How to Connect an iPhone Bluetooth to Other Phones
By John Granby
Using Bluetooth to connect phones and exchanging data such as contact information, pictures or other files has been a standard feature on many phones for a long time. However, iPhones out-of-the-box are not capable of transferring this type of data using Bluetooth. It is possible to enable this behavior on a jailbroken phone running iOS 4.2 through 5.x using the AirBlue Bluetooth stack package and Sharing application. The Bluetooth stack modification allows data connections to send files, and the Sharing application uses those new modifications to connect to remote Bluetooth devices. The Bluetooth packages available are tested to work only on iOS 4.2 through 5.x jailbroken iPhones, as of January 2013.
Launch Cydia on your jailbroken iPhone and search for "AirBlue Stack." Tap the name of the package in the search results and tap the "Install" button to install the new Bluetooth stack. This Bluetooth stack package is best compared to a driver upgrade, providing the ability to create data connections with other Bluetooth devices to send files. Without this package -- or driver -- your phone will not be able to send pictures or contacts over Bluetooth.
Download and install "AirBlue Sharing" version 0.9.60-1 from Cydia. This is the free version, while the latest version 0.9.99 requires a purchase, as of January 2013.
Launch the Photos application on your iPhone to show your photo album, if you want to share a photo, for instance. (This same process will work for contacts from your contact list and any files you can access from your file system.) Tap a picture you want to send to your friend and tap the "share" button. Select "Bluetooth."
Disable the native Apple Bluetooth stack if you are prompted by the AirBlue application. This step is required because the iOS Bluetooth functionality does not allow you to connect to other Bluetooth devices to send files. You need to disable the native iOS Bluetooth function and allow the jailbreak package to take over.
Tap the name of your friend's phone in the search list. It may take some time for the list to locate the phone, especially if there are a lot of Bluetooth devices nearby.
Complete the pairing procedure, which will appear as a few simple steps on your phone as well as your friend's phone. At this point, the picture (or file) should transfer.
Re-enable your Apple Bluetooth stack if you use a Bluetooth headset with your phone. The AirBlue stack is useful for data transmission and is not a replacement for the audio functions on the iPhone. Tap "Settings," then "General," then "Bluetooth" and slide the switch to "ON."
- The information in this article applies to jailbroken iPhones running iOS 4.2 to 5.x. These may not work for other versions of iOS. This also applies to AirBlue Stack version 1.5.22 and AirBlue Sharing version 0.9.60-1.
- Jailbreaking your iPhone is not supported by Apple and doing so will void the warranty on your phone.
John Granby began his writing career in 2000 as a founding member of a tech industry website targeted at WAP developers. He has provided in-depth coverage of the wireless industry, served as a speaker at several conferences and authored a book on Bluetooth. Granby earned a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from Purdue University.