- How to create custom profiles
- How to create exceptions to profiles
- How to handle notifications that occur during the middle of a phone call
- How to set your phone to “do not disturb”
- Level 1 Notifications
PART 3, ADVANCED NOTIFICATION
If you’ve worked through the first two parts of this tutorial series, then you must be really hard-core to tackle Part 3. Actually, it is quite interesting even if you decide you don’t really need this advanced capability. It’s always good to know what’s there and have the freedom to take it or leave it.
In Part 2 we reviewed the standard profiles: Loud, Normal, Vibrate, Phone Only, and Off. We can edit any of those profiles to tweak them to our satisfaction. But in some cases, we might want to create a totally new profile. Let’s say we want to use our holster to indicate if we want to be disturbed by our phone or not. Let’s say that if the phone is IN the holster, we do NOT want to be disturbed by any kind of call, message, or other event. If the phone is OUT of the holster, we want settings like the Normal Profile.
Open the Profile icon, scroll to Advanced and click to see what profiles already exist. Below we see only standard profiles.
Press the Menu key and scroll to New Profile. Let’s name it HolsterDND (for Holster Do Not Disturb). Note that there are eleven reasons for notification, all of which potentially need to be edited to give you the notification profile behavior you desire.
To save time, let’s just look at one reason: a Phone call. Below I’ve already set everything the way I want. Out of Holster, I want a Tone, the Ringer_BBpro_1 ringtone, High volume. I’ll also use LED Flashing and Vibration.
However, for In Holster, I want my phone to do nothing at all. So, I set None (for tone or vibration) and Mute for volume.
Now, let’s discuss a point that might be confusing. If we scroll down just a tad further, we see a setting for Do Not Disturb. That sounds a lot like what we wanted in the first place, so why didn’t we just choose that? Who knows the answer? Right–that would apply to both In Holster and Out of Holster, which is not what we really wanted. We’ll cover that DND setting again later.
Save the profile you just edited.
Note the new icon for a custom profile, and how the Home Screen (at least for this theme) shows the name for this particular custom profile.
I recommend you test a custom profile before you come to rely on it, as it’s easy to make mistakes. Or sometime the profile just doesn’t work they way you expect. Better safe than sorry.
I think everyone has someone special whose calls or messages need to come through no matter what: spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, parent, children, babysitter, boss, etc. That’s what notification profile Exceptions are for. Exceptions take priority over any profile you can set except the Off profile. (I told you Notification Profiles were complicated: even Exceptions have an exception.) Your phone comes with one exception group already defined: Important Calls. However, you have to add contacts to it. Let’s start by exploring the Important Calls exception.
From the Home Screen, open Profiles. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Advanced. Scroll down to the Important Calls line.
Press the Menu key and select Edit. Scroll to the From line.
Press the Menu key and select Add Name. Find the name of an important person in your Address Book. Click it.
You can repeat the previous step until all your important persons are included in the From list. Scroll to the Use Profile line and click. Scroll to the profile you want to switch to when you get an important call, then click it.
If you want a particular ringtone to signify that an Important Call is coming in, then choose a custom ringtone: Scroll to the Custom Phone Tune line and click the checkbox. Scroll to the current ringtone name and click it. Scroll through the list of available ringtones and click your chosen tone.
Press the Menu key and click Save.
Lastly, click the checkbox to enable the Important Calls exception.
I think exceptions are more useful when they are more selective. Let’s say there are times you don’t want to be bothered by ANYbody except that one, superhot, somebody you would crawl over broken glass to get a call from. Let’s create an exception for that person.
Do Profiles > Advanced… > (press Menu key) > New Exception. Type in a descriptive name for this exception.
Scroll to the From line, do (press Menu key) > Add Name. From your Address Book, select the name of your special person.
Set the profile and custom phone tune you want to signify that special somebody is calling. Save those settings.
OK, I’ll bet you didn’t think of this one: what if you want to have all calls come through except one special jerk you really don’t have time to talk to. Repeat the steps above to obtain something like the below:
As seen above, if Ima Jerk calls or texts, the phone switches to the Off profile just for the jerk. Everyone else is allowed through with the Active Profile.
Notice that you can enable or disable any combination of exceptions, so you can hear from Hottie and screen out Jerk all at the same time. How cool is that?
[I'd love to hear from readers any imaginative Exceptions you come up with!]
PostScript, 2008-06-03: Thanks to a question by reader Andrew (see below), I discovered the following…
When you set a Custom Ringtone for a contact, that actually becomes an Exception in your BlackBerry Profiles. Let me show you…
First, let’s find my old friend Zzzyp Z. Zzzyrt, and set a Custom Ringtone for him.
Then, let’s go to Profiles > Advanced. We see in the screenshot below a newly created exception named “Calls from Zzzyp Zzzyrt.”
Now, Andrew asked what would happen if a contact was listed in an exception list but also had a custom ringtone set in the Address Book. Which ringtone wins out? I discovered by experiment that when a call comes in, the BlackBerry starts at the top of the exception list and works it way downward, scanning for that contact in all enabled exceptions. The first enabled exception it finds with that contact, it uses that ringtone.If you use lots of custom ringtones for your contacts, I’m afraid your exception list will be quite long and a bit clumsy to manage. I’m not sure this is a good design feature, but that’s how it is.
PostScript, 2008-06-06: My buddy Andrew (see below), has asked another question leading me to a significant discovery…
If you have (and enable) an Exception to allow an important caller (e.g., Girlfriend) through despite the Active Profile, what happens if your Active Profile is Quiet or Off? The answers are:
- Quiet: Exception will override Active Profile and important caller’s call will come through as desired.
- Off: The phone will remain silent (no ring or vibration) however, the important caller’s caller ID will come up on the screen with options to Answer or Ignore.
Notification (or Not) During Calls
OK, so there’s still more. What if you are on a phone call and:
- a Calendar event occurs and wants to notify you?
- a Task item comes due and wants to notify you?
- an SMS text message comes through and wants to notify you?
If you want to have these events possibly interrupt your calls, then do this: For each chosen Profile, edit Calendar, Task, and/or SMS Text to set Notify Me During Calls to Yes.
Do Not Disturb
Still not done. Suppose you want to create a profile where all kinds of messages come through but you don’t want to be disturbed by a phone call. Or maybe for a standard profile you temporarily want to not be disturbed by a call. Messages, yes; phone calls, no. For your chosen profile, edit the Phone setting named Do Not Disturb to be Yes.
Level 1 Notifications
As best I can determine, Level 1 Notifications have little application with the BlackBerry Pearl. BlackBerry Messenger (”PIN”) messages are apparently considered Level 1 Messages. Otherwise, this seems to be something that is becoming an obsolete feature. I could be wrong; if anyone knows different, please leave a comment. Here’s what RIM has to say about it: http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/articles/465/KB02459_f.SAL_Public.html.
At this point, we’ve covered everything about Notification that I’ve been able to figure out with my BlackBerry Pearl 8130. Some features we’ve covered I may never use but at least I know they’re there if I do need them. I hope I got it all right and didn’t miss anything important. And I hope you get lots of use out of what we’ve learned together!