Matt Hamblen

Z10 has 'Delete All' email function in BB10, a real crowd pleaser

February 07, 2013 12:58 PM EST

The BlackBerry Z10 comes with a feature in BlackBerry 10 called Hub, a kind of universal inbox on steroids.

One feature that I was glad to find that is still included in BB10 is the capability found in older BlackBerry models to "delete all" emails quickly, something complicated to do with other smartphone OS's that I've tried. I get so many emails that sometimes I just want to go back a day or so and kill EVERYTHING from my phone, since the email will all still be on my desktop if I really need it later.

Using "delete all" with previous BlackBerry devices has meant that I could delete hundreds of older emails in a couple of quick strokes from my phone. I"m not the kind of person who has an executive assistant reading all my emails to organize them, and I'm never going to spend literally an hour each day tagging emails as read or not, or deleting each one. That just seems way too OCD to me.

Email spam is a tyranny of the computer age, and I figure, Why should I let email control my life, even a part of it? I'm lucky for my current iPhone 4 that the Outlook server at work and my iPhone 4 are  set up to drop off all prior emails beyond a few hundred recent ones.  Somebody in IT was thinking ahead, I bet, despite my ignorance of such matters.

I didn't think "delete all" was something that would matter to anybody else until I got this email on Thursday from a reader of my Z10 review.   He asked not to include his name and said he has no connection to BlackBerry. He writes:

I have one question for you. Since I use my smartphone email heavily for work, I've become more and more frustrated with the way I need to erase emails on my iPhone or on any other smartphone such as the Samsung Galaxy, HTC or Nokia Windows Phone.
 
These devices all require you tap each email (highlighting them) and then delete.  On an iPhone you can tap five emails before needing to scroll to tap more. However, on the existing BlackBerrys, I can search for a person's name, then highlight all the emails at once by holding down a key and scrolling with the mouse...then 'delete all' after BB asks you 'Are you sure?'
 
Does the new Q10 have this same great BB ability or is it limited like the other big 3 or 4 smartphones? I thank you advance for your prompt response as I'm not a guy who uses his phone as a toy but rather as a work device. Ty!
 
--Sent from my iPad
 

The simple answer is yes, but it took some doing for me to figure it out. The procedure is easy once you know it. I'll explain it here.

My colleague Al Sacco at CIO wrote a list of tips that helped me figure out whether the Z10 has "delete all." In tip number 6, he notes that you go in the Hub to the date bar at start of each new day in the list of emails and other contacts. When you hold the date bar, a list of controls appears, including ways to mark all prior messages as read.  

Using Al's discovery I was able to also find on my Z10 demo unit that if you hold the date bar there is also a trash can icon that appears. You can touch that trash can and will get the question "Delete all prior?" and can pick yes or no. If you pick yes, everything earlier than that date is deleted, for good, as BB10 warns you.

 I tried "delete all prior" several times and it works like a charm. Since I was getting an endless stream of Gmail emails to the Z10, it was as simple to trash them all as throwing my bag of kitchen garbage out the window to plop into  the dumpster several floors down. So satisfying! (I don't really live in an apartment, but I do recall that feeling from my grad school days.)

I assume that the "delete all prior" ability works on the Q10 qwerty smartphone as well as the Z10 touchscreen since it runs the BB10 OS as well. Unfortunately, the Z10 isn't even on sale in the U.S. until mid-March and the Q10 is expected to follow eight to 10 weeks later.  Maybe I'll need to repeat this tip once Americans can actually buy the devices on the major carriers.