Whether you realize it or not, your cell phone has been holding you prisoner, or rather, your cell phone provider has been holding you prisoner. And we don't mean that you spend too much time talking and texting or that your monthly plan is a rip-off because, as Clark Gable says, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." But we do give a damn about consumers having to pay twice for the same content and consumers not having adequate access to devices they own. This guide will tell you how to use BitPim to set your phone free.
BitPim is a free, open-source software program that gives you access to many of your phone's features, including: contacts, images/wallpapers, call history, text message history, ringtones/music, videos, and calendar. BitPim allows you to backup cell phone data onto your computer and vice versa, meaning you can transfer files from your computer to your phone as well.
BitPim is available for PC, Mac, and Linux operating systems, however, it only works with CDMA phones. In the US, Verizon and Sprint are the largest CDMA carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM networks).
What You'll Need:
2. You will need to connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. Simple enough, but your phone won't work with any old USB cable, you will need to find one specifically made for your model of phone. Think of it like your phone's power cord. There are two ways you can get a USB cable for your phone:
- Buy it through your cell phone provider. Verizon, for example, sells a "Music Essentials Kit" that includes a USB cable specific to your phone. You can buy the kit through a Verizon retail store, the Verizon online store, or an online reseller (just search "verizon music essentials," but here's an example).
- Buy it seperately through Ebay or another online auctioneer. The Verizon kit costs from $15-$30 depending on where you buy it. The kit also packages the USB cord with headphones and Verizon's Music Manager software, which you may not want to pay for. You can find most phones' USB cables on Ebay for under $5.
3. Find and install your phone's drivers on your computer. Without the proper drivers, your computer will not recognize your phone when you connect it to the USB cable. There are two ways to get your phone's drivers:
- Buy them from your cell phone provider. Your phone's drivers will come packaged with the USB cable in the Verizon Music Essentials Kit mentioned above. You may not want to pay for the other things in the package, but for some models of phones, it is the only way to get the necessary drivers.
- Download them online from the manufacturer's website or message boards and forums. Some manufacturers make their phones' drivers available online for certain models of phones. There are also a number of message boards and forums where users have posted links to drivers, which you can find by doing a search on the specific model of your phone along with "drivers."
1. Install BitPim
2. Install your phone's software drivers. (Note: If you are using a CD from your service provider, such as Verizon, you do NOT need to install the other software on the CD for BitPim to work. You ONLY need to install the drivers.)
3. Connect the USB cable to your computer first and then to your phone. Your computer should give you some kind of notification that it recognizes a new USB device.
4. Start BitPim. When BitPim is open and running you should see the model of your phone displayed in the lower right-hand corner along with a green or red light indicating whether or not your phone is connected.
5. If BitPim is struggling to recognize your phone, first try using a different USB port and rechecking that the drivers were installed correctly. If neither of those work, consult BitPim's Troubleshooting documentation.
That depends on why you wanted to hack your phone. We hope the following sections will enable you to do what you had in mind, if not, let us know and we'll do our best to help you out. Also, it's not hard to erase everything on your phone if you aren't careful at a few crucial points, so make sure you read the potential pitfalls before going any further. Best of luck.