When you first start using a BlackBerry, you'll notice that certain behaviors, like plugging your BlackBerry into a charger, connecting it to your PC, or pressing the Mute key, trigger your device to behave differently. In order to make the most efficient use of your BlackBerry, it is critical that you understand the purpose of certain modes, like Mass Storage Mode, Bedside Mode, Standby Mode, and Airplane Mode. Here's an overview of each.
Mass Storage Mode
When you connect your BlackBerry to your PC via a USB cable for the first time, you will be prompted to turn on Mass Storage Mode. If you choose Yes, your BlackBerry will allow your PC to mount its memory card like a removable disk drive. Your BlackBerry will then act like a MicroSD card reader, and you can browse the files on it from Windows Explorer. If you're using OS X, the MicroSD card will be mounted like a removable drive directly on the desktop.
Browsing your files this way makes it exceedingly easy to retrieve the files you want, or save files from your PC directly to your device. If you have a limited data plan, it is preferable to transfer larger files to your device this way. When you are done browsing the files on your device, eject the MicroSD card from your PC before you disconnect your BlackBerry, or you may damage the data saved on it.
Bedside Mode was incorporated into BlackBerry OS as of version 4.6, and it allows you to control certain device options when you plug it in to charge. You can turn Bedside Mode on in the Clock options. Once you enable it while charging, you can change the following options to keep your BlackBerry from disturbing you:
- Disable LED
- Disable Radio
- Dim Screen
- Sound Profile
Standby Mode puts your BlackBerry in a deeper state of sleep than when it idles to conserve energy. Before OS 5 was released, pressing the Mute button on the top of the device would put it into sleep mode. Earlier releases of OS 5 functioned much the same, but newer releases have removed that function from the Mute key in favor of holding down the */A key. This locks the BlackBerry and puts it into a deep sleep. To unlock it, press the Lock button on the top of the device.
Airplane Mode, on older BlackBerrys, disabled the device's connection to the cellular network. Since Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networking have been introduced to the BlackBerry, Airplane Mode has been removed. Since most airlines require you to turn off all network connections during flights, you can accomplish this by opening Manage Connections and choosing Turn All Connections Off.