Back up your phone’s contacts easily with Ubuntu and Bluetooth

I’m preparing to hand down my LG Lotus to my wife, who has coveted it since I brought the cute purple phone home, and upgrade to an HTC Evo. We were anticipating the pain of re-entering contacts, so I tried BitPim, software I hadn’t used for several years. It failed on both of our current phones. I was about to go with Sprint‘s solution for backing up contacts but then I discovered that if you’ve got a bluetooth radio, you can easily move contacts to and from the phone.

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Vicky’s new(ish) laptop has bluetooth. I hit the function key and the little applet fired up. I told my phone to make itself visible for 3 minutes and paired it with the laptop. This is all painless and mostly automatic through the applet. I played around and could move files between the two, but contacts wouldn’t send. Then I discovered that you have to tell the applet that it’s OK for the phone to send it contacts. It’s a button under the list of known devices. The Lotus has a menu item for sending all contacts, and they came over quickly. Vicky’s lame Samsung SPH-M220 requires clicking on a contact, going through the whole process of connecting via bluetooth and then sending…for each contact. She’s going through her list right now.

Once again, it just works on Ubuntu.