Friday, November 19, 2004

Cell phones, iSync, Bluetooth, GPRS

The road warriors among us may be interested in the following possible with present-day technology (as more and more cellular phones have BlueTooth, and simple USB to BlueTooth adapters are available for Macs that don't have it built-in):

  • Syncing the address book/phone number list and iCal appointment calendar between computer and cell phone
  • Internet access via cellular phone

Apple has its own synchronization technology called iSync. The following cellular phone models available in Israel appear on Apple's iSync supported devices list: Sony Ericsson T630, Z600, and Z1010; Nokia 6600. [At the time of writing, Orange offers the T630 and Nokia 6600, Cellcom the Z1010, and the Z600 can be purchased from at least one independent vendor.] Several isramac list members report success with the T630, and a kind colleague of mine at the Technion reported success with the pricier Nokia 6600 as well as demonstrated that his Powerbook could use it as a GPRS modem to access the net. (Drivers and provider settings for various GPRS phones; see also this article.)

One known bug with the T630 (and presumably the Z600) and calendar syncing is that the T630 ignores "all-day" events: as a workaround, assign them times that last all day.

Several other Bluetooth phones available in Israel are not supported (yet) by iCal, but can be synced using third-party software, e.g. Phone Director for the Nokia 6230, or the bare-bones GSM Remote.

Finally, Bluetooth-savvy cell phones can remote-control many functions of your Mac using Salling Clicker.

UPDATE 1: Somebody even posted a modem script for Iridium satellite phones.

UPDATE 2: GPRS Script Generator