Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dialing Words and Using Directory Asistance on Blackberry QWERTY Keyboards

One problem I occasionally run into with my Blackberry is how to "dial" words or use directory assistance with its keypad.

Let's say you are having trouble sleeping and need to call 1-800-MATTRES. You know to leave off the last S for saving but on a Blackberry it is not obvious what phone number is associated with the word "MATTRES".

The Blackberry keys are laid out in QWERTY format and does not show the standard "phone number key to letter" mappings where for example 2 is A, B, or C and 8 is T, U, or V. Simply spelling the words with the letter keys will not work.

The same issue arises when doing name look-ups in a phone directory assistance system. These depend on the tone of the number keys being pressed and it is assumed that the user can easily convert the letters to numbers as they are printed on all standard phone key pads.

Turns out there is a very easy solution for this on Blackberry. Simply hold down the ALT key and type the letter key you want. It will convert the letter press into the desired number press.


msheeley said...

ah nice tip. I just tried that out on the HTC G1 and it also works with Android.

bill byrne said...

Dude, this drives me nuts on my Moto Q (which is a horrible phone, btw).

Ambeer1 said...

dood, you saved me! you rock

Anonymous said...

if you have a blackberry curve you can dial numbers like 1-800-whatever by going to the dial screen and hold down the alt key while using the qwerty keyboard. the phone then automatically dials the corresponding number for the letters.