CrackBerry Asks: Do you use the U key shortcuts on your QWERTY BlackBerry?

Bold 9900 Keyboard
By Adam Zeis on 8 Apr 2013 03:37 pm EDT

One of the great things about having a physical keyboard on your BlackBerry is the ability to use keyboard shortcuts for quick navigation. Having my BlackBerry Z10 now I must say that I do miss keyboard shortcuts, but I'll totally deal with it. That being said - I still can't wait to get my hands on a BlackBerry Q10.

From jumping into apps to quickly scrolling to the top of a page, the BBOS has a slew of "get around quick" shortcuts to help get things done. Some are well known and used often, others .. not so much.

One of my favorites and perhaps lesser known was using the U key when in my inbox for two functions. One, I used it to jump to my next unread message and two, I could easily use the ALT+U combo to toggle messages between read and unread. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was just something I became a fan of and definitely one that I miss now on my Z10.

It made me curious to know just how many of you use the U shortcuts on your current BBOS device. Like I said, I do miss my shortcuts on my Z10, but hopefully the Q10 will bring them back in full BlackBerry fashion so I can fall in love all over again.

Drop your vote in the poll below and let us know if you're a U user or not.


Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: Do you use the U key shortcuts on your QWERTY BlackBerry?


Does anyone know if shortcuts are coming to the Z10 as well?
I know it won't be as quick or as ideal as when you have a physical keyboard bit its not too hard to pull up the virtual keyboard

For me anyways it would be useful.

Posted from CB10 on my LE Zed 10

Ditto that. I use all of the hotkeys that I can commit to gray matter. I have wanted a "mark read" shortcut since I bought my first Bold (9700). Articles like this are why I have trying to browse CB more regularly.

That said it sounds like Z10 is a totally different experience. Perhaps hotkeys are not the answer for devices without a dedicated keyboard?

After using my BlackBerry Z10 I firmly believe that physical keyboards suck... BlackBerry z10's keyboard is a heck of an innovation. Believe me far better than my experience on my bold 9900 and all older previous bolds.

Posted via CB10

I do believe it is as good as you say but since my upgrade isn't until May 30th, I figure I might as well try them both out.

The deciding factor for me may not be the keyboard, but the superb battery life of the Q10.

Yeah, SwiftKey from Android was a smart move for Blackberry. :-) Though I can't wait for the Q10. Wanna re-live my Bold 9000 days.

I used it on my 9900 a lot before upgrading to the Z10. I still use shortcuts on my work phone 9700.

BTW, I love the CB app.

Posted via CB10

Losing the B/T and Space for moving around the web as well as inside a number of apps would be a definite loss

The single most missed shortcut for me on a touchscreen device (PB/Z10).

Would LOVE to see a gesture for Top/Page Up ( a "U" shaped swipe from top bezel onto the screen then back off screen to the top bezel) and similar for Bottom/Page Down (an inverted "U" from bottom bezel onto then back off screen)

N with advance to the next date of your inbox (as they're all separated currently) and P will go to the previous date in your inbox.

I miss them all.. without them on the Z10 I feel less productive, honestly. I saw the forum post on the Q10 specs and. It listed some of the keyboard shortcuts. I am curious if anyone knows if the standard shortcuts will be there. a for address book? b for browser? m for messages? s for universal search? Etc... It will be a tough call, but that could be the deciding factor on getting a Q10 and chucking the Zed, as much as I love my huge screen real estate.

Posted via CB10

If you're refering to deleting any messages, holding shift is not necessary. This is my favorite shortcut as well.

To quickly delete emails scroll to desired message, hit delete then enter to confirm.

I used that on my 9900 to go to unread messages. Now with the Z10 full touch screen and that smooth scrolling I almost forgot about it.

Posted via CB10


Shortcuts let me keep a lot of app icons filed away, outta sight yet still at my finger tips!

Keyboard shortcuts are a must have. When it comes to being productive and quick, having the keys for me is preferred over the full screen. If I want a bigger screen, that's what my iPad and MBP are for.

I use keyboard shortcuts religiously on my 9900. Whenever I encounter a friend with a BlackBerry, they never seem to be aware of the keyboard shortcut option. Once I turn it on and explain it to them, they are in total love with it. I use calendar, notepad, calculator, BBM, messages, address book, browser, options, weather (BeWeather), and search shortcuts. That and word substitution will be two of the things I will miss the most when I get the Z10 later this summer.

If you swipe up with 2 fingers on the Z10 from ANY screen it reveals the keyboard. Why can't they simply add the old BBOS shortcuts to the virtual keyboard there?

I'm hooked on the keyboard shortcuts from the home screen:
U - gets you to the CalcUlator
L - gets you the CaLendar
D - get you to the notes
M - to Messages
...and so on. I use these shortcuts every single time I touch the phone. I can move quickly between the basic built in "apps" and people can't believe I'm getting all of their info so easily. Them, with their iPhone, and me, with my 9930.

THESE are the shortcuts that I want to see on the q10.... the homescreen shortcuts.

I loved my keyboard but now that I have had the Z10 for a week or so. I don't miss the keyboard at all

Posted via my BlackBerry Z10

Although the BB7 browser leaves a LOT to be desired, I like the W (tab switch), G (go to start page) and K (bookmarks) shortcut keys...along with the previously mentioned spacebar (page down) and shift-spacebar (page up).

The U shortcut was the one i used most on my 9700 and im really hoping BB implement it as a Q10 shortcut

Posted via CB10

Between MOI and ShortcutMe I had most of the keys on my Torch doing something. I had most apps hidden and flew through the interface without looking most of the time. Out of curiosity the wife and I stopped in and played with a Z10.....and left with 2. We are two weeks in and I doubt I'd go back to a physical keyboard. The screen looses too much. I do miss being able to press a single key to launch my favorite apps or to run a quick macro. There are a few things about BB10 that irk me (like how minimizing an app takes you to the tile page and not the last open page. Also, the M key to open messages and the N key for a new text was my single most used. Once the rest of the OS and BB developed apps (FB, etc) is finished being fleshed out (notifications are currently abysmal) I have no doubt these will fade into the back ground and become forgotten as the HUB is just too easy to use.

Had been using the delightful keyboard shortcuts since my 950 all the way through to my Style. Looking forward to a BB10 flip with them as well but on my Z10 I use voice control as substitute.

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

Oh man just today I was thinking of how much I miss the keyboard shortcuts. Favorites used to be T- top of the page. B- bottom of page. When in the browser I - zoom in O - zoom out.

Posted via CB 10 via my Q10(just kidding) o_0

You have to list all these keyboard shortcuts so people with Z10 can see what they are missing (what I was missing when I used it for a week).. Once you use keyboard shortcuts, you can never go back to menus. I work twice as fast, if not, with the keyboard shortcuts, and on top with having menus buried deep in OS10, it takes around 4 times more to do the same thing.

Shortcuts is one of the main reasons to have a hardware keyboard. It may seem like work to others but once you get used to shortcuts you are on the fly with everything on the phone. Honestly this is what made the blackberries stand out. On the bold I remember being in all those boring "management" meetings, I get a message check it on accident and mark it unread so I can get back to it later. Shortcuts are king!

I thought the point of the Z10 (or rather BlackBerry 10) was that it was one big mobile shortcut. All functions are done in less gestures on the Z10. One swipe and done.

Easier with gestures but not necessarily faster. One swipe, then drag to click the function you want to do, followed possibly by a "Are you sure?" message.. two, if not three steps saved.

Thought I knew them all, but found some here that I didn't. Love it when I find new items on CB for my device.

Its akin to finding out new good things about your lover.
And thanks for continuing to show love for the 9900.

Never had a blackberry with a physical keyboard, 9530 storm to 9860 torch to the Z10 B)

So didn't try the U Shortcut lol

I miss all the keyboard shortcuts. I wish that they will make it available to all BB10 users as I believe that was one of the great core features of BBOS. Hopefully keyboard shortcuts is in the road map of BBOS features to eventually be added to all BB10 devices. I think it should be possible because otherwise I do not see the point of being able to bring up the virtual keyboard manually on my Zed10 like it is on my PlayBook.

Posted via CB10

Home screen short-cuts, battery life and a tactile button press are the main reasons I'm holding out for the Q10.

The z10 should have secondary keys like swift key where you hold down the key and get the secondary key instead of going into the sub keyboard level.

Swift key also has the ability to change the time of you holding the key down in mili seconds which is great. I think blackberry would benefit with dome degree of implementation of this...

Posted via CB10

Shortcuts have been CONFIRMED in 10.1 for the Q10. I have added them into apps. They work. They ARE THERE, so no "hoping" they come back.

I loved keyboard shortcuts on my previous 9900 and used use them all, U key? Calculator hell yeah!

We need tools, not toys.

Keyboard shortcuts rock!!! Come on Sprint, my 9650 is having hic-cups.
Thanks, I just used ALT+U for the first saves a couple of steps instead of hitting the menu and then M for unread.

Yep. U. B and T are my favorite shortcuts when checking email. I always tell the noobs when I see them endlessly scroll up and down lol

Posted via CB10

I can't vote cos I never knew about the u shortcut now I do I will most definatly use it. You should do a full post about all the shortcuts so everyone on an older blackberry willl know them.

QWERTY user since 2009 and I never knew o the "U-turn"...

Well, didn't need to know now either lol. Z10. 'nuff said!

I used keyboard shortcuts quite a bit. I never used the u key specifically. I really miss typing to find contacts and dialing. Keyboard shortcuts in the browser.

Posted via CB10

The U is great, along with T and B. Of course, all the menu shortcuts as well! But my most used prior to moving from 9930 to Z10 was alt-O to toggle between sent and in - box view. Very handy!

Posted via CB10

I used some of them on my Bold, and would like to see them incorporated in the Z10, might be kinda awkward though on the Z10

Posted via CB10

I like & use the "T" - top shortcut the most (when looking at msg's)

The shortcuts that I use the most over all are:
When in the browser& Google Maps "I" - zoom in "O" - zoom out

I used "U" all the time!!! Didn't know about "Alt + U". PS: I accidentally voted "No" and meant to vote "Yes"

Posted via CB10

Keyboard shortcuts are the ultimate Get Things Done for a QWERTY BlackBerry. The lack was what I hated most about my Storm/Storm2.

Wish BB10 what revert N and P though. It makes no sense to hit P for Previous to go to the next newest message in the list like OS 7 works now...

It's why I loved Usersocial so much, pretty much every single thing you could do on there, there was a letter shortcut for it.

Sent from Amber via CB10.

And this is why i haven't gotten rid of my bold 9900 .. It is so quick and easy to use and its the best phone for me! My needs are basic when it comes to phones.. I have an iPad for the fun and entertainment!

I am a short cut crack addict , with short cuts and Type and Go the Q10 is going to be a monster phone. I wish the screen was at least 3.75 inches, it would be the Grand QWERTY phone.

There is a list of short cuts on Crackberry 101, type in beginners keyboard short cuts in search box.

I don't use keyboard shortcuts because I can't remember them! Maybe if I had a list to refer to till I memorize them.

Z10 allows you to pull up the keyboard everywhere. I petition that they bring shortcut support to full touch devices. I sorely miss B and T shortcut in the browser

Posted via CB10

I'm really missing this bigtime! I used to do everything using shortcuts and universal search. That was one of the best features. I know all is back with the Q10, but other goodies (screen size mostly) outweigh the shortcuts i guess.

In my first week with the Z10 (I love this baby to bits!) that Unread 'U' function is one thing I miss. That, and the press and hold for quick dial and universal search just by typing something from the home screen.
Aside from that, this keyboard rocks something fierce!!!

Posted via CB10

I never even realised that my 9900 had this function so I suppose if I move up to the z10 I won't miss it, but it does seem to be quite handy.

I love the keyboard shortcuts on my old BBOS devices
It was nearly going to be the reason to not upgrade to the Z10.
Now that I did upgrade I still miss them and if not for the wonderful Z10 keyboard would have returned it back and waited for the Q10.
We really need to keep asking BlackBerry for an alternative method as it would make the Z10 even more awesome
The U key shortcut was my most used key and the one I miss the most.
My suggestion is they have a few keys at the bottom of the screen for T B N P U so we don't feel left out
Come on BlackBerry we need the BBOS features that made us all fans brought over to BB10
Kevin, create a new page where we could all list the features we loved and are missing now. Hopefully someone in blackberry is listening and will do something about it.

Posted via CB10

Just one of the many things that make bb great for email. I love the T for top, b for bottom U for next unread and atl+U to toggle read unread. Don't forget u from the home screen for calculator.
It all ads up to a super fast user experience.(And one of the reasons I have not purchased a Z10)

1- Go to the Hub and pick the email box you want to search
2- click on the triple dots on the right
3-choose Search
4-in the top left you will see the 3 lines (I know there are formal names for these icons but I swear I can't recall right now. LOL)
5- tap the 3 lines icon and you will see search refinements. Look towards the bottom under "Filter by" and choose unread
6- tap the email list that's now showing on the right to see all the unread emails
7- when you are finished just hit the cancel button in the top right

I have to say, though I am using Blakcberry QWERTY since more than a few years now, I am still getting to know something new every once in a while, making me fall in love with that sleek looking piece of metal again. All thanks to a website named CRACKBERRY...

I love using shortcuts like next message, previous message and next unread message in my old BlackBerry os6. Along with my speed dial for all the alphabets in my old BlackBerry 9700. Which I miss a lot in my new BlackBerry z10.

Posted via CB10

Can someone get this feature over to BBRY as a request. The lack of U key is a real problem. Ever other touch phone requires you to scroll like an idiot digging for unread emails. BB10 is above that.

I also am a hard core keyboard shortcut key user. Many of them have been not brought over to the Q10. I love the U key. Please blackberry, bring it back.