Back in the days when I owned a normal, everyday flip phone, one of my favorite things was to create custom ringtones and text alerts for each contact. It let me know what was coming before I even pulled the phone out of my pocket. Call from work? Fuhgetabout it. I could just reach in my pocket, silence the call, and leave it be.
Once I picked up my BlackBerry, though, I didn’t find that luxury easy to come by. There are profiles, sure. But there didn’t seem to be a straightforward way to set alerts for specific contacts. It took a little trial and error, and a lot of Googling, before I finally got it down.
Setting just a ringtone for a specific contact
This is actually easy, though those coming from standard cell phones might not be used to the language. If you just want to change the ringtone for a specific contact, just go to the Profiles icon, and click the trackball. This brings up your normal list of profiles. Scroll all the way down to Advanced and click in the trackball.
Once there, hit the Menu button, and go to New Exception. Give it a name, and then scroll down to the From field. Click in the trackball and hit Add Name. This will allow you to add a contact from your address book.
To keep things simple, you can just check the Customer Phone Tune box, and change the tone to whatever you want. Then hit Save. You’ll notice on the Advanced page along the bottom, it will say Use Active Profile Except For: followed by a checkbox for Important Calls, and one for your new exception.
Don’t misunderstand, though. The active profile will still be used, as long as you left that in the Use Profile field in the Exception page. Only the ringtone will change. So if you have your active profile set to vibrate three times and then ring, that’s what the exception will do. The only change is that the ringtone will be different.
Creating a new profile for further customization
If you want to change the way the phone rings, or add other custom alerts for a contact, you’ll have to create a new profile. You can do this by pressing the Menu button in the Advanced screen. A menu will pop up. You’ll select New Profile.
Give the profile a name. Any name will do. You can then scroll down and set up all kinds of custom alerts. If you click in the trackball on, say, SMS Text, you’ll go to the options screen. Here you can change all of the options for in-holster and out of holster alerts. Want this contact to vibrate only? You can do that. Want to totally silence the profile? That’s easy, too.
For example, I created a profiled called Fam. I changed the Phone to a different ringtone than normal, and did the same with text messages. After that, I hit the back button and hit Save. Once back at the Advanced screen, Fam was added to the bottom of the profile list.
To add contacts for this profile click the menu key and, as above, click New Exception. Follow the instructions above. Since this is a profile for my family, I named the first exception Sis. In the From field I clicked in the trackball and added the Sister contact. Under Use Profile, I changed it to Fam. I also unchecked the Custom Phone Tune box, since I already set it in the profile. After that, I scrolled back to the top, clicked in the trackball, and hit Save.
Back at the Advanced screen, Sis was added to the Use Active Profile Except For screen. Repeat the process for any other people you wish to add to that profile. The main thing to remember is that profiles allow you to change all alert settings, and exceptions allow you to assign contacts to those profiles. That should clear up some confusion in language and process.
The only downside I see is that if you use a few different profiles and a good number of exceptions, the profiles page can get pretty long. Then again, it’s not like we don’t scroll through tons of pages on our BlackBerry devices every day.
Give it a try, and send us some feedback, let us know how it works.