The first ten things to do with your new BlackBerry Z10

The BlackBerry Z10 is in your hands - now what?

BlackBerry Z10 standing
By Simon Sage on 21 Mar 2013 10:57 pm EDT

Congratulations! You've unboxed your brand-spanking-new BlackBerry Z10 - the plastic covering is peeled and the software is in its pristine, fresh-from-the-factory state. You almost don't want to defile its purity, but before long the possibilities become impossible to resist and eventually overwhelming. Take a deep breath, bro. We've got the hit list of the first ten things you should do to set a solid foundation with your shiny new BlackBerry Z10.  

Charge your battery

BlackBerry Z10 battery

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to go crazy with overcharging a new lithium-ion battery, but considering how much you're going to be using it on unboxing day, you'll want to make sure it's topped up. In general, you should avoid draining the Z10 completely if you can help it, and charge periodically through day-to-day use. Regardless of usage, your battery life will go down over time, but if you want to limit how much of a dent is put in by charge cycles, snag a spare battery and swap out regularly. 

Ten tips and tricks to extend your BlackBerry Z10 battery life
Check out the BlackBerry Charger Bundle!

Set up accounts

Adding accounts to BlackBerry Z10

Obviously you want to start getting e-mail and other messages right away. There are hooks for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, Evernote, Box, and Dropbox built right into the system settings. If you've got more specific account requirements, there are also options for generic IMAP, POP, CalDAV, CardDAV, Exchange ActiveSync, and Balance-enabled work accounts, too. Of course, the very first account you'll need to set up is a BlackBerry ID if you don't already have one.

Read our step-by-step guide on how to set up accounts on the BlackBerry Z10

Lock it down

BlackBerry Z10 device passwords

A simple unlock code can make all the difference if your beloved BlackBerry Z10 falls into the hands of ne'er-do-wells. It's an easy enough precaution to take, even if it makes things slightly more annoying on a day-to-day basis. BlackBerry Protect can also help you take care of a lost phone, or even track it down via GPS. Once you've done that, you may even feel confident enough to store other passwords on there through Password Keeper. 

How to set a BlackBerry Z10 device password
Using Password Keeper on BlackBerry 10

Install BlackBerry Link

BlackBerry Link

The desktop software for BlackBerry is an invaluable addition for making sure your device data is backed up and synced. Link can help you manage storage, install OS updates, and otherwise get the very best out of your BlackBerry Z10. 

Download BlackBerry Link
How to back up and restore your BlackBerry Z10 with Link

Load your music

Listening to music on the BlackBerry Z10

The BlackBerry Z10 is a fine music machine, and can handle a locally-stored collection as well as streaming from the cloud. The BlackBerry Z10 comes with a set of fine earbuds if you don't have any already, and universal search makes it very easy to find that particular track you're looking for. 

Check out the best music apps for BlackBerry 10
Find out how to format a 64 GB microSD card for the BlackBerry Z10
How to purchase music from BlackBerry World
How to enable music shortcuts in BlackBerry 10

Practice typing

Typing on the BlackBerry Z10

Now, the BlackBerry Z10 keyboard will take a little bit of getting used to. There are some new gestures here that will be pretty unfamiliar to you, even if you've spent a lot of time with the PlayBook keyboard. That's okay, we've got plenty of guides to help you get the most out of the BlackBerry Z10 virtual keyboard. Pound out a few test e-mails, and start training that keyboard. Remember, it learns based on usage, so add custom words to the dictionary get used to swiping

Get a head start with these BlackBerry Z10 keyboard tips
How to add words to your personal dictionary
How to enable multiple languages for the BlackBerry Z10 keyboard

Pick up apps

BlackBerry World on the BlackBerry Z10

Now that all of the out-of-the-box software is set up, you'll want to see what else is out there. Lucky for you, we've had some time to find the very best that BlackBerry World has to offer. The games selection is absolutely great, and you'll find plenty of more productive apps out there for whatever your needs may be.

Check out our top BlackBerry Z10 apps and games
The best productivity and utility apps for the BlackBerry Z10
The best social apps for the BlackBerry Z10
The best news apps for the BlackBerry Z10


Notifications on BlackBerry 10

Start loading up wallpapers and setting up ringtones to really make the BlackBerry Z10 your own. It's easy enough to, and really makes the world of difference when you start bumping into other Z10 owners in the wild. It's useful too once you start setting up custom profiles for specific circumstances. 

Peruse our massive wallpaper gallery
Find new ringtones
How to use custom ringtones and alerts on the BlackBerry Z10
How to change notification profiles on your BlackBerry Z10

Start sideloading

Sideloading on the BlackBerry Z10

There's a whole sordid sexy underground of sideloading Android apps onto the BlackBerry Z10, and it can open up a whole range of options for those looking for more than what BlackBerry World has to offer. For those that were really entrenched in the Android ecosystem, this may be an absolute necessity. Even those that are only mildly curious shouldn't be worried about things being too complicated. Once you download the right software and know how to put your device into development mode, it's quite easy. 

Here's how to sideload Android apps onto the BlackBerry Z10 on PC
Here's how to sideload Android apps onto the BlackBerry Z10 on Mac
Making your way around Android apps on the BlackBerry Z10
How to back up and convert your Android device apps for the BlackBerry Z10

Get protected

BlackBerry Z10 case

You'll want to get some protection on your BlackBerry Z10 early on. Nothing sucks more than dinging up your new phone the first week after getting it. We've got plenty of screen protectors and cases to chose from, so go ahead and find some the fit your style.

Shop BlackBerry Z10 accessories


After all of that you're good to go! Let us know how you're doing with your new BlackBerry Z10 in the comments, and be sure to hop in the forums if you've got any questions. 

Log into the BlackBerry Z10 forums!

Reader comments

The first ten things to do with your new BlackBerry Z10


I know, because all of the others out there are worthless crap. Just toys that can't get things done. At all.

I think it's great that people are excited about the Z10 and BB10, but to basically call it the first "real smartphone" when it's not even on par with last year's android and ios models (it's a great phone, but let's just stay realistic for a second), makes you just sound like a clueless FANBOY. Why does the competition have to be "crap" for the Z10 to be "great"?

Forgive me for the misunderstanding, the z10 to ME is the first real Blackberry smartphone.

All my past BB's (currently rocking a 9810 - 9900 & 9860 collecting dust).. never felt like I could do much with them... I guess mostly because of the apps... Always depressing to see some commercial, website, business, ect.. offering their app and only supporting iOS and Android. Just hope BB10 catches on enough so that we get those cool apps/tools. Thankfully we can sideload most but native is always better... Though Android 4.1 support will help alot.

This is the biggest piece of junk to hit the market in some time! do your research on this before spending the money and you will buy something else!

I sat here trying to think of something else to add to the list... got nothing. Well done Simon

then listen/watch your music/movies on your tv...wirelessly....

take some cool photos using awesome camera and its time shift feature

show it off to your friends and make them switch

Is there a way to save this article to my account? sort of like subscribing or do i just have to book mark it? There is a lot of good information here Simon all in one article.

Yes it would be great.

Any of the Crackberry Team reading this? Is this possible for the new Crackberry? Especially on mobile versions.

Maybe not the best thing to do but.. you can then post a comment like "* TAGGED FOR LATER" first... then be nice and actually comment under it so its not spamy... Then you can click on your username and see your post history. It only shows the last 10 or so comments but i guess its another way... bookmarks might be best or better yet.. email the link to yourself... then you can read it on your new z10 once you get your email setup..

FYI: Not sure if ya'll are familiar with Ghost Armor, but they are the best in my experience. Example: Put a screen protector on my Playbook. Gave my old Playbook to my dad and got a new one. I removed the Ghost Armor from that one and put it on my new one... still fresh till this very day! Can't beat it plus you get a LIFETIME WARRANTY! I'll be stopping by a Ghost Armor kiosk first thing.

I just have to wait for Radio Shack to call tomorrow so I can pick up my new baby! Your article is right on time, Simon! I still haven't found a case I like though. A little worried about that. I'm too excited to sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1. Test the flash player on
2. Test it in more detail
3. Drop-test
4. Disappointed to use my Nokia 6410 again.

Posted via CB10

Bro? A little credit for all the ladies rocking the z10 please!!!

Need to try side loading still...

Posted via CB10

the picture shows the android os on the z10, how do you do that? im curious as to how it would look. can someone send me the bar or what ever it is i need to put it on my z10

Ok so am I alone in taking my z10 to a pub, inviting all my friends for a beer, getting them settled with a beer, then flipping out the z10 and giving them all a big middle finger in their faces for saying blackberry was dead?

Seems like it might just be me..

Posted via CB10

You definitely wouldn't be the only one. To some degree, we've done it in some form or another. In meetings, in other public places like the subway, train, buses...... However I do find it rather odd, why can't we just pick up a smartphone of our choice and enjoy it for what it is? We're not critical of others for buying one brand of car versus another, so why do it for an electronic device? Mind blowing if you ask me...

Set of fine ear buds? Ye gods, Simon. The very first thing I do when I buy a BlackBerry is toss those crappy things! They are worse than bad.

Posted via CB10

I can't wait to get my hands on one of these new BB10 beauties.
Oh and...
"not even close to 1st and don't give a.... " :)
Let's go BB!

Ummm... the link to download Blackberry Link isn't working. Goes to a 404 page. Anyone else seeing this?

You forgot one important thing...

Before getting carried with registering accounts and downloading apps, make sure....

You are connected to WIFI...

Awesome phone, with an awesome operating system. Love every part of my Z10 ( stormtrooper) its no just a smartphone its a Super-Smartphone. Keep moving. # BB10believe.

Posted via CB10

So I walked in to Queens Center Mall Best Buy Mobile today during my lunch break and I find out that they have my phone but I can't have it till 3/22/13. I worked 12hr knowing my z10 was in the same building as me and I got to wait 24hr to get my hands on it. I wanted to cry

Thanks Simon, got that bookmarked on my PlayBook... Now, if I can just get Vodafone Netherlands to confirm when they'll ship mine.... Should be soon, but no definite date has been mentioned, while earlier announcements said March 25th... That, I fear, won't be happening..... Aaargh!!!!

Yes, I believe they retracted the story and the writer clarified that it's not that BlackBerry failed the tests, the phone just hasn't been available long enough to complete the tests they have for it. No worries. We all know it'll pass with flying colors!

Unfortunately this kind of rumours are hitting the news when things are suddenly looking good for BlackBerry, good reviews and positive reports on sales numbers. Please see, and spread the word, of this link from cesg setting the facts straight.

While we are at the subject, there's another so called "News" flying around about the Pentagon replacing all their BlackBerries with ios products.
Not true. Sure they will have devices from other platforms as well (already have today) but this is hardly any news. Any company large enough would look to implement more than one os in their organization. BlackBerry is still the os with the highest level of security cleared and for some BlackBerry will be the only reliable choice for a long time ahead as for others, they might have a position where security is not that big of a thing when it comes to mobile device.

Posted via CB10

I don't think it is prudent to encourage people to 'sideload' apps on the Z10 for the simple reason that 'sideloaded' apps give inferior experiences.

What CrackBerry and other such forums should be doing is to highlight why developers should code native apps for the Z10. Encouraging this Android port malarkey is to make it seem like there's something wrong even before folks have started.

Posted via CB10

Absolutely - Blackberry has announced a few times that both Skype and Instagram will be coming to the Z10. In fact, I'm currently running a side-loaded version on instagram on my Z10 and it works great! Skype was announced back on January 30th by Thor himself. All good things come to those who are patient! :)

You can sideload an Android port of Instagram in the meantime...Skype is definitely coming, Instagram native app may take a bit. I have it sideloaded on my Z10 and it works great.

I've never understood the want for downloading wallpapers. Surely you'd want to use something of your own creation?

Posted via CB10

well, not everyone is creative in that way, and others may not have the patience or motivation to do so haha. Me, im all about creative expression!

Nice article. I think a little more attention should be brought to BlackBerry Protect, though. Set it up, have it make backups, and be able to do things like find your phone (if lost or stolen), lock it remotely, and even wipe it if it does end up gone forever. It's not perfect, but every little bit of added protection is well worth it.

Another thing i would do first is make sure the software version is up to date. That way you can have the best user experience possible right away. Then I would go into setting up all my accounts and so forth.

Anyone know how to setup icloud so that calendar and contacts will sync?

Also how can you adjust the download Window for Gmail? It looks like I'm only getting messages from the last few days.


Posted via CB10

i HAVE BEEN EXCITED FOREVER waiting for the release of this phone. I have loved the Playbook and i have been loyal to frustration and now i am waiting one more week. I have only one question: is there a wireless sync to pc calender? I ask because my husband has the iphone and I love how everything on his phone goes right to his very active calender on ipad and Mac. Being that we are both in sales, I wonder does my revered BB have this capability? Or in other words, what is the extent of its ecosystem?

The only thing I would add to the list is get a spare battery and keep it charged and keep it handy. I know that battery life has improved A LOT since the OS update but it doesn't hurt to have a plan B. I've had mine for about 6 weeks now. It is truly a great device but that is still my advice.


I had my device set up "for me" at my carrier store, and I had to discover the tutorial videos myself by just browsing around the apps... it would have been GREAT for someone to tell me "there are five tutorial videos in the Setup app" which I would have watched immediately".

I think we all know how to use the gestures (now) but it's different enough from the PlayBook that I think EVERYONE who picks up a Z10 and doesn't have the benefit of a live tutorial by a human should watch them... only takes a couple of minutes, but it's vital to getting up and running quickly.

There's one thing you guys forgot in the top ten list... download and install the CrackBerry app. It helps me a lot when i am not sure.

Posted via CB10

Got my new Z10 on Friday. So did my wife. We love them. There is some thing to get use to. hub++ needs some help. But them many thing i miss is rroyy's bb bridge for playbook. and a hacked OS to get around some ATT's bs. BBM video will not work over LTE because i have the old unlimited plan and not there new mobile share data plan. On my old 9810 I had a T-mobile OS that gave me tether with other the extra fees.

Does the BlackBerry Z10 offer:
Secure Boot Chain
Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR)
Application Sandboxing
Data Execution Prevention
Mobile Device Management APIs (allowing third party MDM)

z10- can you connect to the internet through wifi without turning the data services on like in android?
my old bb won't connect to the internet if the data services is turned off.
sorry for such a noob question. Thanks.! :)

just went from the bold 9900 on Verizon to the Z10, can anyone suggest an app as good or better then vz navigator?

I love this phone, totally rocks, and well worth the wait. I think those 10 things were pretty much in the right order although I would have put protect yourself earlier especially if, like myself you like to live dangerously (no insurance lol) . Good stuff.

Posted via CB10

I'm very frustrated with it! I have had it 4 days and it doesn't always do what it's supposed to do. Online info is limited - I even printed the online manual with no luck, it doesn't go into detail. Sometimes I have to keep swiping before it works. Only 1 rep at my local AT&T store has the BB 10 so I am going there to see if she can help me. I might return it.

The ongoing and now to over 5 hours to just try and setup an EMAIL account. So the Z10 is showing it is not much better than the Storm I had a few years back. Tried loading a few different email addresses and still will not take and work with any of them. Tried putting them in with the BlackBerry easy system setup didn't work and used the BlackBerry Advanced system and still NO WAY is this Z10 going to work with any of my emails. I tell you what I will take my time to go to a Service provider TECH and see if he can make this thing work. I just don't get it WHY does the IPHONE 5 take these emails and work in seconds of setup time and the Z10 well it's just going to loose customers for BlackBerry all over again.

I just set up 3 different email accounts in less than 5 minutes. Didn't use any tutorial, just following the simple steps providing in the Z10's blackberry hub.

Please help! I've had my lovely new Z10 a little over a month now, and apart from this one problem, I love it. The problem I have : every time someone calls me, their number is displayed & not their name.
How do I fix this??

Posted via CB10

Did you enable encryption and select to encrypt your contacts? This would be the reason why your contacts do not show a name. At least it was on BB7 and earlier. I haven't tested it yet on blackberry 10

Hey man, thanks for that! Its really the greatest smartphone experience I had after my iPhones, Nexus devices and Lumia it is really great with all those gestures ... I just love Blackberry for this device :) Thanks to Thorsten Heins he is my new Steve Jobs brought some innovation to mobile computing! :)

Great Write up lots of useful info in one place! I forgot what CB had to offer after having my torch for so many years. Gotta learn the Z10 now.

After the new update there seems to be an issue with connecting to the BB link had to reinstall.. Also trying to sideload turned on the development mode but not connecting..

Just got my new BBz30 today. Spent a couple hours manually inputting all my contacts, as I upgraded from a regular phone.
Really starting to like it a lot already!
Can't wait to try some apps!

I love my z10. At first I thought I'd have problems with the keyboard, but it was easy. The phone really does learn your typing style and even specific words you you use a lot. It's almost as if the phone is reading your mind and will suggest just the word you were planning to use so all you have to do is simply click on the suggested word. The z10 is also lightening fast. I mean instant turnover. It also makes watching videos a dream with it's clarity and loud speakers. I use this phone for everything I used to use my Laptop for
Keep up the good work BlackBerry! Gloria. Plano, Texas

I would like to buy the z10 unlock, anyone know how I can find the discount code for blackberry Canada? Thanks.

I need a help,
i just got to know that the official os 10.2.1 is out now. i am living in india using z10 stl100-3.which i bought from U.S. The model which launched here in India was STL100-1. Earlier i updated my device to os 10.2 by a link provided by J. Sanders using an autoloader. So now. i just wanted to know that how should i update my device to the latest os 10.2.1 as i didn't get an OTA notification about an update? i also tried updating using Blackberry Link but it says that 'u've got the latest available device software.' Please help?

Dear Crackberry-ans,
As a Dutch BlackBerry user ( 9780/9900/Q10) I just bought myself a Z10 (a second hand one but bought with the assurance it should be 4G). After receipt I checked the Z10 and in stead of a 4G version, it appears to be a 3G version (with asking about this issue I assume that North America/USA+Canada have the same G-system). Do I have a big problem or is it a limited one being that I just don"t have the 4G speed of data transmission?
Would anyone be so kind to advise me on this issue??

yours sincerely