When I purchased my BlackBerry Storm, I was annoyed to discover that it uses a different USB cable than my other BlackBerry models. So, I wondered if I couldn’t use Bluetooth to connect to my phones, instead. I discovered that I could, and what limitations there are…
Your Computer and Bluetooth
In case you don’t know, Bluetooth is a technology that allows you to connect two devices without a cable. For example, you can use Bluetooth to connect your mobile phone to an earpiece, your mobile phone to a GPS receiver, or your computer to your mobile phone.
Not all computers, whether desktop or laptop, come with Bluetooth capability built-in. None of my computers do, so I had to purchase a Bluetooth adapter, often referred to as a Bluetooth dongle. They come in various shapes and sizes, as shown below:
You will need to follow instructions specific to your Bluetooth adapter and your computer’s operating system (OS) to get that working. BTW–before purchasing a Bluetooth dongle, make sure your OS is supported by that device. I had a hard time finding one that worked with my Microsoft Vista 64-bit laptop.
Your BlackBerry and Bluetooth
Your BlackBerry model has Bluetooth capability that must be enabled. Each model has more than one way of enabling Bluetooth. I’ll review some of those alternate methods below.
Bluetooth on BlackBerry Storm: Manage Connections
On the Storm’s Home Screen, click Manage Connections.
In Manage Connections, click Bluetooth**.
Bluetooth on BlackBerry Storm: Options
Here is an alternate method from using Manage Connections. On the Storm’s Home Screen, click Options.
In Options, select Bluetooth.
Press the Menu key and select Enable Bluetooth.
Your screen will look different. Mine shows that I have previously connected to my PC and to a TeleNav GPS unit. I had to use the Menu key to do Add Device for those devices*.
BlackBerry Pearl, Curve, Bold
On non-Storm models, the approach is similar but more varied, and the Home Screen icons vary by theme. I’ll provide a few screenshots from the Curve using a Verizon theme to give you the basic idea:
From the Home Screen, you can choose either Options, Set Up Bluetooth, or Manage Connections to enable Bluetooth:
Please read the NOTE and WARNING below:
* NOTE: While pairing Bluetooth devices, you often are asked for a passkey (or it may be called something similar). Unless you change it intentionally, the passkey is almost always four zeroes: 0000.
** WARNING: When finished using Bluetooth, remember to turn it OFF. Why? Because leaving it on will drain your battery. When Bluetooth is active, your front-panel LED will flash BLUE. Depending on your theme, you might also see a tiny Bluetooth icon on your Home Screen (similar to the image on the right).
BlackBerry Desktop Manager and Bluetooth
Below I have screenshots from Desktop Manager version 4.7 (which was released with the BlackBerry Storm). Older versions look similar but not identical.
In the top-right corner there is a drop-down menu for Options. In that menu, select Connection options.
In Connection Options, select a Connection Type of Bluetooth. Select Turn on Bluetooth support. Click Configure Bluetooth.
A window appears with any Bluetooth devices that your computer already has recognized. In my case (below), there are none, so I had to click Add.
A search was made for a Bluetooth device.
My BlackBerry Storm was discovered. I selected my Storm in the window and clicked OK. It was successfully paired, and added.
After a Bluetooth connection is established between Desktop Manager and a BlackBerry, Desktop Manager allows only two of its primary functions: Backup and Restore and Synchronize.
If you try to run any of the other Desktop Manager functions, it informs you that the function is not supported over Bluetooth, only over USB.
Please be aware that, because of the number of variables involved, my screenshots above did not capture everything that you must see and do:
- Getting a Bluetooth dongle installed and working on your computer
- Accepting connections between computer and BlackBerry
And about the limitations of Desktop Manager, you can also use Bluetooth to:
- Send/receive files between your BlackBerry and either your computer or another Bluetooth device (say, another smartphone)
- Transfer contacts between your BlackBerry and your computer
…but that’s another article–possibly in the future. (Please comment below if this would be an important article for you.)
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