Ever tried to watch a video and your display kept going dark because of the backlight timeout? The maximum time you can set it for is 2 minutes but normally I have mine set to 30 seconds to save on battery charge. What about when you’re a passenger* in a car using Google Maps or BlackBerry Maps to help with directions–same problem? Have to keep clicking the trackball to get the display to come back on? Well, there is an old BlackBerry app from years ago that I dug up that surprisingly works for the new 8130: BBLight. This app gives you several ways to keep your display lit when you want but with enough safeguard to keep from draining your battery.
First, if you don’t know about setting the backlight timeout, here’s how: Options > Screen/Keyboard > Backlight Timeout (10 sec. to 2 min.).
Apparently, years ago there was a series of apps that were very popular but got “yanked” due to a trademark dispute over a name. Well, those apps resurfaced in a software development site called SourceForge; you can download BBLight there. The download is a tiny (13.6 KB) ZIP file that must be unzipped before you can install it. If you don’t know about ZIP files, get help or contact me. After being unzipped, you get four files: BBLight.alx (a descriptor file), BBLight.cod (the program), and two text files that you can ignore. Remember where you unzip these files to, because you’ll need to locate them during installation.
You need to have the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software installed, as well as the Device Software for your model 8130 phone. I have another post on that, as Verizon Wireless, for one, does NOT inform users of the need for the Device Software. (This problem, and my solution for it, brings more visitors to my blog than any other single reason. Wish I could charge for that service!)
In the Desktop Manager program, you need to use the Application Loader to add this new app. You select the .alx file to make the installation happen, although it’s the .cod file that really gets installed. If you don’t know how all that works, get help or contact me.
One you get BBLight installed, your Home Screen will have a little light bulb icon present (it’s shown up above at the beginning of this post). Click that icon and you’ll get a screen like the screenshot below:
Now, what I do is to set the display to be always on only when I have external power applied, such as my car charger or my computer’s USB cable. That’s an especially safe way to do it because you can’t kill your battery running the display if the phone is connected to a power source.
Note there is an option for the display to come on when you remove the phone from its holster (the one that presumably comes with all 8130s), but to shut off when you replace the phone in the holster. Apparently, the holster has an embedded magnet that the phone can sense to know it’s back in the holster. If you’ve dumped the holster for a different case, that probably isn’t the option for you.
The other options are somewhat self-explanatory, but you should experiment with them to understand for certain how they work. I decided to write this post before I played with all those other options, although I think I know what they do. I’d love it if you return to post a comment about what you discover.
The only other thing to know is that when you press the Menu (BlackBerry) button, you can save your settings, and/or you can activate/deactivate BBLight. What’s cool is that you can choose a setting that fits your needs, then simply activate it when you need it, and deactivate it when you’re done.
Here’s a cool screenshoot of my display while it is on under BBLight control. Cool theme, huh? Like an iPhone. Ask me if you want to know where I got it. I might write a post on that later.
* Notice I said “passenger” instead of “driver.” I don’t recommend trying to drive and follow a map on your phone at the same time–too dangerous.