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Treo 700w, Bluetooth, Mac OS X, and BMW iDrive

Ever since I got my MacBook Pro I have been trying to find a way to connect my Treo 700w Windows Mobile phone to OS X for a mobile internet connection while on the road. Verizon has amazingly fast EVDO service for my phone, and I wanted to take advantage of tethering it to my laptop. Syncing data (contacts, etc) on Windows Mobile phones in OS X is possible through 3rd party software, but until today I hadn't been able to figure out how to use my 700w as a modem in OS X. I searched Google for over an hour when I first got the MacBook, but was unable to find a workable solution. This past weekend I was finally able to see success and I thought I would share for everyone else out there trying to use their Windows Mobile phone as a modem in OS X.

I actually found the solution more or less by accident. The lease was up on my car, so I turned it in and decided to get a BMW with their iDrive system. Windows Mobile phones with Bluetooth will connect to the system for hands-free calling, but you can't browse the phone book, recent callers list, etc, out of the box. After some Google hunting I was able to find a blog post by Jason Langridge about Bluetooth car support for Windows Mobile devices. In his post he points readers to an add-on from JETware Mobile Software that opens up a lot of additional Bluetooth functionality on Windows Mobile phones, allowing systems like BMW's iDrive to access additional features on your phone. Installation was extremely simple, and it is only $15 to boot, with a free 30-day trial.

My phone now connected perfectly to the iDrive system, allowing me to scroll through and dial from my phone book, view recent callers, view my current reception level, and more. This got me to thinking -- if I now had more open Bluetooth on my phone, maybe my MacBook Pro could now play nice with my Treo 700w (or, more likely, the other way around). I set my phone next to my MacBook and it connected without a hitch.

When you are pairing your phone to your MacBook, OS X will ask you for a username, password, phone number, and modem type. It is crucial that you leave the username and password blank, and enter "#777" for the phone number (without the quotes). For the modem type, select "Verzion compatible" from the list. At this point you should be able to connect and use your phone as a modem.

I should note that in addition to the JETware Bluetooth add-ons and pairing the 700w with my MacBook Pro, I had already installed PDAnet's software which allows you to use your Treo 700w as a modem on Windows computers. This installs and runs on both your Windows computer and your phone, and the software it installs on your phone could be an integral part to the equation for Mac OS X. If the first two steps above do not allow you to connect, I suggest trying to install PDAnet as well.

Hope this helps others to avoid the frustration I have had for the past six months or so. Enjoy!

[Update 07/07/2007: Verizon has released a software update that seems to include lots of extra bluetooth functionality. I would suggest installing the free update and testing the new bluetooth capabilities with your iDrive before installing the JETware add-ons. Can anyone else verify if this works in the comments, please?]

Renaun Erickson said,

April 28, 2007 @ 11:54 am

I tried the JETWare and didn’t have any luck. Now I am going to try the PDAnet’s software in connection with the JETWare, hopefully it will work. Thanks for the post, it will be sweet if I can get this to work.

Renaun Erickson said,

April 28, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

sweet it works! I had to use the PDAnet’s software to get it to work.

jonnymac said,

April 28, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

Great — I’m glad to hear you were able to replicate!

James said,

May 2, 2007 @ 2:16 pm

I am able to get a connection established using the method above, but it is nowhere near stable. I’ll give you one guess which os locks up on me :)

For now my side solution is to run XP in parallels and then use the PDANET connector via USB, then backwards bridge the connection to OSX. Hopefully someone more skilled than I will create some sort of less convoluted method in the not too distant future.

Jim said,

May 23, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

Have you been able to get your Mac to use the 700W to dial from the address book? My phone is connected fine but won’t do that – tried my Treo 650 as well and neither it or my 700WX will hook up with the address book. Any ideas?

jonnymac said,

May 23, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

Jim – No, I haven’t been able to get the address book to dial through bluetooth, but honestly, I didn’t put that much effort into it. I’m not sure what the requirements are for address book to work properly — maybe Apple has it posted on their site somewhere?

Matthew C said,

August 7, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

Hey Jonnymac,
Many thanks for sharing your experience here. I’m a PC guy about to switch to MAC and this is a very important consideration. I’d much rather not start paying for wireless when I’m mobile. I’ve used PDAnet for internet service on my Dell laptop until now through my Treo and its Verizon data service.
I don’t even have the MACpro yet and definitely don’t know much about how and what I can install on it. But my impression is that PDAnet is only for Windows computers and not MACs. So how would one install that on the MAC for this purpose?

So it seems that it is necessary to install the Jetware add-on AND the PDAnet.

Many thanks,

Matt

Jim said,

August 19, 2007 @ 7:55 am

Jonnymac,

This so cool I can’t even believe it. It actually makes the treo internet service worth something to me now. Thanks so much for the info.

tom Dazero said,

December 31, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

I was searching the internet for software to sync my Trio 700W to a MacBook Pro and this article was the closet to what I was looking for. Can you advise of what 3rd party software is out there for syncing.

Thanks

Tom

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