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(Pocket-lint) - The BlackBerry Priv is something of a surprise package, fusing some of the best features of Android with the best of BlackBerry. You now have that keyboard and BlackBerry Hub, but you also have access to all those Android apps. 

But this is a brave new world of BlackBerry adventure and the company has added a wide range of unique features.

Some of them will be familiar to Android users, some will be new. Many features will be new to BlackBerry users, but some will be familiar. 

Here's your complete guide to becoming a BlackBerry Priv expert.

BlackBerry Priv BB Hub tips and tricks

Turn off unneeded Google syncing: If you have BlackBerry Hub handling your email, you don't need your Gmail syncing in the background. Head into Settings > Accounts > Google and switch off the Google elements you don't need syncing. You'll save battery, data and notifications!

Mark all your messages as read: A BlackBerry favourite. In Hub, press and hold the date. Everything prior to that date will be selected. Tap the three dot menu button in the top right-hand corner and you have the option to delete or mark as read.

Change swipe actions: In BB Hub you can swipe left or right to action an email. This action is customisable, however. Head into Hub > Settings > Left/Right Swipe Gesture and you get the option for delete, snooze, flag, file, mute, or mark as read. Power manage those emails!

Delete from Hub and server: You can swipe to delete. This can just be to remove messages from BB Hub, but you can set it to delete from the server too, ideal for killing spam. Head into Hub > Settings > Delete on to select your preference.

Automatic image download: Images not showing in emails? You need to turn on that option in Hub > Settings > Download images automatically.

Change accounts appearing in the BlackBerry Hub view: BB Hub is great because you can see (almost) all of your messages in one view. But if you don't want something like Twitter in there, you can disable that. Head into Hub > Settings and scroll down to Views. Tap this and uncheck anything you don't want in the BlackBerry Hub view. You can still tap each linked acocunt to view individually however.

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BlackBerry Priv keyboard tips and tricks

The BlackBerry Priv uniquely offers a physical and an on-screen keyboard, so you can choose how you enter text. It also means you have lots of options.

BlackBerry Priv physical keyboard tips and tricks

BlackBerry keyboard shortcuts: The keyboard shortcuts that BlackBerry had on BB10 (and earlier) have mostly been preserved. When you're in an app like Hub, there's loads you can use for quick actions. T jumps to the top, B jumps to the bottom, C opens a new email, and so on. 

Programme keyboard shortcuts: But out of apps, on the home pages, you can programme each of the keys to act as a shortcut. A long press can be used to open an app, contact or quick action. For example, you can set C to open Chrome, or T to open Twitter. Just slide open the Priv and hold a key down. You'll then be offered a range of options to link to that key, including suggests for apps that start with that letter. Open the apps tray and hit the settings cog at the top to open the BlackBerry Launcher options, then hit Keyboard shortcuts to see what does what.

Keyboard gestures: The Priv physical keyboard also has a capacitive touch sensor, so you can swipe over the keyboard to take actions on the display. Swipe down to pull the page down and swipe up to pull the page up. It's really handy for scrolling through documents without touching the display and covering the words. Head into Settings > Language & input > Physical keyboard to turn the feature on or off.

Swipe to select, or swipe to delete: Those physical keyboard gestures will also let you select predicted words by swiping up, or delete incorrect words by swiping to the left. Cleverly, you can select any of the three suggested predictions either by swiping on the left, centre or right of the physical keyboard.

Open special characters: Swipe down on the physical keyboard and the special characters grid will pop up on the display for easy entry. You can either tap the on-screen characters, or press the buttons, as they are mapped to the physical keys. Swipe down again to enter the number pad.

BlackBerry Priv on-screen keyboard tips and tricks

Quickly select predicted words: The Priv on-screen keyboard works the same was as on previous BB 10 touch devices like the Z30. It will predict your next word, so swipe up to select that word.

Use emoji: If you're looking for the emoji from the BB keyboard, press and hold the "." button to open the menu. Tap the smiley face and you'll get the emoji keyboard.

Open special characters: Just like the physical keyboard, a swipe down on the on-screen keyboard switches to special chatacters. It's much faster than trying to tap the ?123 button in the bottom left corner.

Quickly delete words: Again like the physical keyboard, swiping to the left will delete a word. It's much faster than hitting that delete button.

Install a different on-screen keyboard: As this is Android, you can install any of the other keyboards on the Play Store. Search and install. Keyboards like SwiftKey are faster than the BlackBerry offering, so if you're doing a lot of on-screen entry, it's worth having. Note, however, that the physical keyboard gestures don't all work when you switch away from the BlackBerry on-screen keyboard.

Quickly switch on-screen keyboards: When using the keyboard after installing an alternative, you'll see a keyboard icon at the right-hand end of the Android navigation controls. Tap this to switch between your alternatives. Why would you do this? To reable those physical keyboard gestures.

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BlackBerry Priv Launcher tips and tricks

For those new to Android, the "Launcher" is made up of your home screens and the apps menu. You can install different launchers to change the behaviour of your device, but the BlackBerry Launcher is very good, and packed with unique features.

Access the BlackBerry Launcher Settings menu: Open the apps tray by pressing the central circular button containing six dots. In the top right-hand corner is the settings cog to access the menu and control the Launcher's behaviour. Or, press and hold on the wallpaper, then hit the settings gear on the right-hand end of the list.

Enable pop-up widgets: One of the best additions on the Priv is pop-up widgets. This allows you to access the widgets associated with an app instantly. Rather than filling your home pages with those widgets, turn this on by selecting Popup widgets in the Launcher menu. You'll see three dots appear under any app shortcut with a widgets. Swipe down on the icon and the widget appears. It's magic.

Home button Swipe shortcuts: The Priv Android home button can be a shortcut too, with access to three apps. Open Settings > Swipe shortcuts and you can choose what apps you want in there. Google Now is common, but now you can have instant access to Device searching, BlackBerry Hub, a contact or anything else you want. Again, it's really handy.

Open the Productivity tab: Swipe in from the right-hand side of the display to open the Productivity tab. This gives a quick glance at calendar, email, to do and contacts. 

Edit the Productivity tab: Open the tab with a swipe and tap the settings cog at the top. This will let you switch it to the left or right-hand side, change the size and the transparency of the tab to your preference.

Change the style of Recent Apps view: Hit the square recent apps button and you can see apps you've been using recently. You can change this to a Rolodex style, grid or "masonary" collage type of view. Head into Settings > Display > Recents to change the style.

Enable "Ok Google" hotword on any screen: Head into Google Now > Settings > Voice. In the "Ok Google" detection setting, you can have your phone respond to "ok Google" from any screen for voice control.

BlackBerry Priv general Lollipop tips and tricks

The BlackBerry Priv launches on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and there's a lot of good Android stuff waiting to be discovered.

Play Flappy Android: Lollipop's Easter Egg is an Android take on Flappy Bird. Head into Settings > About phone/tablet > Android version. Then tap the Android version repeatedly until it changes to the Lollipop screen. Once you have the full Lollipop wording visible, press and hold. You'll flip into the Flappy Android game. Enjoy!

Tap to wake: Don't reach for the power button, just double tap the display and it will wake up. Head into Settings > Display > Wake-up gestures and make sure the double tap feature is turned on.

Search settings: Rather than rooting through everything, you can search the settings. Just open up the Settings menu and hit the magnifying glass and type what you're looking for.

Stop adding new app icons to homescreen: If you don't want new apps you install cluttering up your homescreen, head into Play Store > Settings and uncheck the "add icon to Home screen" box. 

Limit Drive-enabled apps to Wi-Fi transfer only: To save yourself a data bill, head into the Google Drive Settings > Transfer files only over Wi-Fi. Alternatively, if you need it to sync on a cellular connection, switch it off!

Customise Google Now: Open the sidebar and you can customise the content you are displayed. Hit Settings > Now Cards and you can set card preferences, disable notifications, turn off commute notifcations and much more.

READ: BlackBerry Priv review

BlackBerry Priv notifications tips and tricks

Instant access to lockscreen notifications: Just tap a notification twice and it will open up the app from the lockscreen. You might have to unlock using your password first.

Pinch to expand: Got a stack of notifications? You can pinch to expand them to see more or less information.

Hide sensitive information in lockscreen notifications: You can have lockscreen notifications without to much information being revealed. Go to Settings > Sound & notification > When device is locked, to change the information that's revealed. To refine what's displayed by what app, Head to Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications, to manage apps with sensitive information.

To mark an app as a Priority app: Head into Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications and you can set an app as a priority so you always get notifications from that app.

To turn off notifications on an app: Go to Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications. Here you can block all notifications for any app on your device. If you don't want a game pinging up, this will stop it.

Silence notifications: Hit the volume button and then hit Do Not Disturb, Priority or Normal. If you select Priority, only your Priority notifications will be served up. Do Not Disturb blocks everything, even alarms, so need to be used with caution.

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Suspend notifications: Hit the volume button, select Do Not Disturb, then either Indefinitely, or select a time period - ideal to keep your device silent during meetings. You can also opt here to only have Priority notifications for a time period, before reverting back to Normal notifications. 

Quickly switch to vibrate alerts: If you want silence, but are after vibration alerts still, then push the volume button and tap the bell on the pop-up. This will switch to vibrate.

Change Media volume quickly: If you are about to open a game on the train and don't want it blaring out, hit the volume down button. Across the top of the volume control box is the option for Notifications, Media or Alarm volumes. Just slide down what you don't want.

Enable Ambient display: This will give you minimalist notifications when your display is on standby. It's a feature of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but BlackBerry has it here on the Priv. Head into Settings > Display > Ambient display for this energy-efficient alerts.

Flash the notification LED: Need that blinking email alert? Fear not. Head into Settings > Sound & notifications > Pulse notifications light to get that Crackberry blinking light when messages arrive.

Flip to mute: You can silence your ringing phone by turning it over. Head into Settings > Advanced interactions and select this option.

BlackBerry Priv Quick Settings tips

Instantly open the Quick Settings panel: Swipe down the display with two fingers and the Quick Settings will open. You can be on the home screen or in an app and those toggles will appear for quick action.

Quickly select a Wi-Fi network: Swipe down for Quick Settings, then click the network name beneath the Wi-Fi icon. This takes you through to the Wi-Fi settings. 

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Quickly manage Bluetooth: The same applies to Bluetooth. Click beneath the Bluetooth icon in Quick Settings and you'll head into settings to select your device.

Turn on flashlight/torch: There's no need for a separate app, just tap the button in Quick Settings to turn on your flash as a torch. Or just say "Ok Google, turn on the flashlight", if you've enabled the hotword. 

Cast your screen: Want your Android device on your TV? Just swipe down and tap Cast screen and it will be sent to your Chromecast. Not all apps are supported though.

READ: When is Android 6.0 Marshmallow coming to my phone?

BlackBerry Priv battery tips and tricks

Time till fully charged: When connected to a charger, the Priv can display the charge graphically, running up the soide of the display. This changes colours as the phone charges, as well as the percentage and the time until it will be fully charged. To disable/enable this feature, head into Settings > Display > Battery edge.

See what's eating battery: Swipe down Quick Settings, tap the battery icon. You'll go to the battery status page and see how long you have left and what apps are eating your battery. Tap the top graph for a more detailed look.

Turn on battery saver: In the battery status page, tap the menu button, select battery saver. You can elect to have to automatically switch on at 15 per cent or 5 per cent battery. The system bars turn orange when it is on.

Flip to save power: You can have the Priv go into sleep mode when placed face down on the table to save power. Head into Settings > Advanced interactions and enable this option.

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BlackBerry Priv security tips and tricks

Instant lock: In Settings > Security there's the option to lock the device as soon as the screen goes to sleep. You'll find the option to lock as soon as you press the power button too. These are really useful settings to know that your device is secure.

Bluetooth unlock: In Security > Smart Lock you have the option to nominate trusted devices, so your Android will unlock when connected to something else. You can nominate Bluetooth devices (like your smartwatch or car Bluetooth) or select an NFC tag.

Have your device lock when you put it down: There's the option for on-body detection in Settings > Security > Smart Lock. This will mean your device is unlocked when you are carrying it around, but locks when it detects that it's been put down somewhere.

Use picture password: Unique to the Priv is picture password. This is a nice alternative to PINs and patterns, letting you select a picture and a number to unlock. Place your selected number over the appointed position on the picture and it unlocks. Best of all, no one can determine where that location is, or what your number is.

Wipe your device after 10 failed unlocks: To avoid trial and error being used to unlock your phone, there's the option to automatically wipe it after 10 failed unlock attempts. Use with caution, as you might do that yourself, when stumbling home after the office Christmas party.

Check your security status: BlackBerry is all about security. Head into the DTEK app to review your security settings and see what your apps are accessing.

BlackBerry Priv misc tips and tricks

Launch your favourite music app when you connect your headphones: There's an option to launch an app when you plug in your headphones. Head into Settings > Display > Headset Plug-In Action. Tap on this and select the app you use for music, like Spotify. Then, when you connect headphones, a small pop-up will ask if you want to launch Spotify too.

Launch you top media app on HDMI connection: There's also the same option for HDMI (through the MHL USB connection). If you want to launch a specific app, head into Settings > Display > HDMI Plug-In Action.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 17 November 2015.