Palm LifeDrive Chronicles: Ch 4 - the Perfect BT Phone Companion

by Derrick Story

The one thing the LifeDrive lacks is the ability to send SMS messages, or connect to the Internet when there are no WiFi hotspots available. Fortunately, its Bluetooth capabilities make it the perfect companion for a BT phone, and vice-versa.

I carry a Sony Ericsson T637 handset in my pocket. When I want it to communicate with the LifeDrive, I turn on its Bluetooth networking. They've already been paired, so everything is pretty seamless from this point forward.

I particularly like sending text messages using the LifeDrive's SMS application. I can search my address book for the appropriate mobile number and don't even have to type it in. Just click on the name and the number is added to the send list. Once I compose my message using the stylus and Graffiti, which is far easier and faster for me than pecking it out on my phone's numeric pad, I hit the send button and the LifeDrive uses the phone's network to deliver my note. Very easy.

Speaking of input, it's sure easier to enter a new contact record on the LifeDrive, then send it via Bluetooth to my phone. After I complete the record on the LifeDrive, I choose "Send Contact" from the Options menu, and select "Bluetooth." The LifeDrive shows me all my paired BT devices, and I can check the boxes of those I want to send the data to.

One last handy trick. If I take a cool shot with my digital camera (with SD memory), and I want to send it via SMS or store it in my phone to show to others, the LifeDrive can help with that too. I first resize the image in my camera to 320 x 240 to reduce its file size and resolution, then I take the memory card out of the camera and put it in the LifeDrive.

This causes the Media application to launch. I choose "View pictures without copying to the LifeDrive." I then select the image I want, choose "Send" from the Options menu, and select "Bluetooth." The LifeDrive sends the sampled down photo to my phone's picture album. And because I took the shot with a digital camera instead of the camera phone, the quality is much higher.

In my opinion, Bluetooth is only as good as the devices you have to communicate with. The SE T637 makes a great companion to the LifeDrive.

For more LifeDrive tips, be sure to visit Edd Dumbill's weblog, LifeDrive survival tips. Edd and I worked together at O'Reilly for years, and he shares the same passion for mobile devices that I do. Edd has some nice tips for Linux users who are toting a LD.

The LifeDrive Chronicles

Ch 1 - Internet Radio

Ch 2 - Gmail Instead of POP

Ch 3 - A Versatile Photog's Assistant

Ch 4 - The Perfect BT Phone Companion

Ch 5 - Audio Shuttle and Player