I must admit how clueless and in the dark I have been about the some of the wonderful built in mobile computing capabilities offered by BlackBerry 10.
Whenever I have a pressing deadline at work, it seems that is the time that co-workers choose to be sociable, bosses choose to hold meetings to revise what I’m doing at the last minute…the building facilities guys decide it is time to do construction or repairs next to my office, someone cussing at the copy machine … the I.T. guys want to make your PC useless while they install or inspect stuff, right on cue, like the Truman show. GAH! Everyone has their own agenda that impedes mine.
So I have started experimenting with finding isolation where ‘nobody knows my name’ – coffee shops, libraries, college campuses, the beach – anywhere! I started working at remote locations off line, using my Passport SE for any internet access that I needed. I had been thinking it’s time to get a mobile hotspot from my carrier. That way I could get internet on my laptop. I don’t like when I log in to the wifi at Starbucks and immediately see the Google/Starbucks data mining service pop up, or some other unsecured network somewhere else, or being restricted at all by where I can find wifi. So I started thinking about VPN devices.
One day, I ran across the mobile hotspot in settings (swipe down from top to bring up settings – swipe right)
I always assumed that was a feature that had to be enabled by the carrier at extra cost and thought ‘well maybe I should do that’. So I turned it on just to see what would happen and wallah! I got a little concentric circle hotspot icon at the top and my laptop was picking up a new signal called ‘BlackBerry Mobile Hotspot 181’ !!
Now be sure to go into the ‘Networks and Connections’ settings, select Mobile Hotspot and press ‘configure’ to set a password so not anyone around you can use your data.
You can also take the opportunity to change the SSID to ‘Look at me I’m using the awesome BlackBerry Passport SE come ask me about it’ or something like that.
Now that you’re connected, you can leave your BlackBerry by the wall outlet charging if you need to, because the hotspot will cause your battery to drain considerably faster, head back to your laptop and fire up BlackBerry Blend.
More detailed instructions can be found on the BlackBerry Help Blog.
You are now completely independent of your phone and can keep track of everything happening on it via Blend’s Hub and pop up notifications. You won’t miss an SMS, BBM or email, it will tell you when your phone is ringing, and you can fully focus on your work without checking your phone. In this way, I have full awareness of what is going on at my office, I am still instantly available to anyone (but on my time, not theirs), and let me tell you, the view is a thousand times better! If it gets noisy I can pop on my Bose Quiet Comfort 15 noise cancelling headphones and truly be in my own little world! Because you don’t want to use your phone data however it is best to use the FM radio or pre-downloaded music. Here is the setup:
- BlackBerry Passport SE
- HP EliteBook (to match)
- Bose Quietcomfort 15 Headphones
- MobilePal Battery Pack reviewed HERE
- Logitech M705 wireless Mouse (love the flywheel scrolling!)
- Drumsticks and drumpad for mental breaks(or when you want annoying talkative neighbors to think you’re nuts and move somewhere else):
If Blend has trouble connecting, as it often does, I have found that a quick cure for this is to plug your phone into your laptop with a USB cable and then connect. Surprisingly, it will then maintain the connecting even after you pull out the USB cord!
I love BlackBerry 10, I love and need Blend. I am so dependent on it now, that I could never go to a Priv or other Android device. BlackBerry, are you listening? Please don’t let me down and drop support for this amazing genius productivity tool. And, by the way, you never finished it. *hint hint* There are still things I have to pick up the phone to see – quotes, stickers, and maddeningly, just to save a pic from a BBM stream. BlackBerry please, finish the Blend!
See my other posts on Blend: