a check mark next to it, that means that the message was successfully sent.

Using the Camera

Storm camera

Press the camera button on the main screen to access the camera application. The camera application begins with the camera working and ready to take a picture. The LCD will show what the camera is seeing at the moment. Press the center button, the one that looks like a camera, just below the image to take the picture.

Once you take the picture, you have five options on the screen. You can send the picture in an email or message, set the picture as a caller ID or wallpaper, rename the picture, delete the picture or return to the camera. You can also press the “Escape” key to return to the camera, or the red key to exit back to the main menu.

While you are in the camera program you can press the BlackBerry key to access a menu where you can view all of the pictures that are on the device. You can also load the video camera program from the menu.

Browsing the Internet


The browser button on the main screen will take you to the BlackBerry Storm’s internet browser. The browser will start on the last page that you visited. To go to a new page, press the BlackBerry key and choose “Go to” from the menu. Type in the address of the web page that you want to visit and press “Enter” to navigate to that page.

When you are viewing a web page, tap the screen twice to zoom in, then hit the escape key (looks like a half-oval with an arrow) to zoom out. If you press the BlackBerry button, a menu will appear that has options to navigate back and forward on web pages, refresh a web page and change the way the browser looks. When you are done browsing, press the red button to return to the main screen.

Adjusting the Settings

You won’t fully learn how to use the BlackBerry Storm without learning how to manipulate the device’s settings. The options icon, the one that looks like a wrench, contains all the possible settings for your BlackBerry Storm. If you want to change the font, it’s in Screen/Keyboard. Need to turn off your media card, it’s in Memory. Want to change your time zone or time format, it’s in Date/Time. There are hundreds of possible settings that you can choose from, but don’t start changing things in there unless you are sure about what you are doing. Making changes to the settings can have unintended consequences if you don’t fully understand the settings. Consult your BlackBerry’s online help before you make changes that you are unsure of.

Blackberry Appworld

Appworld is a collection of BlackBerry apps that are available for your BlackBerry Storm. There are thousands of applications available for you to download, although some of them you have to purchase. The icon to launch Appworld will be located on your main menu.

Once you are in the Appworld application you can choose to search for popular apps, or you can press the magnifying glass to use keywords to search for particular apps. Appworld will keep a list of all the applications you have downloaded and you are able to direct the application to either your device storage or a memory card.

If your BlackBerry Storm does not have the Appworld application, direct the browser to to start the downloading process.