So you just got a Blackberry Pearl and you have a mac…

I unpacked my new Blackberry Pearl a few hours ago and after running all over the web trying to solve basic problems, I figured I should do a roundup of the basics here for other mac users, since I couldn’t find all this info in one place.

  • Charge it up the first time by plugging it into a wall. It seems buggy at first with USB charging, giving errors that you are not using a powered USB port and you are missing drivers, both which are untrue. My iMac worked fine after the first charge.
  • You can’t pair the device to your mac via OS X’s bluetooth utilities just yet. That means no iSync over bluetooth right now either. I suspect this is coming someday soon and someone can correct me on all the backstory (leave a comment).
  • update: at this point I would suggest using Missing Sync for the Blackberry Pearl. It’s much more stable and reliable than PocketMac.
  • You can use PocketMac along with the included USB cable for syncing, but don’t look for it on PocketMac’s product page, you can only get it from Blackberry directly following a link halfway down this page.
  • PocketMac 4.0 will resemble iSync and let you sync your address book, calendar, etc. Be sure to launch the app, then connect via USB, then sync everything. PocketMac refused to launch until I did it in this exact order.
  • Even though you can’t do much via bluetooth, apparently using the blackberry as a modem with bluetooth is possible and works using this modem script and set of instructions. I also hear it is free under T Mobile’s regular blackberry plans (I used to pay $20/month for the luxury on my old phone).
  • You can apparently transfer files over bluetooth but it sounds buggy.

Hopefully iSync/OSX starts fully supporting the device soon, but until then, this was all the info I needed to get started. Gmail works great on the device as does MetaFilter, so I’ll be set whenever I’m on the road and away from the keyboard.

244 thoughts on “So you just got a Blackberry Pearl and you have a mac…

  1. So guys… if you really want to get everything to sync up, try plaxo to sync up your outlook contacts with your iCal contacts. Assuming you are on a blackberry enterprise server synced up with outlook, this will work well. My blackberry, outlook, and iCal remain in sync.

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  2. A quick note about the Bluetooth MP3 transfers. Open Bluetooth on OS X, search “Any device” to find the Pearl. Once it’s established, use the file menu for Bluetooth (you can activate this in preferences) to “Send file…”
    As a previous user said, you can use the Menu in the media folder to “Receive using bluetooth”
    If you fail to active the Pearl first and prepare it to receive, the Mac error message in Bluetooth is: Device does not have the necessary specifications or something to that effect.
    I just tried this 4x and it fails upon transfer. Shame. It was an MP3 file (not an iTunes Store protected .mp4).
    In Entourage, everything sync’ed for me using PocketMac except for the Notes. It transferred nothing, in both sync mode or Mac override mode.

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  3. Hi
    Just bought a Pearl and will, hopefully, be syncing with Entourage. Trying to register the Blackberry and don’t know how to identify the serial number. Can anyone help please? Thanks in advance!

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  4. hey just wonderig while we’re all here – does anyone know if the Motorola bluetooth stereomoto headphones/microphone is compatible with the Pearl. The included earbuds/mic don’t stay in my head and i haven’t been able to find anything yet.

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  5. Well…after months of waiting for RIM and PocketMac to come up with software that allows me to sync my Mac with the Pearl, I finally gave up and went with Mark/Space’s Missing Sync.
    It is NOT perfect…and getting it to work took me about an hour of fiddling time to finally get everything where I want it. However, I can now sync my calendar simply and reliably…which PocketMac didn’t allow me to do.
    (Ironically, I upgraded to the ‘8700, solely for the purpose of being able to sync, while keeping the Pearl as a standby device. But the ‘8700, while it has the larger screen, just seemed too big to me. I wanted the compact form factor of the Pearl, and don’t mind the TrueType keyboard in the least.)
    It absolutely amazes me that RIM and PocketMac could not figure out how to make this stuff work simply. Perhaps they’re only paying lip service, I don’t know.

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  6. Okay, perhaps I’m asking for the impossible….but….
    I’d really like to be able to use my Blackberry to track my spending/checkbook/budget/etc. Like Quicken but for my Blackberry and my Mac. Asendo makes a program called “Money” like this for Windows users. There’s another program called MoneyDance that’s for use on a Mac, but not on a handheld. Any ideas?

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  7. I got the missing sync program and have had no problems syncing stuff!
    Does anyone know – I can’t seem to get my mac and pearl connected via bluetooth – is there a trick? Or is it not possible?
    Thanks in advance for any wisdom.

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  8. I got my BB Pearl 8100 last Oct, and struggled with the free PocketMac ever since. What an embarrasing piece of junk for RIM to be distributing! It was buggy (randomly crashed, always reported errors if I tried to sync Tasks), very slow to sync with my PowerBook G4 (several minutes even when nothing had changed), and screwed up my Address Book groups during every sync (creating new “intersection” groups containing common members of other groups). The very day The Missing Sync 1.0 was released, I bought it, and what a relief: It is FAST (about 1 minute for most syncs), reliable (hasn’t crashed once), and competent (syncs with iCal & Address Book without noticeable errors). You get what you pay for. Don’t waste your time with PocketMac.

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  9. i just got a blackberry pearl today and i also just downloaded pocket mac.
    seems pretty pointless to me actually….sure i can update my contacts…but how often do i need to do that?
    I was thinking that pocketmac was going to let me sync things that were actually worth while like music, videos, and pictures.
    Is there a way to sync these files without the micro SD card??
    does anyone know how to get your music files and set them as your ringtone?
    i know its possible because my sister has many many songs that she had from itunes and i think through bluetooth transferred them and now has them as ringtones…
    that was on a razr phone though…
    is there a way to do this with a blackberry??
    thanks!

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  10. Ok I have a question, it is very strange, but the phone sound only works when I use the speaker, or the head set….but the volume and everything doesnt work when I call someone when I just use the normal phone via by itself, like when i call someone normally, it doesn;’t have any sound, or ringtone. But when i plug in the headset, or the speaker, then it works? Does anyone have any suggestions for me? THANKS!

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  11. Has anyone had problems with their phone I can only hear callers if its on speaker or with the ear piece on. I can’t hear from the phone itself. The caller can hear me but I can’t hear anything.
    Please advise….Thanks again.
    Help me………………………………………………

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  12. I have a really strange problem; I have a Mac, I have a BB Pearl and I also have Missing Sync.
    Now when I downloaded Missing Sync and installed it on my computer and tried to sync Pearl with Mac. With iCal (calendar) it went quite well with no major problems, however I cannot sync my Contacts. I have tried all the common troubleshooting solutions, i.e. restarting both devices, checking the cable, etc.
    It won’t just work ! I am on the verge of getting crazy. I love my Mac and want to go on using it but I also liked the Pearl very much and want to use it too, but because of the missing contacts I am going around with two phone devices which is quite annoying.
    So does anyone have a solution – reason why this is happening ???
    I will really appreciate any answers on this 🙂
    Thanks !

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  13. Has anybody got a Pearl to connect to a Nokia 616 car kit or similar device? Does the Pearl have the necessary Bluetooth profiles to do this?

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  14. This may be useful to some people here:
    I’ve struggled for weeks to sync my Pearl with Entourage (using PocketMac) and received several different error messages along the way. I’ve finally successfully synched. Turns out, I had to first download the update for Office X and then download the “microsoft handheld syncronization for Entourage x” and then was able to sync without a problem.

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  15. hey… downloaded the Pocket Mac v4 and i can’t even get it to recognize the BB. Nowhere in this forum does it mention whether a specific version of OS X is necessary. just wondering if Tiger is needed? i have 10.3.9 and am not sure whether that is why Pocket Mac won’t even BEGIN to work… please help

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  16. I just recently bought a BB pearl and I was wondering how to blue tooth songs from my old phone(KRZR) to my pearl. It keeps telling me cannot be supported. Thanks so much

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  17. Reju
    Had a similar problem with my old phone. Take a look and see if there is any debris in the hands-free connection socket.
    I was lucky, plugging in my headset and removing it remedied my problem. I hope you are lucky too.

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  18. I am fairly certain that the “Unable to connect…skipping” problem with Pocket Mac and the Pearl is an issue only on the new intel machines. I synced fine on my PowerPC mac and 2 minutes later got the warning on my MacBook Pro then 2 minutes after that synced with the PowerPC just fine again.
    I’m no rocket surgeon, but it is my assumption, in my case anyway, that pocketmac isn’t up to speed with the new intel machines.

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  19. Reju, Yes I have had that problem with 2 bb. this is my third bb in 4wks. The speaker keeps going out on them. I can hear with earpiece on and on speaker phone that is it. I hope the 3rd bb works.

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  20. the easiest way to not receive the duplicate email generated from gmail, is to set up a filter on the blackberry mail server.
    1. if you’re a cingular customer, go to https://bis.na.blackberry.com/html?brand=mycingular
    2. login
    3. select the gmail account
    4. create a new filter
    5. select ”from’ field in the dropdown’. enter your own gmail address here.
    6. select the do not forward to device radio button.
    you’re done.

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  21. I have a new MacBook and BB Pearl. I can Bluetooth from my BB to my Mac, but when I try to Bluetooth from my Mac to my BB I get an error message “Device does not have the necessary services”. I can also send pics via Bluetooth to my other phone (SLVR) but again can’t send from other phone to my BB. Is there a trick or an adjustment I need to do to my BB so I can recieve Bluetooth? Thanks!

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  22. Sorry, I didn’t read up far enough…its working now! BB question: When I recieve an email, I get it twice. One in my email folder and one in my message folder. How can I get it to just send to my email folder? Thanks again!

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  23. It took me an hour to configure the Pearl to use as a modem for my Mac because of the whole modem script thing, but after that it was a breeze! the only problem im having is that after being connected via my 8100 pearl, every 3 minutes it would automatically disconnect. the error message i get from my macbook is:
    INTERNET CONNECT
    “The connection was terminated because the other side is not responding. Please try again.”
    i figured it was due to reception or something having to do with t-mobile, but its not cuz i have full signal strength, and this error message i get happens to me everywhere! does anyone know how to get it to stop?? it sucks having to hit connect and accept the connection every 2 minutes! HELP! email me if you have any idea about this issue or know of how i may resolve this problem.
    thanks!
    yayitsdiane@yahoo.com

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  24. Ok, so following advice…I purchased a micro-SD and Missing Sync for my BlackBerry Pearl in hopes of getting this damn thing to accept music downloads.
    Sure, the card comes up with the music, pictures, ect ect. folders, however when I copy music into the music folder I am unable to find it ANYWHERE on my pearl.
    Ahh, so frustrating. What could I be doing wrong, and why isn’t it in the normal music folder of the BlackBerry?
    I have read through everything above and am still lost. Can someone lend a hand?
    Thanks!

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  25. After reading this entire site, it is not clear whether there is a reliable way to synch mac and pearl. Does anyone feel comfortable giving a definitive answer now?

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  26. soooo i love my pearl but…i think i just realized that you can not set your ringtones to specific callers. for example when you take a picture you can set the picture to any caller….on many other phones when you get a ringer you can set that ringer to a specific person but it seems u can not do this on the pearl. did i just overlook this feature (i hope) or am i right?

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  27. Matthew, I can’t guarantee this is the problem based on your description, but most likely you are both forwarding email to your BB and registering the same BB email address BB because you are using it as a return address. Therefore an email arrives once (immediately) as a “push” email to your BB address and is “pulled” from your non-BB POP mail account by the BB server. The second copy of the email will appear up to 15 minutes later.

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  28. I recently purchased the pearl after having the treo 650 for some time. I also have a macbook intel. So far I have been able to sync my address contacts and ical with little problem. there was an initial error but the solution was supported on the blackberry website. I have also been able to send and receive small sound and pic files between the computer and blackberry. I’ll say it’s not intuitive but it wasn’t impossible. Like the previous poster said, once you set your phone and computer to recognize each other via bluetooth, you can tell your phone to receive via bluetooth, and then tell your computer to send a specific file. I have not been able to send 5mb sound files, but I have been able to shorten mp3s in garageband and then send them to my phone for custom ringtones! As stupid as that sounds it has brought me much joy to have my own ringtone as opposed to the 10 that the treo offered.
    Hopefully it remains to be a good new phone choice.

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  29. if you want to send files and mp3s to your bb pearl its easy.
    go to your BB pearl and enter the main menu where you can access your music/pictures/whatever and then cick on an option (music/pictures/videos/ringtones)
    then click the option button (the one with the seven dots on it – to the left of the pearl scroll pad)
    from here you should be able to find a menu option that says “recieve using bluetooth”
    from here its simple
    go to your mac, go to the bluetooth application
    pick file
    find your phone on your macs bluetooth. then send.
    after the file has sent your mac will say that there was an error and the file wasn’t sent…dont pay any attention to this, the file will be sent to your phone as you can see.

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  30. Hey i did everything and everything work for the blackberry pearl as mac modem and it said connected but when i open up safari and go on a webpage it wont load up like i went to google and doesnt load up but said i am connected and everything why is this? please email me at richardcvan@aim.com

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  31. i bought a pearl a few days ago and am working on an ibook G4 laptop. from what i have read there is no hope in getting pocketmac and the pearl to work together. i am running OS 10.3.9 right now which does not work with the missing sync. do i have any other options or am i screwed?

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  32. I know for sure that the only way to play your DRM protected files in your iTunes playlist on something other than a BlackBerry is to burn them to an .iso image (CD) and then rip them back to MP3.

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  33. Help!?
    Couple of issues…
    I am a Mac user, and love it! I have had a Sprint PCS account and since the merger with Nextel, dropped call constantly.
    I live in Miami, and travel abroad, some times to rural areas in NC, and will be doing some travels outside the country.
    Question, Verizon, Cingular-ATT, or just stay with Sprint PCS?
    Next, I like the new Blackberry Curve, nice phone, and the World Edition is great, and with the RIM placing Wi-Fi this will be a great addition, however, almost every blog has mention the compatibility issues with MAC,
    has anyone had a problem syncing either of these phones? If so, what is the solution?
    I know that with Leopard OS coming and Bootcamp, that this will solve the problem, but this is still a few months away.
    I have considered the new TREO 755.
    Well, I respect many of the blogs and this is a great website.
    Thanks for the help!

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  34. First, thanks so much for all the valuable info!! I have referred back to this site too many times to count after getting a Pearl. Syncing with the Mac hasn’t been a problem, even with using Pocketmac. My problem is this: everything has been fine for weeks–having various email accounts going to the Pearl until we rebooted our server at work yesterday. Now, the only emails coming through from the work email address are the junk emails. All the other accounts are coming through fine, but of course the work emails are the most important. Any suggestions?

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  35. thanks for all the info, i just have a question for anyone that might have the curve (maybe same thing for pearl) I just downloaded the pocket mac application and it sync’s iCal, e-mail, contacts, notes etc. I was wondering if there was a way to sync my songs off my mac to my blackberry curve. I was told to move them (mp3’s) to a separate folder on my desktop then the pocketmac would pick it up but it doesn’t allow me that option.. please help??

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  36. I just got it to work! I think you have to make sure the mac isn’t trying to sync from programs it doesn’t have. Why it can’t figure this out on its own is beyond me, but you have to go through all of the sync categories and only check the ones you HAVE and WANT, or somewhere along the way it hangs up and/or locks/crashes. I am using a Powerbook G4 1.4ghz, and Entourage, and it even sync’d the recurring events…I also set it to stop it from syncing all of my archived calendar stuff, which is a good idea (who the heck needs their calendar from 3 years ago on their handheld?). Anyway, the directions for what I did are here: http://www.blackberry.com/knowledgecenterpublic/livelink.exe/fetch/2000/8067/645045/1219669/1273771/PocketMac_for_BlackBerry_4.0_User_Manual?nodeid=1273844&vernum=0
    I hope this helps someone.

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  37. My husband just got a new iphone and am trying to get all of my contacts OFF of the pearl to pput on the iphone without syncing to his computer it since he has over 5000 contacts on his computer. Does anybody know how to do this on a mac?
    I can’t seem to find any help anywhere….THANK YOU!!!

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  38. I have a pearl, an intel Mac w/ 10.4.x and pocketmac and it works!!
    my issue is the lack of a functioning browser… i get an error message that I can’t receive the internet in the area where i am located, which makes no sense when i’m in nyc. I would like to get my gmail and google calendar on my pearl. also, if there is a definitive way to get songs as ringtones that would be great, as well. thx.

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  39. Alex (I’m an Alex too :D), if you read up it says if you go to edit one of the sound profiles you can set the ringtone in there (I don’t have the phone yet, just want to get one soon), or to set it for an individual person you can go to their profile and add a custom ringtone there. So… Syncing works for the Pearl and Mac now?

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  40. Hi! I have a blackberry pearl and I have an iBookG4. How do I get music and pictures on the phone from my mac? Do I have to have the memory card to make it work? Also, is it possible to set different sms message tones for different people?

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  41. I was wondering: do you need the special Blackberry Service Plan with the Pearl, or can I get Cingular’s “Media Max” plan. Am I guessing right that to use the “Push” feature you need the blackberry plan, but can I just check e-mail using any regular old data plan?

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  42. Re: Alexis
    For the extra media functions on the new blackberries to work they do need a memory card installed. Past that the only parts that function are the ringtones and photos.
    If the PcketMac sync software doesn’t have a media manager icon on it, make sure that mass storage is enabled on your Pearl. It should then be recognized as a USB drive. You might need to get some 3rd party software to optomize videos for the BB but you should be able to get it working.

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