It appears that no matter what cellphone carrier you use, there is at least one way to transfer pictures from your computer to your camera phone's gallery.
I have a cellphone with a built-in camera, and I’m guessing a fair number of you do, too. You may also have a collection of fairly fuzzy images stored on that phone. I sure do, and would love to have my best family photos on the phonecam, but they’re stored in my computer.
So when I hear about a service that enables me to transfer photos from my PC to my cellphone, I’m interested.
Datex Systems Pics2Phones (www.pics2phones.com, $20, Windows) is designed to make it easy to manipulate and transfer photos from a PC, the Internet or the Pics2Phones clip-art library to any mobile device that can download and display images.
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That sounds good to me, so I download the software and select my Sprint PCS cellphone model to receive the photos.
Next, I browse the photos in my PC’s My Pictures folder and choose one to transfer. Pics2Phones automatically converts it to the correct file size and dimensions for the selected cellphone. Of course, that conversion means a 5-megapixel image on a PC will be shrunk to the size of a phonecam image, but I’m hopeful it will look better.
I push the WAP button to upload the photo to the Pics2Phones Web server where it can be downloaded by the cellphone in the standard WAP format supported by most mobile devices. Pics2Phones then provides a Web address to enter on the cellphone to go to download the photo.
I could have used the Pics2Phones editing tools to zoom in on the image; crop it; add text; alter the brightness/contrast, hue and saturation; add a frame and more, but I’m in a hurry to send it and see if my cellphone will actually get the picture.
It displays the photo of my daughter on the Web page, and it looks great, but there’s no option to save it in the cellphone gallery, use it as a screensaver or assign it to the phone book. When I download the photo to a different Sprint cellphone, a message says it’s saved as wallpaper, but I can’t find it anywhere.
Sigh. I’ve been hoping to carry a really high-class photo collection on my cellphone.
A few days later, I discover I can’t download to my camera phone because Sprint has disabled the Downloads folder on its phones and (that very day) launched its own free service that enables me to transfer photos from my computer (PC or Mac) to my camera phone.
In an instant, I’m at Sprint’s picture Web site (pictures.sprintpcs.com), log on to my personal picture page and follow the easy directions to transfer photos from my Mac to my Sprint picture page.
When the photos are there, I pick up my cellphone and go from the main Menu to Pictures and then Online Pics. The cellphone connects to my Sprint picture page on the Web and I choose Uploads. The pictures are there. I highlight each one, click the Options button and choose Save to Wallet.
Then I go back to the main Menu to Pictures and Picture Wallet. Again, I highlight each downloaded photo and click Options. I can choose to save the picture in the handset’s gallery, make it the cellphone’s screen saver, or assign it to a phone-book contact so that when that person calls, his or her picture flashes on the screen.
Finally, I have a collection of photos on my cellphone that I’m proud to show. The transferred images have been reduced and reformatted to fit the cellphone, but they still look a lot better than most I took with the phonecam.
So, it looks like Sprint customers have a solution, but supposing your cellphone carrier is Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA or Cingular Wireless? I query representatives from those carriers and discover there are solutions for them, too.
If you have a Verizon camera phone and service, for example, you can send a slideshow of up to nine pictures to your handset from your Verizon online picture page, and those pictures can be transferred from your PC or Mac.
A T-Mobile representative reports that customers can transfer photos from a PC or Mac to a camera phone using T-Mobile’s free MyAlbum service, plus you can also download photos from outside services.
If you have a camera phone from Cingular, you can download photos from an outside service such as Pics2Phones, according to a Cingular representative.
In addition, if your phonecam has Bluetooth or infrared capability, you can use that to transfer pictures from your computer to the handset.
It appears that no matter what cellphone carrier you use, there is at least one way to transfer pictures from your computer to your camera phone’s gallery.
If this idea intrigues you, go ahead and try your carrier’s service, and if that doesn’t work well, try the Pic2Phones free trial.
I’ll bet you, too, will enjoy having your best photos on your phone.
Write Linda Knapp at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Getting Started columns: www.seattletimes.com/gettingstarted