I recently met a family that all have blackberries. All six members of the family have a bbm group for saying things like “suppers ready” etc. Don’t you miss the good old days of just tinging a triangle?

What I realized when they all told me they loved their blackberries, but they were slow all the time, was that they had almost every installed program running at once.

Often when people find their device slow, they pull the battery. In case you are unaware, as of 4.5.0 you can do a function just like alt-tab on your PC (or cmd-tab on mac) to show you everything currently active and running. If an application seems unresponsive, try to close it. If you cannot close the application, (>4.7.1) simply hold down the menu key, and change to a new one or go to home screen. If they application is truly dead, eventually the OS *should* kill it.

Pre-4.7.1 you have to go to the home screen, and hit the blackberry menu key (the little key that looks like the blackberry logo), then select “Switch application”. Post-4.7.1 you can simply hold down the menu key and an alt-tab-like menu pops up. Items within that menu are running and using memory/cpu. Go into them and close what you are not using!

*Note: Some applications like Phone/BBM/Browser etc will always run. Phone for example is a godlike process that cannot be closed. This makes sense when you think – “If my phone were locked up completely, I should still be able to phone 911.”

To use your blackberry efficiently keep in mind that hitting the red END key when in an application will simply push it to the background. Using the BACK key (to the left of END) will actually, majority of the time, close the application.

*Note: Browser cache and log clearing do not actually affect blackberry performance unless they are open and in the background. They have a maximum size they can get to and then they clear old entries automagically.

Hope this helps. It would be wonderful if RIM had a simple “How to use our multi-tasking” howto in the intro when the phone is first powered on.

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