Key functionality

In most cases, an action occurs when users press a key, not when they release a key.

Key

Use

Alt

Type the alternate character on a key on BlackBerry devices with a physical keyboard.

Convenience

Open an application or take a picture using the camera application.

BlackBerry devices have a two-stage Convenience key. If you are developing an application, make sure that the application opens when users press the Convenience key all the way down.

End/Power

End a call or press and hold the End/Power key to turn on or turn off BlackBerry devices.

Users can also use the End/Power key for navigation. For example, if users press the End/Power key in an application, the Home screen appears. If users return to the application, the screen that appeared before users left the application appears.

Escape

Users can perform the following actions:

  • Navigate to the previous screen or state. For example, pressing the Escape key dismisses the current screen and displays the previous screen, dismisses a menu or dialog box, or zooms out one level in a picture, map, web page, or attachment.
  • Stop an action or dismiss results. For example, pressing the Escape key stops loading a web page in the browser, stops a search, or dismisses search results.
  • Close an application that has a screen with tabs. Pressing the Escape key does not display the previous tabs.
  • Close the browser and media applications by pressing and holding the Escape key.

On BlackBerry devices with a physical keyboard, avoid using the Escape key to allow users to clear the text in a field. Allow users to press the Shift key and the Delete key to clear the text in a field instead.

Lock

Lock the keyboard or lock the screen on BlackBerry devices with a touch screen.

Menu

Users can perform the following actions:

  • Open the menu for a screen in an application.
  • Initiate an action when a menu item is highlighted.
  • Initiate an action when a button is highlighted in a dialog box.
  • Switch applications by pressing and holding the Menu key.

Mute

Mute a call, or pause and mute the sound from an audio or video file.

Send

Users can perform the following actions:

  • Open the phone application.
  • Answer a call.
  • Call a highlighted phone number.

Shift

On BlackBerry devices with a physical keyboard, highlight text by pressing the Shift key and moving a finger on the trackpad or touch screen.

Space

On BlackBerry devices with a physical keyboard, users can perform the following actions:

  • Type a space.
  • Select a radio button, check box, or drop-down list item.
  • Insert a period (.) when pressed twice in a text field.
  • Insert a period (.) in a web address field or an email address field.
  • Insert an at sign (@) in an email address field.

Users can also use the Space key as a shortcut to move down a screen in an application.

Speakerphone

Turn on or turn off the speakerphone during a call on BlackBerry devices with a physical keyboard.

Symbol

Open the symbol list on BlackBerry devices with a physical keyboard.

Volume Down

Volume Up

Users can perform the following actions:

  • Decrease or increase the volume.
  • Play the previous or next audio or video file.
  • Zoom in to or out from a subject before taking a picture.
  • Press and hold the Volume Down key to send an incoming call to voice mail when the BlackBerry device is inserted in a holster.
Related concepts
Next topic: Typing indicators

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