What Is the Trackpad on a BlackBerry?

The trackpad is a screen navigation feature of BlackBerry devices such as the Curve smartphone. The trackpad on a BlackBerry does the same job as the mouse on your computer. It allows you to freely move a cursor around your BlackBerry's screen, navigating menus and selecting the items that you want to interact with.

  1. How the Trackpad Works

    • The trackpad on your BlackBerry device works similarly to an optical mouse, but in reverse. With a mouse, the optical sensor picks up movement over a desk or mouse pad. With a trackpad, you move your thumb or finger over an optical sensor instead of moving the sensor over a surface. Under the smooth cover of the trackpad, a fast, low-resolution camera detects the movement of your thumb.

    Precursors of the Trackpad

    • Earlier BlackBerrys featured a trackwheel, also known as a scroll wheel, for navigating menus. The trackwheel was limited to vertical movement, allowing users to scroll up and down menus but not to scroll from side to side. The trackwheel was superseded by the trackball, a rolling ball much like the one used in a traditional mouse, which allows users to scroll from side to side as well as up and down.

    Advantages of the Trackpad

    • The trackpad has a clear advantage over the trackwheel in that it allows movement in all directions, rather than just up and down. While the trackball, like the trackpad, allows greater freedom of movement, it has problems similar to those of the traditional mouse ball: Dirt can accumulate between the ball and the sensors, and as it is a moving part, it's prone to wear and tear. The trackpad doesn't suffer from these problems.

    Using the Trackpad

    • To move the cursor around the screen of your BlackBerry, run your thumb or fingertip over the surface of the trackpad. To select an icon or a menu option, click on it by pressing the trackpad like a mouse button. To highlight messages or text, press the "Shift" key while clicking the trackpad. You can set the trackpad's sensitivity from your Blackberry's menu.

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