If you make the switch from another kind of cellphone to a BlackBerry, it may take you a period of time to familiarize yourself with not only the BlackBerry's functions, but also its symbols. Though BlackBerry models have evolved throughout the phone's existence, the symbols have stayed similar, and navigating them will help you use your phone to its utmost potential.
Common Home Screen Symbols
The home screen on your BlackBerry features numerous symbols with which you should get acquainted. Some, such as the "Globe" symbol representing the Web browser, are easy to figure out. Others may give you trouble. The "Phone" icon featuring two arrows is the call log, the "Film Reel" opens your media file, the "Letter" symbol represents your messages and the "Key" leads to the options screen.
Home Screen Alerts
Occasionally, your BlackBerry's home screen will have other symbols that are in place to alert to you a variety of things. An "Alarm" symbol means the device's alarm is set, a yellow "Envelope" symbol with a number beside it indicates you have a certain number of new mail messages, while a "Cassette" symbol means you have a new voice mail. If you've missed a call, you'll see a yellow "Phone" symbol with an "X" and a number indicating the amount of missed calls.
Battery life is integral to operating your BlackBerry, and there are three main battery symbols with which you should familiarize yourself. A yellow or orange battery-shaped symbol with five full bars means your battery is full. When your battery drains, fewer of the bars will appear full, resulting in red bars to alert you of the battery life. When you charge the device, a lightning bolt will appear over the battery icon.
The BlackBerry Messenger instant-messaging function allows you to have real-time conversations with other BlackBerry users. This function, too, has numerous symbols. A blue, smiling face means a contact is available to chat. A face with a red "X" over it means the contact is unavailable, while a face with a clock over it means the contact is busy. A speech bubble coming from the face icon means that contact is typing a message to you, while a yellow, smiling face means you have a new message.