Synchronising an old Macintosh with a new mobile phone

Apple make great hardware. Just wanted to say that, to make my standpoint clear. However, this means that any Macintosh is quite likely to survive quite a few mobile phones over the years, which in turn means that your OS X version at some stage is likely to be outdated when it comes to synchronisation of the address book with the phone.

As I last summer replaced my old Sony Ericsson T630 with a new K810i, I soon realised that the previously very convenient synchronisation over Bluetooth no longer was possible with our 2003 vintage PowerBook G4. A quick search in newsgroups on the internet revealed that this indeed was a problem with newer phones unless, of course, one has a rather fresh version of OS X. The only alternative seemed to be to export the entire adress book into some format accessible to, say, Microsoft Outlook and synchronise my new phone via a windows computer. This export turned out to be anything but trivial, to use an understatement, and the only possibility here seemed to be to buy any of the zillions of commercial address book converters which are out there.

Soon enough I gave up, instead synchronising my old phone and sending all contacts via the IR port over to my new one. Rather cumbersome, but it worked.

Bluetooth button

It was only just the other day that I happened to experiment with Bluetooth connectivity to other devices, as I realised that most cell phones of today in fact accept vCards right away. Hence, I started a tiny experiment by connecting my old Macintosh to the K810i via Bluetooth, over this connection sending all contacts in my OS X Address Book as vCards in one single transmission. The (by now not so new anymore) K810i accepted and imported the entire list of contacts straight away. Voilá!

Conclusion I: While it can be quite convenient with application plugins to enable tasks such as synchronisation, the general solution often lies open just to be found if one only bothers to start experimenting.

Conclusion II: Standards are great.

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Last modified Wednesday 18 Jan 2012