Thursday, November 25, 2010

Motorola Phone Portal

Ok, so this is weird, but a neat idea.   I was browsing for a bit of software to connect the two, a data suite in the olde parlance.

Motorola Phone Portal - as opposed to Motorola Phone Tools - works differently.  You connect up the phone, usb or wifi, and the android app gives you a URL to connect your browser too.  That is, the phone runs it's own mini web server, from which you can browse & change things.  See here.

Problem #1: the USB on my PC doesn't know it's a Motorola, so time for some drivers.  Go and download the 4.7.1 driver with MotoConnect and install that.  Search for USB and PC charging drivers, although that page doesn't say it supports android - it does.

How to make it work then:
  1. install charging and pc drivers
  2. plug in usb, wait for PC to sort itself out (ready?)
  3. on android, change the usb connection mode to "Portal and tools"
  4. on android, run the "Phone Portal" app
  5. with luck, that app will give you a URL to connect to (and you'll see a notification in the status bar, "Moto Phone Portal  Running on USB @")
  6. [optionally] unplug LAN cable so it's just PC & phone together
  7. [if you're lucky] your default browser will automatically open the phone's page (i.e. fetched from
  8. view stuff...   you need to run IE to operate File Manager, it basically kicks open a Windows Explorer window.
On second go, it happens a lot more smoothly and automatically.  When you plug in, the USB mode is defaulted to portal and tools, the web server starts, the PC connects and browses to it.  Easy.

I particularly like the phone reporting it's signal strength as "Awesome".