Bluetooth and iSync

Bluetooth is a really neat technology. It’s got a lot of potential, but there are still a lot of issues with it. The pie-in-the-sky dream is that we will have all these different Bluetooth gadgets that all interoperate perfectly. The reality, of course, is not as rosy. There are lots of devices that speak Bluetooth, but for various reasons I won’t go into here, they don’t all work with each other, at least not without lots of fiddling. So, when something does work perfectly, it’s noteworthy. A little sad, but true.

This week I got a new Motorola e815 phone for work. One thing I’ve always dreadded about getting a new cell phone, is trying to get all of my stored contacts from my old phone into the new phone. It’s always been a tedious, manual process. Anyhow, the e815 supports Bluetooth. My Powerbook has an app called iSync, which purports to sync info from iCal/Address Book over Bluetooth to various models of phones. Fired everything up, went to Bluetooth Options on the Mac, paired it with the new phone, ran iSync, and my entire address book was transferred to the phone. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.

This is the way this kind of technology is supposed to work. I wish everything else was that easy. I initially tried to pair the phone with my Palm Tungsten E2, but I haven’t been able to get that to work. I’ve heard that it’s possible to get the phone to act as a modem so that you can surf the net on the Palm. However, if it doesn’t work out of the box, I’m not going to bother. It’s not a feature I’d use a whole lot, and I don’t want to waste a lot of time fiddling with it, especially if there’s a chance I won’t be successful. I’m just happy that I can transfer my address book to the phone. It’s always bugged me that I’ve got this great phone book on my Mac and Palm, but not on my cell phone, where I am actually making the calls.

Now, if I could just export the Mac address book to Thunderbird (on the Mac and all my various Linux boxes), I’ll be even happier…

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