BlackBerry 101: The ABCs of Speed Dials

ABC's of Speed Dial
By Alicia Erlich on 4 Mar 2011 09:09 am EST
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Speed dials are a convenient way to access your most frequently dialed contacts without going through the address book. Plain and simple, they allow you to press as few keys as possible. Stay connected with friends and family with just a simple touch of a button. So for those of you who are new to BlackBerry here is a rundown of assigning and using speed dials on your device.

Speed Dial Capacity

SurePress & SureType Devices

Storm devices utilize eight programmable speed dials with one locked slot reserved for accessing voice mail. Pearl devices come with thirteen programmable and three locked slots that align with the numbers, letters, and symbols on the keypad. The locked slots are reserved for the following functions: * locks the keypad, # changes the sound profile from normal to vibrate and vice versa, and 1 dials your voicemail.

Storm Speed Dial  Pearl 3g Speed Dial 
 Storm Speed Dial  Pearl 3g Speed Dial

Non Touch Devices & Torch

QWERTY devices store twenty six speed dials that correspond with each of the letters/numbers displayed on the keyboard. Three are automatically locked and assigned other functions: the A key locks the keypad, the Q toggles the sound profile between your current profile and Vibrate, and the W/1 key is voicemail leaving you with twenty three to choose from. The BlackBerry Style has twenty four slots free as the "A" key is not reserved for the keyboard lock.

Now that we've gotten capacity taken care of, how does one program a speed dial? There are a few different ways depending on your device.

BlackBerry Speed Dial - 3 Different Ways

Assign a Speed dial from the Home screen

Users need only press and hold the key of their choice from the home or phone screen. The dialogue box will prompt you to start the process outlined below for new or existing contacts. Storm owners may press and hold a key in the dial pad. Torch owners can do this as well but are limited to only eight of the available slots.

Storm - Assigning Speed Dial  Non-Touch - Assigning Speed Dial 
 Storm - Assigning Speed Dial Non-Touch - Assigning Speed Dial

">Assign a contact from the Speed Dial List

Entering a speed dial is as simple as pressing the green send key on your device's keypad. From the dial screen, simply press the menu button and click on View Speed Dial list. You can also access the list through the options icon in the home screen.

Storm Speed Dial List  Torch Speed Dial List 
Storm Speed Dial List Torch Speed Dial List 

Clicking or tapping on any of the unassigned speed dials redirects you to your contact list. If you prefer using the menu button, scroll to New Speed Dial.

New Speed Dial

Highlight the desired name and click or tap using your trackpad, trackwheel or touch screen to assign. You can also add a new contact or input a one time phone number.

Add Speed Dial

In this day and age we possess multiple numbers. There's a cell number, a work number, a home number, and the list goes on. How do we know we're picking the right one? If a contact has more than one number, it will appear in a popup box. Highlight the one you want and click to assign. Just like that, your contact will appear immediately in the list. Repeat the above steps for each additional contact or simply close to finish.

Choose a number

Assign a Speed Dial from the Contacts list

Here's a quick and easy way to add a speed dial to an existing contact. Open your contact list, click or tap on the contact itself so it appears on its own screen and highlight the desired number. Next, press the menu key and choose Add Speed Dial. Finally, click or tap on an empty slot to complete the process.

Adding speed dial contacts on the Torch  Adding speed dial contacts on the Style 
 Adding speed dial contacts on the Torch Adding speed dial contacts on the Style

Assign a Speed Dial from the call log

The call log is a great place to find all the numbers and contacts dialed and received in the past thirty days. From here you can add any number listed to your speed dial list without having to create a new contact. 

Touch devices

To access the call log, press the green Send key and click on the middle tab. Choose the number or contact you want, press the menu key and click on Add Speed Dial.

Adding contacts from the call log, Torch


Finally, move the name to an unassigned slot and click or tap to select. You may close out of the application or go through your list to assign more.

 

Moving speed dial

Non Touch devices

Non touch owners only need to press the green send key to access the call log. Follow the same directions as above and don't forget to close out of the application when done.

Adding a speed dial on a device without touch

 

Modifying Speed Dials

It's very simple to change, reassign or even delete a speed dial. All you need to do is access the list, highlight the one you want to modify, and press the menu key. From here you can click on edit to assign a new number, click on move to another speed dial key, or click on delete to permanently remove. You can even click on remove speed dial directly from the call log or contact list.

Editing and copying speed dials

Making a Call

Now that you've entered in all your contacts we're finally ready to make a call. Simply press and hold the assigned key from the home, phone, or messages screens for about 1.5 seconds and you're good to go.


There you have it folks, everything there is to know about Speed Dials. How do you quickly access your favorite contacts? Do you use speed dials, applications (i.e. QuickLaunch), or keyboard shortcuts? Sound off in the comments below.

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BlackBerry 101: The ABCs of Speed Dials

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Problem being remembering who you have for each letter. For example, I have my mother as "M", but my father in law is called Mick, so I have to use "E" which is his wifes name!!!! But you get used to them eventually

Alicia,
I just wanted to point out a common misconception about the Q toggle. You said "the Q toggles the sound profile between Normal and Vibrate" which is technically incorrect. The Q toggles between the current active profile and the previous active profile. If you were on Normal and the last profile you used was "Phone Only" then the Q would toggle between Normal and Phone Only. Does that make sense? Most people only use the Normal and Vibrate which is why everyone explains its function just as you did. I hope that helps a little. BTW, great article! Every Blackberry addict should use speed dials and shortcuts! It is so much more useful than dialing from the Home Screen!!!
Michael

Not true, at least on my Torch. The Q key shortcut toggles between Vibrate Only and the last active profile. So I think you’re half right!

Thank you so much for the tip! I always keep my phone on vibrate and when i hit Q is goes back to the normal profile which was the previous active one. Doh! I really appreciate it :)

Awesome, I thought you could only add them from your contacts when you press and hold a letter key. Thank you! I wish there was a way to add other shortcuts, i.e. Hold a letter to open a certain app, or turn on bluetooth.

You guys should write a blackberry tip article about adding pauses and waits into contact numbers. It's really great for calling cards!

yep my BB Torch toggles to vibrate and whatever sound profile i have which is usually my custom profile =) great article..

Very nice article, thanks for all the tips and advice. I typically just hit the Grren Phone Key and all my latest calls are right there so I just hit dial from there. Very rare that I ever have to go to the contact list as using Universal Search is much faster and easier. Again, thanks for a great article!