If you’ve become one of among the hundreds of thousands who have purchased the BlackBerry Storm, congratulations. You’re the proud owner of a spiffy device from one of the top smartphone manufacturers in the world — that is, unless you hate it, in which you can replace “proud” with “disgruntled.” In any case, if you’ve recently purchased a Storm, you might be asking, “What should I do now?” It’s a pretty common one. There’s just so much you can do that it can get overwhelming. We’ve previously talked about things you can do after buying a new BlackBerry, but that applies to QWERTY models. The touchscreen Storm is a different beast. Before we jump into the neat part of the post, make sure to check ouat the above-linked guide so you can check out how to set up your BIS and email accounts. Most of the time that will be taken care of you at the time of purchase, but in case you buy one off Amazon or any other online outlet, you might have to do it yourself. Check out the guide for a basic walk-through of the process.
Adding new themes
What’s a cool-looking phone without a cool-looking theme? While theme doesn’t matter to some — my brother still has the default Verizon theme on his Storm — others like seeing something new every so often. For starters you can check out our quick tip on changing your BlackBerry theme. Clearly, that was written with a QWERTY BlackBerry in mind, but the same principles apply (for the most part replace “click” with “touch”). The next issue is of whether you want to pay for a theme or not. There are a number of quality free Storm themes floating around, though they’re not exactly easy to find. You can check out this selection from our friends at Themes4bb. There are other free Storm theme outlets. You can find more by doing a quick search. There are plenty of options out there for those who don’t think it prudent to drop money on a visual element to a smartphone. On the other end of the spectrum is the land of premium themes. These cost a little, usually $7 max. The difference is that they are created by experienced designers who know they’re getting paid for their efforts. You can expect a bit more detail with premium themes. They’re also a bit easier to find. You can find plenty of them in our store, like the 1stAngel Storm theme. We even reviewed a Storm theme in our latest Theme Review Wednesday feature.
BlackBerry quick tips are our bread and butter here at BBGeeks. Unfortunately, most of them are catered towards mechanical keyboard models. Bummer. But don’t let that discourage you. You can still learn plenty by reading through some of our most essential tips. Here are some applicable ones. What are service books and host routing tables? They’re technical terms you might see pop up, so don’t be unprepared. Get edjumacated. What is OTA? You might see an application offered as an OTA download. This is what it means for you. Set your convenience key. The Storm still has it, so you might as well take advantage. Changing your default email. Sometimes the first email address you add isn’t the one you want to have as default for sending. Clean up your Applications Menu. Just because it’s a touchscreen doesn’t mean it has to be cluttered. How to solve any BlackBerry problem. A battery pull works just as well on a Storm. There are also some Storm-centric tips we haven’t yet touched on, like swiping downward on a keyboard to hide it, and swiping upward to have it reappear. Or you can zoom in on your Web browser by tapping the screen twice; hitting the Escape key will zoom you back out.
Trick it out with applications
Half the fun of having a smartphone is customizing it with applications you use. We love BlackBerry applications — we write about one almost every day. Problem is, many of them aren’t yet compatible with the Storm. Don’t let that get you down, though. There are plenty of applications available right now for the Storm. Pandora. Yeah, as if I haven’t talked about this one enough, here it is again. The Pandora app has just been released for the Storm, so you’re set to go. Viigo. Yes, this is available for the Storm now, so make sure to check in with the most comprehensive BlackBerry RSS reader. WorldMate Live. This sucker will help you plan trips, from plane tickets to weather forecasts. Opera Mini. Some people just don’t dig the default BlackBerry browser. Opera Mini is a bit more powerful, and preferred by a few Storm users I’ve talked to. Google Maps. Easily the best free map application. Now you can get it on your Storm. NextPimp. Free ringtones are free ringtones, whether you’ve got a Pearl or a Storm. Of course, you can find plenty more applications at BlackBerry App World.
The BlackBerry Storm is an expensive piece of gadgetry. Surely you wouldn’t want it to fall victim to an unfortunate dropping, would you? Make sure to get a case for it, if for no other reason than to protect it in your pocket. Cases.com has tons of different cases for your Storm.
One problem early on was that the firmware for the Storm wasn’t up to par. Since then they’ve issued a number of updates. The OS version is up to 188.8.131.52 right now, so go to Options and then About to make sure you’re up to date. Check out BerryReview for the latest in firmware upgrades. Once you’re ready, you can check out our guide to upgrading your BlackBerry OS.