How to use the 'Reply Now' feature on BlackBerry 10.2.1

Reply Now
By James Richardson on 29 Jan 2014 03:57 am EST

Ever had your BlackBerry ring and for whatever reason you've not been able to take the call? If like me and you hate listening to voicemail, BlackBerry 10.2.1 has the perfect solution - 'Reply Now'. The way this works - as you will see from the above image - is that when your BlackBerry receives a call you can't or don't want to answer you can press the small message icon that will be displayed and a selection of options will appear on-screen. 

You then just tap the response you wish to send and hey presto - the message is sent and the phone will stop ringing. According to BlackBerry your reply can be sent via SMS, email or BBM. I'm not totally sure how the phone decides which option to use as I carried out an experiment and was quite confused. I phoned myself and used the feature from BlackBerry to BlackBerry and it sent an SMS. Yet, when I got my friend with an iPhone to call me it sent him a BBM. Either way the 'Reply Now' function does its job and works well. 

You'll notice that you have three reply messages already set up by default but you can alter these to suit your needs. I suspect some comedy ones may be arriving on my BlackBerry very shortly! 

To get up and running just jump into your phone settings - select 'Reply Now', toggle on and alter your responses if you need to and you are good to go. 

Reply Now may not be the biggest and best feature in this latest version of BlackBerry 10 but it's one I'll be using, in particular when in the car. A nice touch BlackBerry - although just one of many in 10.2.1. 

Reader comments

How to use the 'Reply Now' feature on BlackBerry 10.2.1


Great Feature! There be been a lot of complaints about the new call screen though, let me be the First to say I like it.:D

TechCraze C0008DDD1 :)

From what I have seen in these screen shots I like so far also! I'm not sure what's so distasteful about it?

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

The old call screen was unique among mobile OSes, that and some people just don't like change. I had no issues with the old screen but I like the new screen too, i think it's classy.

Can we find someone through dialer like any android phone does.
I mean a predictive dialer.. is this feature available in 10.2.1

Posted via CB10

I like this new set up. I can now actually answer my phone on the first ring. Fantastic.!!!!!!

Posted via CB10

Fantastic and only normal, that should have been available with the roll out last year.I hated answering calls with that swipe up thing.

There will always be the bunch to complain and say what shouldve of been, well I say good job BlackBerry the os is coming together nicely

Posted via CB10

Just like the CB blog or feature view discussion (previous article), we should be able to toggle between the two. I prefer the swipe up/down thing.

It was cool and reminded me of my Nokia 7110, "The Matrix" style phone, where you slide the green keyboard cover down to answer a call. With the pre-10.2.1 versions I could have that awesomeness back, albeit virtual as a touchscreen feature.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Simply a great feature that illustrates once again how integrated the communication side of BB10 is. Very practical and concrete. This is how you win customers.

Posted via CB10

You do realize that most android phones already have that feature right?My note 3 does

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Wasn't this already available on BlackBerry os years before your note or other smartphones had this?

Posted via CB10

Yes. This feature was actually available in BB7, if I'm not mistaken. I seem to remember setting it up on my 9850.

You do realize that integrating features that other platforms have, in addition to BB's native features, might be enough to make BB10 a more attractive option for people looking for something different/new, right?

I was thinking the exact same thing. I haven't tested it but presumably it doesn't give you the options the same way it would if it were from a cell phone.

I think it's carrier specific. For example, sprint used a text to land line feature. The text is converted to a voice message. Not sure about the other carriers or if sprint still uses this. I will test it out sometime and I'm running a leaked version of 10.2. I read that the official update won't be available until mid or late February.

Posted via CB10

I asked about this a while back (been running the leak for a while) and was told it's available only if the calling number is classified as a mobile in your contacts list. Haven't really paid much attention to it since ;cause I don't use it that much.

One related "feature": if you don't want to respond at all and don't want to hear the ringer just tap the call screen anywhere to silence it.

Posted via CB10

Tapping to silence has always been available even before the switch. You may have had to tap on the bar rather than anywhere. I'm still waiting for the update so will test it out.

Posted from my awesome Q10

I prefer hitting the volume down button to silence the ringer. No chance of accidentally answering, or prematurely sending the call to voicemail.

Posted via CB10

Yes, but you had to know to ignore the call to get the option. Now you have a specific button, which removes a "think point".

Thanks for highlighting that useful feature. Just wondering if the software detects whether the other phone is capable of receiving SMS or not. If someone calls from a landline or a non-smartphone, would my phone try to auto-reply anyway or notify me in some way that it can't, if it doesn't find an email address for the caller in my Contacts? (I will probably have to get some friends to help me test this!)

Posted via my Q10, SQN100-2,

I am looking for an app ( available in BBOS) that automatically sends the reply if I don't reply/ignore/engaged. At the moment it is a two steps function, so you can't keep a conversation going ( whether you are on silent or normal) without having to attend that call. If you don't then the caller does not get the message. Not very good at All.

Posted via Z30.

What if you don't know the number (e.g. Dialer phoned you by mistake?) I don't want to send an auto-reply to someone I don't know.

If you don't recognize the number then don't tap an auto reply message. Instead, send it to voicemail. The choice is up to you, not the phone. ;)

Posted via CB10

I think DawnMills was referring to the app that redchilli88 wants to see: Automatically ending the incoming call and sending a reply when you are already on the phone. No input required, hence zero interruption of the current conversation.

I personally don't see a need for that app, but if someone did develop one, I'm sure you could set it to send a reply only to numbers already in your contacts. That way, you're not sending your email address or BBM to that cruise company.

Posted via CB10

Ragbert, my experience with it is that it sends an sms to the caller, it does not detect whether it is a landline or mobile, in the same way that if you text someone on a landline,the sms will go. But the receiver will not get it. I am not aware of the op experience of sending via BBM. I think it will depends on how the contact is set up in your contact database. By that I mean, before the advent of BBM for all, you could ( as a blackberry owner) have your contact via BBM, and the other person would get a text, but all your communications was inside BlackBerry Messenger (your side). OP, question for you, does your friend has BBM installed ??

Posted via Z30.

One could assume that it goes down a list of how to reach the number calling based on if the number calling is a contact or not.

Not a Contact:
-Always send SMS

Is a Contact:
-If contact has a BBM PIN send via BBM else
-If contact is calling from number labeled home or work & has a known email address send via Email else
-All other cases send SMS

Posted via CB10

Thanks for your reply, redchilli88. I suspect if someone calls from a non-SMS-capable phone, that BB10 will send the text msg anyway, but it will go down a black hole. But I'll know more once I can test this.

What would be great, is if it only tries SMS if it finds the caller's number listed as a mobil in the Contacts list, then looks for an email address, and if the Contact doesn't exist at all, sends the caller to Voicemail.

Posted via my Q10, SQN100-2,

Except if someone calls me from work, t will go down the list and potentially send it to the wrong person because we all have they same land line number with different extensions.

There should be a more detailed explanation from BB to let us know how the priority works for this feature. Then we can decide as users how to best deploy it.

Don't get me wrong, I do like the feature. I just need to better understand how it works from a functional standpoint.

In reply now option has the first sentence of the message in english and cannot be changed "I'm busy I can't take your call" then a custom line for your own message.

The above under "priority calling", so a hard to find option.

Also, if you change device language the reply message still had the same starting message in english. Very unclever to say the least when they designed or copy the feature for the first time.

My carrier still doesn't sent 10.2.1 to see if Reply Now option is international friendly and stop showing the same useless initial line that cannot be changed.

Good thing that now they thought of giving a specific option menu called Reply Now and not Priority Calling. Usability....usability... :-)

Posted via CB10

Where do you find that menu on a z10? I went through all of the settings and can't find the Reply Now.

Swipe down from the top while you're in the phone app - select "settings" option at the top on the right. Reply now is in that list.

Yes it is. What OS version are you running? "Reply Now" is listed separately from "Priority Calling" on my Z10. In fact, it's listed right under Priority Calling in the list of settings.

It's not under the general "settings". You have to open the phone app first, then swipe down from the top and press "settings". This will give you a list of "phone settings" specifically for the phone app. Priority calling and reply now are 5th and 6th on the list on my phone (Verizon). You must have 10.2.1 for these functions.

I have found my settings and would like to use the Reply Now feature, which is turned on. However, the prerequisite for Reply Now is Priority Calling. In the settings, it is turned off and grayed out meaning I can not switch it on. Did you have to get Verizon to activate this feature on your smartphone?

I am on the phone now with the support people and after being put on and off hold a few times, they seem to be stumped. Any guidance?

Thanks, -dougp01

My priority calling feature is also off and greyed-out so that shouldn't effect your ability to use the quick reply. When I use quick reply, the message is sent to what I believe is the pre-stablished priority order. If the caller is in your bbm contacts, the quick reply will be sent to them via bbm. If not it will be sent by text. My main point is that activating priority calling is NOT a prerequisite to use the quick reply feature. Hope this helps.

Have you tried to use quick reply?

BTW, when you receive a call, you will see an icon for bbm or a text message (based on the priority mentioned above) to the lower right of the incoming call screen. It's easy to miss. To send the quick reply, tap the icon, and your message options appear. Tap the option to send it.

Yes, thank you, I am already aware of all this. And I have the icon you mention on the phone screen. It allows me to go through the steps of selecting a message as well.

The problem is deeper. While I have this visible on screen, it doesn't actually work with one of my BBM connected contacts. The call was sent to standard voicemail regardless of my selecting one of the messages. The online Blackberry help documents say this:

"Turn on the Reply Now feature. You can send a Reply Now message to any caller that is a BBM contact, or to any caller that has a mobile number listed in your contact list.

1. In the Phone app, swipe down from the top of the screen.
2. Tap Settings > Priority Calling.
3. Set the Reply Now switch to On.

Once you've turned on the Reply Now feature, you can also edit the default Reply Now messages."

The concern is, I have only one switch in Priority Calling settings screen and have now learned there is also supposed to be an Reply Now enable switch. It simply does not exist on my Z10 or on my wife's Z10. Tech support at Verizon says it will be available in the next OS update, myver is now They also told me an update should be in the next few months. Not holding my breath....

First of all I'm on OS version..2122. I don't have. 2174 yet. That may be the issue. Not sure how or when you received that from Verizon. But more importantly, from the instructions you listed above, it appears you're trying to access the "reply now" feature through the "priority calling" function. That's not required for me. After selecting settings from the phone app (dial pad screen, or call history), the "reply now" option is listed just below the priority calling option - reply now is not something you select after selecting priority calling. If you're not seeing this, the difference may be the OS version. If you're using a later OS version from another carrier, that may be the issue. Or if you received it from Verizon, it may have screwed things up for the reply now function. In any case the online instructions you cited are incorrect for my phone.

Mcberry33, put your own message in the blank space in whatever language you want. When the phone rings, the three options will come up, the English one, yours, and the third. Tap on yours and if it is in tibetan I will that text. Not the others.

Posted via Z30.

the media used to send the fast answer (SMS, email, BBM) depends on how the caller is stored in your contacts. The goal here is to avoid sending SMS when alternate method can be used, because SMS [to a land line] could either not work or imply extra charges for you and/or the caller.
I tried to experiment as you did but I believe the contacts "auto-link" are cheating the experimentation, as even with no cell # in my own contacts, it ended with a text message (so I believe BB10 can "understand" you're calling yourself).
Asked for extra info ... waiting for a "logic decision chart" or such.

Yes i dont like too much this new call screen, but this feature of reply now i already used in the option priority calls so where's the new?

but i use it for all the calls, when i just ignore one call that option was available already i guess i'm have to wait for the update to see what are the changes

just to raise the momentum after this update why not the make a documentary which among the smart phone is hard to be hacked / or hackers has the difficulty or can not hacked.

Great feature but BlackBerry needs to work in the VOICE commander and perfect it. We should be able to click Reply Now and be able to send a voice note preferably dictated without typing it.

I've still not got the update 10.2.1 and seeing these new features in pictures is killing me arrrggghhhh.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

Don't feel badly. Tmo has not done so either.

Addict for 10 years, but it may be time to get off this drug.

I've been using this functions since loading the leak. I absolutely love it. The only drawback, is that people who are calling don't expect a response so soon, and sometimes still want to call again.

Posted via CB using my Q10

From the help menu....

"By default, if the caller is a BBM contact, the Reply Now message is sent as a BBM message. If the caller isn't a BBM contact, the Reply Now message is sent as a text message."

It will use BBM if the contact who is calling is linked to BBM. Otherwise it shoots an SMS.

Posted via CB10


The method used to reply to your caller depends on how you most often associate with him/her. If you BBM your contact daily but never email, then a BBM is sent. If SMS is your method, then SMS it is.
Your BlackBerry sets this up intuitively and requires no setup from you.


(I should read through the other comments first; many others have replied already.)

With the ability to slide left/right, the caller picture ID is clearly visible and not obstructed. As for reply-now to a landline... as a Telus customer... we have 'text-to-landline'; the number is called back and my text is read out.

Well fwiw it doesn't work on my VZW Z10 - the suggested msgs are there but I'm unable to select either the default msg or anything I type in. No biggie really but...?

Posted via CB10

I believe that feature has been there since OS 10.1, the only change I've noticed is the addition of email support.

Posted via CB10

If you have a BBM PIN saved under the contact calling you, it will send a BBM instead of a text. And vice versa. Pretty cool actually.

Posted via CB10

Off topic, please forgive me.

How did OP get the dark theme on the phone screens?

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 on the Rogers network.

Well, I now realize why they changed the call screen. This option isn't compatible with the previous screen. I still prefer the previous screen, though!

I don't see a Reply Now switch in the Settings List. Can someone direct me to where? Thx

Posted via CB10

That is pretty cool because for me my phone only seems to ring when I'm driving! LOL.

Posted via CB10

I wish to disable using SMS for this Replay-Now feature, as it may implies charges, especially if the caller is calling from another country or another carrier network.

I didn't think I'd like the new call screen from previous screen shots I've seen before the official update, but I must say after seeing it in action. I like it

Posted via CB10

The way this works. If the contact is I. Tour list and has BBM information it will default to sending BBM message.

If the contact does not have BBM info, it will send as sms.

Posted via CB10

Sheesh ignore my prior gripe I figured it out...response options are selected when a call is received, not in advance. clever but I thought that's what voicemail is for.

Posted via CB10

I could read all the posts but what I did all I figure out was.... " wa wa wa my android did that.... my android did this...." do you guys have any idea that BlackBerry was the first smartphone and basically ios and android have been stealing from BlackBerry and each other, no one's innovating, just refining imo.
The game changer was BlackBerry then Apple with full touch, of course Samsung just floods the market with copy cat devices and infringes on copy right laws world wide. The day I turn on my BlackBerry flat screen lcd, do my laundry in my BlackBerry washer dryer and grab a cold beer from my BlackBerry fridge is the day I leave BlackBerry. They make phones and I need a phone!! Sorry for my rant but this is a BlackBerry forum not a pedestal for a bunch of android nerds I thought?!

Posted via CB10 on the Z30

And I apologize to the helpful posters in here, I find a ton of help with tips by the BlackBerry faithful especially with these new OS updates! I like the new changes to the call screen!

Posted via CB10 on the Z30

Just a thought.. an SMS to a landline costs me 15c... not sure how to differentiate between a landland and cell to avoid getting hit with a fee (or am being too picky about 15c? )

Posted via CB10

This is the Best Feature. Unforunately i maybe only get 10 calls a month on my phone now (since everyone texts) but damn it's awesome!!..

Can be fun too....

Dude my dad got thje new update on his Z10 and I still didn't on my Q10 bc I swapped my verizon sim out! He has battery % and when ppl call u swipe left or right or can hit the message button and do a quick reply! I need to put the verizon sim in mine and see if it'll let me do the update with that sim! My Q10 is a verizon phone but it came unlocked so I have a tmobile sim in it and the verizon in my iPhone 5s so I can't use my verizon sim since it's too small

Posted via CB10

I was running a leaked OS for 4 weeks and I didn't even know about this feature. Nice job bb!

Posted via my Z10

If you want to use your bbm to respond your contact has to be linked. It gives bbm as the default. Awesome

Posted via CB10

Great work blackberry, I never used the leak but using the official update. Works great, no complaint.

Posted via CB10

If the incoming caller has a contact tied to a BBM pin, it will default to replying via BBM. If not then it'll send an sms to the caller. Makes me want to clean up my address book, up until now when I added a new BBM contact I didn't link it to that persons existing contact in my address book because there wasn't any need to.

Posted via CB10

So this is for incoming calls? You mean these devices have voice calling capability???
Seriously, no one calls me, if they do, it's likely more urgent, so I answer using my car Bluetooth.

Question I have is for incoming BBM/Texts, is there an app, similar to what sprint was advertising (with NASCAR's darling Dale Jr.) that I can easily activate when getting in driver seat, other than changing my BBM status, which very few read, that would send them a message saying I can't respond cos I'm driving?

Posted via CB10

Thank you for this article James! It helped me turn it off since I didn't use it a lot! Good to know the option is there if I need it!

What happened to the ability to forward a voicemail via email attachment. I used this option all the time due to a voicemail coming to me containing information many other people need to have. I would simply forward the voicemail - it would be "documented". Did Blackberry soil the bed on this or did the carrier opt out? My carrier is Tmobile.