from phone to phone

In the past I’ve switched cell phone providers from Sprint to Verizon, then with Verizon from one phone (LGV3100) to another (LGV4400B), then to AT&T and have noticed a disturbing lack of functionality. I can’t believe that with all the games, ring tones and screen savers on phones nowadays there isn’t an easy way to upload or export your phone numbers and names to another phone (without buying some extra device). It took me about 30 minutes to key all the names in, multiplied by the number of phones. I don’t see why I should ever have to type them in twice.

Why not have an infrared port to send them all, or a cable that could be connected between the two phones. Or maybe even an upload feature that would allow you to store it to a web site, then download it to the other phone. Maybe this exists and I’m not aware of it, but you’d think they would want to make it easy to switch phones and thus make it very clear how to do it.


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  1. Ahh… the feeling of not owning a cell phone at all. :)

    Hmm… I’m sure if you asked the people, they can guide you.

    Radio Shack had a commercial on that recently…

    Comment by Teja on September 16, 2004 @ 3:03 pm
  2. I’m getting very close to that point myself. I’ll be writing about that in another entry.

    Comment by dan on September 16, 2004 @ 4:29 pm
  3. My Palm-phone syncs contacts with the computer just fine. I’m sure some other phones with more advanced PDA features will do contact-syncing as well.

    Comment by Levi on September 16, 2004 @ 5:07 pm
  4. You shouldn’t have to buy a PDA-phone just to be able to transfer your address book.

    I’ve seen hundreds of people with cell phones, and I could probably count the number of PDA-phones I’ve seen on one hand, so that’s also not addressing the needs of the mainstream cell phone user.

    Comment by dan on September 16, 2004 @ 5:18 pm
  5. Well, my first cell phone had a computer cable that’d sync the phone numbers with an app on the computer. I suppose if I’d upgraded to another Motorola phone I’d be able to sync them back in.

    Anyway, I agree that it should be a more common feature, but what can you do? They’re more interested in adding things they can charge for, like downloadable games and ring tones.

    Comment by Levi on September 17, 2004 @ 9:30 am
  6. I’ve run into the same thing many times. It’s a combination of two things: the phone, and the service. Digital/GSM services use a SIM card that is basically flash memory, and all contacts are stored on the card. You can then simply transfer the card from phone to phone and retain your contacts (though the phone settings need to be updated). I’ve done it many times. Analog phones, such as AT&T’s have not had this service, until recently (the new phones at work use SIM cards), thanks to Cingular buying AT&T wireless.

    The other half of the equation I mentioned is the phone. Nicer phones (especially in the non-SIM category) have IR and cable uplinks, along with software suites to do nifty things. Those aren’t included in the base (often free) phones, because they want you to spend some money and upgrade. But I agree that it should be basic.

    Comment by Cameron on September 17, 2004 @ 10:34 am
  7. Cameron: That’s good to know. It sounds like the SIM cards are the way to go.

    Comment by dan on September 17, 2004 @ 11:34 am
  8. My Nokia phone has desktop software that allows it to sync with Microsoft Outlook.

    Comment by Eric James Stone on September 18, 2004 @ 4:54 pm
  9. That’s along the lines of what I had hoped all cell phones could do.

    Comment by dan on September 18, 2004 @ 4:59 pm
  10. Sometimes it is in the “best” interest of the phone company to force you to use their network to transfer the information.

    Verizon actually modified the firmware of their Bluetooth phones to prevent phone to phone communication, forcing their customers to use their “for-pay” services to transfer PIM information.

    See Slashdot Story Here

    Comment by scott on September 20, 2004 @ 1:41 am

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