How-to: Send text messages and files using Bluetooth

Difficulty: 1.5

Screenshot0006With the addition of Bluetooth technology in many mobile phone handsets, we are now able to create small networks in which we can pass around notes and files from one phone or computer to another.

While there are not really many practical reasons for doing this, it is free, easy, and fun to play with.

I think about a school classroom, where teenagers are texting each other messages in class, each time clocking up 15c on their phone bill. As they are in close range to each other, there is no need for this to cost money. If both their phones are fitted with Bluetooth, they are able to use this technology to send the notes for free.

This article will show you how to send messages and files from one phone to another over a short range for free, using Bluetooth technology. We can also send files such as ring tones, images and other audio files to one another using the same method. No additional software is required to make this work.

This article will show:

  • A message/file sent from a Nokia N70 to a Windows Vista PC running Outlook 2007.
  • A message/file sent from a Nokia N70 to a HP Ipaq rw6828
  • A message/file sent from a HP Ipaq rw6828 to a Nokia N70

This should be possible on just about any Bluetooth enabled phone. The menus will be different, but the idea will be the same.

Bluetooth has a minimum range of 10 metres, but many newer devices have Bluetooth 2.0 installed which allows for a range of 100 metres. Either way you look at it, 10 metres is plenty of distance for most meeting rooms and classrooms. Using an early Bluetooth version, I have never struggled to reach 20 metres when there has been a clear line of sight.

File formats:

As different devices support different file types, you may find that some phones cannot view what you send them.  For example, A standard Windows mobile note file is in pwi format, and this is not viewable on a Symbian phone, so it is best to send the message as a txt file.

I have had success sending the following file types:

  • Images: jpg, gif, png
  • Audio: wav, mp3, mid
  • Text: txt, doc

While you are able to send just about any type of file you want successfully, if the other end cannot view the file, you are wasting your time.

Also worth noting is the size of the file. Bluetooth is a slow medium for sending files. While a txt file is small and will show up in seconds, an image file is much larger and can take many minutes. 

Sending and receiving a message from a Windows Mobile device:
(I will be using an HP Ipaq rw6828)

Rw6828wordmessageYou are able to make text messages in many programs on a Windows Mobile Device but your best bet is to use Word Mobile as you will have the option to send the message as either a doc file or a txt file.

Once you have written the message you want to send:

Tap “Menu”

Tap “File”

Tap “Beam” 

 

 

Rw6828msgsendYour device will now scan the local area for Bluetooth devices in range.

Select the device you want to. As you can see here, I have the option to send it to a Nokia N70 or my Desktop.

Tap “Tap to send”

You will see your device sending the message, and it will say “Done” when the send is complete.

 

 

Ringsendrw6828You can send just about any type of file.

When you are in “File Explorer”, hold down on any file and select “Beam File”. You will be prompted with the same screen as above.

It’s that easy.

If you are using a Windows Mobile Device and you receive a message or file from someone else, you will get the option to accept or reject the message. 

The message or file can be found in your devices “My Documents” folder.

Sending and receiving a message from a Symbian OS device:
(I will be using a Nokia N70)

Screenshot0006

The Symbian OS is nice to work with when playing around with messages. The notes program sends messages in txt format, which is the ideal format for other devices to view.

Open up “Notes” and create your message.

Select “Options”

Select “Send”

Select “Via Bluetooth”

Screenshot0007Your phone will do a scan of the local area and list the compatible devices. Select which one you would like to send it to and press “Send”.

You will then see the message being sent.

 

 

 

Screenshot0004Another great thing about the Symbian OS receiving files and messages, is that it comes up in your inbox as a normal message. The only difference is that the icon is the Bluetooth icon instead of an envelope.

It is just as nice as sending a standard sms, apart from the fact that it is free.

 

 

Sending files is easy as well. You can do this from the File Manager or the Gallery. Choose the image and select the same “Send” options as above. It is clear that this was meant to be a well used function of our devices, we just don’t use it enough.

Sending a message to a PC:

PC’s are a little more fussy about which files they can receive. The documents will show up in your notes component of Outlook. You are able to send images and music around too. I have found it to be a bit hit and miss. I have had success with various file formats, but it was unreliable for me.

There are less reasons for sending files and messages to a PC as you are likely to be able to set up a pairing, and have a direct link to send files in bulk.

If you are using Vista, right clicking in your Bluetooth task tray will give you the option to send and receive files. Ensure that you have set your computer to receive files before sending it from another device.

Conclusion:

This technology opens us up to all sorts of options with people near to us. A very useful task you can do, is pass e-business cards around to people nearby at the end of a meeting. They will have your phone number in their phone and they won’t have to find the physical paper version of your card. You will always be close at hand for them.

As time goes on, we will be able to make greater use of this technology as more services become available. It is good to get in the habit of utilising it now, as it will grow. Show your colleagues that you are tech savvy, it’s not hard, it just looks clever.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please stick around and check out some other articles at Inspect My Gadget


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16 Comments so far »
 

  1. DeVonte Jones said, on November 24, 2007 @ 11:59 am

    Man that is sooo cool but i dont have that feature on my phone i think. i have an alltel LG. Maybe i just dont know where to look, so if you can help me just send me an email to miruoku77@yahoo.com

  2. val said, on December 9, 2007 @ 10:23 am

    that info. was very helpful! thank you! but i do have one question…you can’t beam a file or picture if the other bluetooth device is not close by, correct?

  3. Inspect My Gadget said, on December 9, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

    Val, you are correct. It may be 10m or 100m depending on the Bluetooth on each phone. Further distances require a GPRS/3G/etc or Wifi, but then you need to use other methods also.

  4. sophie said, on February 10, 2008 @ 3:59 am

    do lg chocloates phones have the bluetooth note thing?

  5. Justine Chan said, on March 14, 2008 @ 4:48 pm

    Can You Send Messages From The Mobile Phone To Your Computer? If Yes, Then How? If no, Then, Thank You, Anyways…:D

  6. winzter143 said, on August 5, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

    can i integreate in my PHP Program the sending SMS/message to the Bluetooth Mobile Phone Form my Personal/Desktop Computer..

    if Yes, what is the requirement/need in integreating the sending message to the phone via Bluetooth?

    thanks in advance..

  7. Chris Duckworth said, on August 5, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

    Winzter, I haven’t looked into that before, but I am sure there would be a way. You may need to use java to get it up and running. Maybe check this out

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/phpblue/

    or do a search on Sourceforge. There is a tonne of programs you may be able to grab code from to do what you want.

  8. winzter143 said, on August 5, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

    thanks, Chris Duckworth

    i really accepted your suggestion..

  9. Bhhappy said, on August 5, 2008 @ 5:02 pm

    Hi! Using this method, – please tell me what I need to do so that I can txt messaging between 2 bluetooth cellphone within a WiFi environment? Both cells do not have phone numbers/service providers. Thank you

  10. Chris Duckworth said, on August 5, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

    Bhhappy, I am not really sure if there is a right way to do it. Maybe using something like msn messenger or an irc client on the phone would do the trick. Otherwise, setting up email on both devices would also do the trick.

  11. Emily Jhonson said, on September 21, 2008 @ 4:50 am

    both phones(there differt kinds) have blue tooth on them but when im looking for a device it says not in touch what could be the problem when im holding them next to each other

  12. Chris Duckworth said, on September 25, 2008 @ 8:31 am

    Hi Emily, Bluetooht is a wireless technology so the phones don’t need to be touching. All bluetooth phones should handle at least 10m apart. I suggest looking through the settings again and make sure that anything refering to the term “beam” is turned on. Try sending them from one phone to the other and back again to see which phone has the wrong settings. I should be in the manual of both phones if Bluetooht is on both phones.

  13. Dave said, on December 10, 2009 @ 3:12 am

    Wow, thanks man! This girl kept on messaging me via bluetooth and I was a bit pissed that I didn’t know how to reply back but this time it won’t happen!

  14. tony said, on January 5, 2010 @ 3:59 am

    hi, is it possible to merge two phones via bluetooth and then to receive the text messages that are sent to 1 phone on both phones ??

    thank you for your help.
    t.

  15. Blue Jack said, on May 10, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    A nice bluejacking tool for java cell phones is blueshoot.
    Blueshoot sends the message as vcard (vcf) not as note. So older devices can receive the message too and on some devices the message is showed up directly on the display! :-)
    Blueshoot is free an can be download at http://blueshoot.net/en/download/

  16. gabe said, on April 15, 2011 @ 3:49 am

    on my radio (while using my bluetooth) an envelope appears and when I listen to the message it says ONE word similar to this “kalome”. What does this mean and how can I delete it?
    the message has shown up many times.
    please help!





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