5 Unsung Power Features of the BlackBerry Passport

The Passport is really an innovative new device. Everyday I’m finding new ways to maximize the experience the unique form factor offers. With that in mind I want to share some of the top 5 power features for Passport users. While many of these focus on the added layers of productivity the device is focused on supporting, it also seems optimized for general consumer uses as well.

Highlighted in the short videos below, you’ll be able to clearly grasp how flexible and decided the Passport is from a design and implementation perspective. There’s no mistake this device was purpose built to enhance productivity and empower users to get more done, period.

BlackBerry Passport: Adaptive Onscreen Keyboard

BlackBerry Passport has a 4th virtual row of keys that adapts to your needs. It allows access to punctuation, numbers, symbols and more. Based on the context of use, the keyboard allows the user to be more flexible when editing text and inputting numbers.

This is only elevated in utility by the touch enabled physical keyboard which takes interaction with this virtual 4th row to a whole new level.

BlackBerry Passport: Android App Zoom Feature

With the 10.3 OS upgrade on Passport, BlackBerry has not only enhanced the Android 4.3 runtime within the OS, but has optimized it for the best viewing experiences possible on the unconventionally shaped 4.5″ square pixel dense screen at ~453 PPI

Zooming out within android apps allows you to get a larger viewing experience which fits more content on the screen. Even fixing some problematic Android apps at times that are broken due to vertical height constraints on the square screen.

Unsung Features — RetroArch on BlackBerry Passport & Cross-Device Cloud Saving

BlackBerry Passport is more than just the most innovative business device ever built. With a powerful quad-core and added graphics Adreno GPU the device is blazing fast for things like console emulation.

Here, we’re showing off a classic throwback with Zelda showcased on the Passport. The square screen and physical keys make it an ultimate handheld gaming device. Not to mention, the screen in incredibly crisp at 453PPI or 1440×1440.

One of the more notable features here is the Dropbox integration within the BB10 file manager and how you can pair this with the emulator to get essentially cloud saving and restoring from device to device. Just make sure you “pin” the ROMs, saves, and save states within the file manager so you can still play when not connected to WiFi.

To download RetroArch visit Justin’s GitHub Retroarch Releases Page and sideload the bar file. I recommend version 1.0.2.8 because 1.0.2.9 does not have the Game Boy Color emulator in it for some reason.

BlackBerry Passport: HUB Instant Actions

BlackBerry Hub Instant Actions allow you to triage emails and messages on the fly. File them in folders and quickly delete multiple emails. This experience is empowered by the large screen on the Passport. You can see more at once and the added icons do not encumber the wide work screen employed on Passport.

BlackBerry Passport: Device Rotation, Landscape Orientation & Touch-Sensitive (Capacitive) Keyboard

On Passport, BlackBerry has designed the 1:1 square screen with the proportions of the device in mind. You can actually put the device into landscape orientation and utilize the touch enabled keyboard to scroll through websites, inside applications and most invaluably; in the BlackBerry Hub.

Also keep in mind, you can double tap the keyboard to bring the cursor up at any time when writing a message. You then have fine control over the cursor without ever covering up the screen with your finger. Pairing this with with the on-screen uppercase key, you can quickly highlight words or blocks of text in a matter of seconds. A workflow that takes some time getting used to but I can no longer see myself going back to the old way of only being able to touch the screen.


Originally published at Berryflow.com on October 1, 2014.