How to: Control your BlackBerry from a PC

Want to control your BlackBerry from your computer?  Well, there’s an app for that! It’s called Impatica viaDock and it lets you command the entire BlackBerry operating system from your PC.

Not to be confused with Virtual Network Client programs such as VNC Desktop and MochaVNC, which let you remotely control your PC from your phone, Impatica ViaDock works the other way around, giving you the power to use the BlackBerry OS via Windows.

It’s particularly useful for typing emails or long SMS or BlackBerry Messenger messages, using a conventional keyboard. You can even use it as a hands-free dialer for your phone, making ViaDock a useful option for home workers.

Here’s a quick guide to how Impatica ViaDock works…

Download Impatica ViaDock

Start by downloading the free trial of ViaDock. You’ll be asked to add some registration details before being sent an email with further instructions. This email will contain a link to the Impatica Connector BlackBerry application (also available from the App World), and to the Windows client download.

To install the Windows software you’ll need to enter the serial number you were sent in the registration email. Once you’ve done this your five-day trial will begin and you can run the program.

Set Permissions

Connect your BlackBerry to your PC using the USB cable, and run Impatica Connector on the phone.  You’ll probably be hit with an error message, in which case you need to set access permissions for the app when prompted.

Set Permissions

Set all of the items under Connections and Interactions to Allow in order to access ViaDock.

The control interface

Now you can start to control your BlackBerry from your PC. The default Windows interface lets you navigate menus using the cursor keys, along with the Menu, Select and Esc buttons. There’s also a number pad plus Call and Hang Up buttons.

Controls

Pop-up keyboard

Hit the keyboard icon at the bottom of the screen and a QWERTY keyboard will pop up, allowing you to type directly or by clicking the keys. As I said before, this is great for quickly sending long text messages from your BlackBerry.

ViaDock Keyboard

Mouse controls

Hit Alt + Z and you’ll be able to control your BlackBerry using your PC’s mouse. It’ll freak you out a bit at first, but with practice it becomes a fast way to explore your device. It’s particularly handy for browsing the web.

Mouse controls

Shortcuts

Impatica ViaDock contains a series of shortcut icons to commonly-used applications and functions on your BlackBerry. Simply click the icon and it will instantly load the feature on your device.

ViaDock shorcuts

Drop-down menu

Alternatively, click Go from the top menu in ViaDock and you’ll be able to access your favorite apps and tools from a drop-down list.

ViaDock drop-down

Mini View

You can minimize Impatica ViaDock by selecting Mini View from the View menu. This gives you a very small window from which you can only dial numbers and place calls. If you have a Bluetooth headset (or you set your phone to loudspeaker), this is a great feature, as it means you can make or take calls while you’re working on your PC without having to pick up your BlackBerry.

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