This post provides step by step instructions for connecting a LG VX8300 cell phone to a Windows XP PC via Bluetooth, reading the contacts from the cell phone using BitPim, exporting them from BitPim as VCard file, emailing it as attachment to an IPhone 3G and importing the attached VCard file into the IPhone contacts database.
Bluetooth discovery and handshake
Before you start make sure that your desktop or laptop has a Bluetooth device. If not, Bluetooth USB dongles can be bought almost at any online computer accessory store.
Windows XP PC
After enabling your Bluetooth device on the PC, go to the Control Panel and open the Bluetooth devices application.
Figure 1: Open Bluetooth devices
Push the Add button to add a new Bluetooth device.
Figure 2: Add Bluetooth device Wizard
Check the My device is set up and ready to be found checkbox and get your cell phone's Bluetooth ready before you push the Next button.
LG cell phone
First you need to enable the Bluetooth on the LG cell phone and turn on the discovery signal that the PC is going to look out for.
Figure 3: Go to Settings and Tools
Go to Menu, Settings and Bluetooth.
Figure 4: Select Bluetooth settings
If the Bluetooth feature is not yet turned on, answer Yes to turn it on.
Figure 5: Turn the Bluetooth feature on
Then select the Add New Device menu option.
Figure 6: Add new device
Enable the Discovery Mode on the phone. This setting will turn on a signal that the PC can use to discover the phone.
Figure 7: Turn on Discovery Mode
Check the On option on the Discovery mode screen.
Figure 8: Verify Discovery Mode is on
Once the Discovery mode is activated you need to act quickly, because the signal that the PC uses to discover the phone is only sent for one minute.
Figure 9: In Discovery Mode for one minute
The two white arrows in the red title bar of the phone screen indicate that the phone is sending the discovery signal.
Figure 10: Icon showing phone in Discovery Mode
Now lets switch quickly back to the PC.
The Bluetooth wizard should be still in the state shown in Figure 2. Push the Next button and the Bluetooth wizard should now search for the discover signal that the cell phone is sending out.
Figure 11: Searching for Device
After a few seconds and a little bit of luck the search will succeed and display the cell phone as a newly discovered device.
Figure 12: PC discovered LG cell phone
Push the Next button to create a password secured connection between the PC and the cell phone. The Wizard will ask you to select a method for exchanging the passkeys. We take the easy route and let the computer choose a passkey for us. Select the Choose a passkey for me option and click Next again.
Figure 13: Select Choose a passkey for me
The Bluetooth wizard generated a passkey automatically and asks you to enter the same number in the appropriate field of your cell phone.
Figure 14: Use automatically generated passkey
We are now back looking at our cell phone screen. Here we see that the PC discovered the cell phone and replied with a pairing request. If the name of the computer displayed in this screen is actually the name of your computer, then accept this request by highlighting Yes and pushing the OK button.
Figure 15: Cell phone receives pairing request
Now the phone is asking for a passkey. Enter the number that the PC Bluetooth wizard automatically and randomly generated. Note: Your number will very likely different from the number on these pictures. Just make sure that they match.
Figure 16: Enter passkey that PC provided
After entering the number, push the OK button on your cell phone.
Figure 17: Passkey has been entered
If the passkeys that you entered into the cell phone and the passkey that your computer generated match the setup procedure on the cell phone proceeds to the next screen and asks whether the connection should cache the password and just automatically connect or whether the cell phone should request passkey for each session again. I opted for the Always Connect setting.
Figure 18: Grant permission to PC to always connect
At this point the connection between the cell phone and the PC is successfully setup and the name of your computer should be in the list of configured Bluetooth devices on your phone.
Figure 19: PC has been added successfully
On the PC you should also the success dialog of the Bluetooth wizard.
Figure 20: Completing Add Bluetooth device wizard
After clicking the Finish button you should see the cell phone in the list of devices.
Figure 21: Cell phone is now listed as Bluetooth device
Setup of virtual Serial (COM) port
The first part of the setup is to make sure that the two devices can "hear" and "talk" to each other. But what does it help if the PC talks "English" and the cell phone talks "Gorgonish"? Not a lot, and therefore we need to setup COM port that ensures that the software on the cell phone and the software on the PC speak the same language. In order to do this we need to go, still in the Bluetooth Wizard, to the COM Ports tab.
Figure 22: Assign serial COM port to cell phone Bluetooth device
Push the Add button to add a new COM port. Select Outgoing (computer initiates the connection) and pick your cell phone form the drop down list that has all configured Bluetooth devices and is labeled Device that will use the COM port.
Figure 23: Select phone and Outgoing option
Click OK and the wizard will take you back to the COM Ports tab. In this example we see that my cell phone Bluetooth connection is mapped to COM4. In your case it could be any other port number depending on what ports are available on your computer.
Figure 24: COM4 port assigned to cell phone Bluetooth connection
BitBim in Action
Now everything is ready to download, install and start BitPim. BitPim is a program that allows you to view and manipulate data on many CDMA phones from LG, Samsung, Sanyo and other manufacturers. This includes the PhoneBook, Calendar, WallPapers, RingTones (functionality varies by phone) and the Filesystem for most Qualcomm CDMA chipset based phones. To see when phones will be supported, which ones are already supported and which features are supported, see online help.
Reading LG contacts
Now its time to read the contact database from your cell phone with BitPim.
Figure 25: Start BitPim
Go to the settings dialog. Check Block writing anything to the phone. We don't want to accidentally erase or destroy our contact database in the cell phone. Pick your Phone Type from the drop down list. I picked my cell phone, the LG-VX8300. Enter the same COM port that you configured on your PC in the Bluetooth device wizard on the COM port tab. In my case it's COM4, yours might be different. Use yours. For the rest of the settings leave the default values. Then click the OK button.
Figure 26: Adjust phone settings
Now select the Get Data menu in BitPim. This will open a dialog that lets you select the kind of information that you would like to retrieve from the cell phone database. We check only the contact records.
Figure 27: Select what data to get from the phone
After you hit OK BitPim starts to communicate with your cell phone. Your cell phone will make all kinds of weird sounds and you should see some numbers appearing on your cell phone screen. Also the progress bar in BitBim should give you some feedback about what is being accessed at the moment.
Figure 28: Uploading cell phone contacts to PC
After a few seconds a new dialog pops up and asks you what to do with the data that BitPim read from the cell phone. Confirm the import of the cell phone's contact records into BitPim's Phonebook by clicking the OK button.
Figure 29: Upload of cell phone contacts complete
Exporting contacts as VCard file
You should see all your contacts that were in your cell phone now in BitPim's Phonebook. From here you need to export the Phonebook as Full vCard v3.0 file. Go to the File\Export menu and specify the correct file format. Click OK and your contacts will be saved as a file with the vcf extension. I named mine LGVX8300.vcf.
Figure 30: Export contacts as vCard file
Importing contacts into the IPhone 3G
We are almost there. The next steps are very simple and demonstrate how advanced the IPhone 3G is. The only requirement here is that you have already setup a mail account in your IPhone 3G and are able to receive emails.
Send email with attachment
Attache the LGVX8300.vcf file to an email and sent it to a email account that your IPhone 3G can receive emails from. Once you received this email on your IPhone open it and you should see the attachment.
Figure 31: Receiving email with VCard attachment
Open and import vcd file
Open the attachment and the IPhone will automatically recognize the format of the file and initiate an contact import. At this point you just need to click Add All Contacts and you have finally transferred your contacts from your LG phone to your IPhone. Congratulations.
Figure 32: Open attachment and import contacts
This procedure seems a lot of work, and I am sure that there is even an easier way, which I haven't found yet. Tried to directly have the LG phone talk to the IPhone 3G via Bluetooth, but without success. The advantage about this approach is that I didn't need to buy a specialized cable for my old LG phone and could use the Bluetooth instead and I didn't need to buy any software for reading and exporting the contacts. BitPim works great and is free. What a bargain.