Motorola Razr V3 phone picture upload, ring tone download, and sync via Bluetooth with Mac OS X

I recently took advantage of Cingular’s phone upgrade promotion, you know the one that’s “free” after the rebate. Except for the $18 change fee + tax on the original purchase price of $250 + 2 yr contract renewal — not exactly my definition of “free”! I’m not a high-end phone type of guy; meaning I use my phone to talk to people, not as a camera, not to text message, certainly not to IM, nor surf the web. But, since all the low-end phones had terrible buttons and user interfaces, I settled on a Motorola “RAZR” phone. I’ve been quite pleased with it — easy user interface, and good battery life.

Since it has a camera, I had to use it. The next logical question was, “how do I download pictures from the phone”? Of course, Cingular would love it if I emailed them to myself, using lots of data transfer over their network. But, why not use the mini-USB connection? Well, that might work if you buy the “Mobile Phone Tools” software from Motorola ($40), which I didn’t, so I’m not even sure what that gets you since there is a much better option — Mac OS X and Bluetooth!

Establish Bluetooth Link: In the phone, under Settings –> Connection –> Bluetooth Link –> Setup. Make sure Bluetooth is powered on and then select the “Find Me” option. At the same time, in OS X make sure that Bluetooth is enabled in the control panel, and go to “Add Device” and follow the prompts. The two will talk and the Mac will come back with a PIN number to “securely” establish the connection with. Enter that number in the phone and the Bluetooth link will be established.

Upload a Photo from the Phone: With the Bluetooth link established, go to the picture (under My Stuff –> Pictures) and press the center “menu” button and scroll down to “Copy” option. Select your computer’s name as the destination and send it. The Mac will pop up a window to accept the file transfer and when you accept its prompt, the file transfer will begin.

Ring Tone “Download”: Yet another cool feature I found is that you can push files to the phone using the Bluetooth file transfer tool in OS X. Just select the file, and then select the destination device (your phone with link established), and send it. The phone will wake up and prompt you to accept the file and the transfer begins. You can use this to upload MIDI files and MP3 files for ringtones. The phone automatically recognized .mp3 and .mid files puts them in the “Sounds” folder under “My Stuff”. They can then be chosen for all manor of ring usages. If you have a favorite jingle — turn it into a .mp3 file and make it your ring. Be warned, the phone only has ~8 MB of memory, so, if you have long, or high-quality mp3′s, you’ll only get a couple in that space. MIDI tones are generally very small (a few 10′s of KB) and the better way to go if you want lots (100′s) of tones.

Sync: Additionally, if you don’t want to use the silly 0-9 keypad to enter all your contacs, OS X iSync utility will very happily transfer all your phone number entries from your Address book to the phone (and vice-versa). Just enter your contacts in the Address book tool and then use iSync over the Bluetooth link to copy them to the phone. Wish I had known that before doing it the hard way.

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