's BlackBerry 101 Lecture Series

Good Morning Class! CrackBerry Kevin here and I hope you're ready for a little change up. The next three BlackBerry 101 lectures will each be conducted by a different guest professor!! Due to my participation in the Smartphone Experts 1st Annual Smartphone Round Robin, I will be without BlackBerry for the better part of a month (while I experience the AT&T Tilt, Treo 680, and Apple iPhone) and therefore will be unfit to adequately cover any BlackBerry 101 topics (since I'm not allowed to use a BlackBerry again until week four!!!).

It's going to be a tough month to get through, especially considering the non-RIM devices I'm going to use will be without BlackBerry Messenger, which is almost strictly a BlackBerry thing (non-Berry devices running BlackBerry Connect can receive BB Messenger/PIN messages - they just can't send them)! Therefore, I thought a lecture covering the Basics of BlackBerry Messenger would make a fitting topic for Lecture 8. And our guest lecturer is no stranger to the BlackBerry or to as he is one our CrackBerry Forum Moderators and has dealt on many occassions with the topic at hand... Welcome to BlackBerry 101 Trevor! Get Crack'n!

What is BlackBerry Messenger?

BlackBerry Messenger is simply an instant messaging program for BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry communication. It allows two people with BlackBerrys to chat in real time anywhere in the world so long as they have data service. With BlackBerry Messenger there is no per message charge like there is with SMS; messages are sent through RIM servers similar to email messages.

Where can I find BlackBerry Messenger?

BlackBerry Messenger comes preloaded on most new devices. If your device does not have the program preloaded, you can download it at To install BlackBerry Messenger, connect your device to your PC and install it using Application Loader in Desktop Manger.

How do I add contacts in BlackBerry Messenger?

There are two methods of adding contacts in BlackBerry Messenger. One is via PIN and the other is via email. A PIN is an eight digit alpha-numeric code that is assigned to every BlackBerry device. You can find your own PIN code by going to Options>Status>PIN on your BlackBerry device. If you are requesting a contact by email, you simply need an email address associated with their device.

How To Use BlackBerry Messenger

Method 1—Requesting by PIN

First, you will have to open up BlackBerry Messenger. In the drop down menu, select ‘Add a Contact.’ You will be asked to enter an Email or PIN. Enter the PIN of the person you are requesting. Older devices may bring you to the address book to add a contact. You may either choose the contact from your list, or highlight [Use Once], press menu and select either Email or PIN.You will be prompted to enter a personal message if you choose and press ok. At this point the contact will be added to the Pending group in BlackBerry Messenger until they accept you.

How To Use BlackBerry Messenger
How To Use BlackBerry Messenger
How To Use BlackBerry Messenger

Method 2—Requesting by Email

Requesting a contact by email is the almost same process as requesting by PIN. The only difference is instead of clicking ‘Request by PIN’ you click ‘Request by Email.’

Can I create groups to organize my contacts?

Yes, BlackBerry Messenger will allow you to create groups of contacts. For example, perhaps you would like to have a group for family members and a group for work contacts. With BlackBerry Messenger open, click the trackball and select ‘Add Group.’ Here you can enter the name for your new group. Now that you have created your groups, you need to organize your contacts. Highlight a contact’s name in BlackBerry Messenger and click the trackball; select move. A menu will allow you to select the group where the contact should go. Select the group and press enter. The contact will now be listed under that group.

How To Use BlackBerry Messenger

How do I change my screen name in BlackBerry Messenger?

Similar to other instant messaging programs, BlackBerry Messenger allows you to customize the way you appear in other people’s contact lists. With BlackBerry Messenger open, click the trackball and select ‘Edit My Info.’ Here you can select a name for yourself.

How To Use BlackBerry Messenger

How to I change my status?

Most people are not available to talk all the time. You can let your contacts know when you are available by changing your status is BlackBerry Messenger. With BlackBerry Messenger open, click the track ball and select ‘Available.’ Here you can set your status to available or away and type a custom message.

How To Use BlackBerry Messenger

How do I send a message?

To send a message within BlackBerry Messenger, click on a contacts name and select ‘Start Conversation.’ You may start typing your message. To send it simply press enter. Pressing escape will exit you from the conversation but will not end it. This is helpful if you have multiple conversations at once. When you are finished chatting, click the trackball and select ‘End Conversation.’

How To Use BlackBerry Messenger
How To Use BlackBerry Messenger

New BlackBerry Messenger Features

All of the screenshots in this lecture are coming from the installation of BlackBerry Messenger I have running on my BlackBerry 7250. With newer versions of BlackBerry Messenger running on the latest generation of BlackBerry devices, during a conversation you also have the ability to Send a File and Send a Voice Note. Sending a File makes for a handy way to share pictures instantly, while the Send a Voice Note utility allows you to quickly record a message from within the BlackBerry Messenger application and easily send it. It's like leaving a voicemail for the other person but with the benefit that neither party has to use airtime (and it's much quicker than having to dial in to listen to voicemail!).

Where can I find some BlackBerry Messenger buddies?

You have come to the right place. is home to thousands of BlackBerry addicts just like you. If you would like to test out BlackBerry Messenger, check out Don’t forget, you have to be a registered member to post your PIN. If you haven’t done it, go register!

My question wasn’t answered here, I still need help.

If you still have a question about BlackBerry Messenger, post your question in the CrackBerry Forums.

Thanks for the lecture Trevor, that was awesome and I greatly appreciate it. I know there are many CrackBerry Newbies who will appreciate it as well. You know, the more I think about BlackBerry Messenger, the more I realize how BRILLIANT Research in Motion was to include it on their device and as part of their service offering. Once you begin using BlackBerry Messenger as an everyday vehicle of communication, it's not something you will ever want to give up as it means abandoning all of your other BlackBerry Messenger contacts. It practically ensures that once you're a BlackBerry User, You're Going to Remain a BlackBerry User!

Next week we will have another BlackBerry 101 guest professor, and the lecture will address the topic of 3rd Party Applications on your BlackBerry. You won't want to miss it!

Discuss this Lecture in the CrackBerry Forums