Hack 56. Rein In Your Backlight

The default backlight settings are good for your battery, but not good for reading in the dark.

You're in a car at night and your BlackBerry device just gave you an alert that you received an important message that requires your immediate attention. It turns out to be a fairly lengthy email and as you read it, your device's backlight hits its built-in timeout after just a few seconds of inactivity. What a pain! You'll soon start going through meaningless trackwheel gyrations just to reset the backlight timeout.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in the default BlackBerry operating system to control anything about the backlight. Never fear, however, because there is a simple-to-use, free piece of software that allows you to control various backlight settings. It will even let you keep it on all the time!

5.7.1. Install and Use BBLight

The BBLight software is one piece of the open source BlackBerry Tools project (http://sourceforge.net/projects/blackberrytools/). Unfortunately, there is no over-the-air install for this application, so you will have to download the zip file for installing with Application Loader. When you install BBLight, it places a light bulb icon on your Home screen, as shown in Figure 5-24.

Figure 5-24. The BBLight icon on the Home screen

5.7.2. Backlight Settings

Go to the BBLight program from the Home screen. Enable the checkbox next to Activate at Startup, as shown in Figure 5-25. From this point forward, when you activate your backlight, it will stay on until you turn it off the perfect setting for reading in the dark. Of course, it is easy to forget and leave the backlight on. Beware doing this will eat your battery alive!

There are other settings to control when your backlight is turned on. For non-7100 devices, you can have the backlight turned on whenever you click any button on your BlackBerry so it acts much like a typical mobile phone (the 7100 series devices do this already). There are also settings for turning it on every time you remove your device from its holster or connect the external power source, or by time of day.

Figure 5-25. BBLight settings page

BlackBerry Hacks
Blackberry Hacks: Tips & Tools for Your Mobile Office
ISBN: 0596101155
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 164
Authors: Dave Mabe

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