BlackBerry Priv

On a regular Android phone, swiping up from the home button gives you access to Google Now. On the BlackBerry Priv it can do much more than that. Swiping up will give you three options instead of one, and two of them can be customized. Google Now is locked in place, you can't change that, but the left and right slots can be changed to almost anything you want.

Here's what you need to know.

  • Either from the app drawer or the notification tray, open up "Settings."
  • Scroll down until you see an option for "Swipe shortcuts."
  • Tap on this.
  • The screen you see now will let you select options for the left and right shortcut circles. Tap on each one individually.

You can make these go away by tapping "Clear" next to the icon for whatever is currently assigned to that spot. On our devices the default was BlackBerry Device Search on the left and BlackBerry Hub on the right. The Hub in particular, BlackBerry tells us, was defaulted there because it's a similar gesture to accessing it on BlackBerry 10.

What you can do with each spot depends on how much you have on your phone. You can open any app you want, for example. You can also assign a speed dial contact, a shortcut to start sending a message or, and here's the extra cool part, choose from a whole host of shortcuts that BlackBerry has pre-defined on the phone. From sending a BBM to starting a new Google Sheets document and plenty of places in between. If there's something you use a lot and you want quick access go on and assign it here.