BlackBerry Priv

While BlackBerry 10 has a very gesture based navigation style, Android does not. But, on the BlackBerry Priv there is one area gestures very much still come into play. On Lollipop, a press and swipe up from the on-screen home button takes you to Google Now by default. BlackBerry went a step further and added extra functionality to this area, and better yet, left it open to you to customize.

Here's what you need to know.

  • Either from the app drawer or the notification tray, open up "Settings."
  • Scroll down until you see an option for "Swipe shortcuts."
  • Tap on this.
  • The screen you see now will let you select options for the left and right shortcut circles. Tap on each one individually.

You can make these go away by tapping "Clear" next to the icon for whatever is currently assigned to that spot. Note, the center spot assigned to Google Now by default cannot be changed here. On our devices the default was BlackBerry Device Search on the left and BlackBerry Hub on the right. The Hub in particular, BlackBerry tells us, was defaulted there because it's as close as they could make it to accessing it on BlackBerry 10.

What you can do with each spot depends on how much you have on your phone. You can open any app you want, for example. You can also assign a speed dial contact, a shortcut to start sending a message or, and here's the extra cool part, choose from a whole host of shortcuts that BlackBerry has pre-defined on the phone. From sending a BBM to starting a new Google Sheets document and plenty of places in between. If there's something you use a lot and you want quick access go on and assign it here.