Verizon iPhone: Three important steps before you upgrade

In less than 24 hours, Verizon customers can pre-order the iPhone. Tempted? Here are three tips for making the transition to a Verizon iPhone.

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    The countdown continues. Less than 24 hours to the pre-order release of the iPhone for existing Verizon Wireless customers.
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This is the second in a series of posts about one writer's quest for a Verizon iPhone and the helpful tips he learns along the way. Check out the first entry here.

With less than 24 hours before you can order your new Verizon iPhone, are you ready to make the change?

When you upgrade your phone with your mobile carrier, you just go to the store and they transfer everything over to your new phone. Simple, right? With the iPhone for Verizon upgrade, not so simple. Fortunately, Verizon provides a set of upgrade instructions, complete with the opportunity to subscribe to additional Verizon Wireless services. But not to worry, you can get ready for low or no cost.

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Transfer your contacts

You can use Backup Assistant, a subscription product that is now included in the service. Of course, it doesn’t work on some models of Android, Blackberry, Palm, or my Nokia. Be sure to check the list of phones that it supports. If you’re not on the list, try to sync your contacts with your desktop or laptop. Or, get out your pen and start copying. Cost to you: Free.

Save a copy of important voice mail

Do you have any saved voice mail that you never want to delete? Perhaps you keep a cherished message from a child or loved one and listen to it every so often. Well, you know how your voice mail used to travel from your old phone to your new phone. Not so with the iPhone. In order to keep a voice mail message you need to subscribe ($2.99/month) to Visual Voice Mail. This allows you to copy your voice mail to your computer.

If your phone doesn’t support Visual Voice Mail, you can have an outside service transfer your voice mail to a CD or MP3 files. The idea of paying an outside service might scare you away, but check out the rates: $18 for three voice mails saved to cassette or disc, or $10 for the first voice mail and $5 each for additional voice mails saved as MP3 files.

If you decide to splurge and spend the $2.99, where is the link to sign up? Not on any of the support pages explaining that you need the service. You have to do it from your phone. Go to the Messages menu and select Visual Voice Mail. Here’s how the process works.

  • You turn on Visual Voice Mail.
  • Select a voice mail message.
  • Listen to it (you can stop it during play if you know what you want to do with it).
  • Under Options, select Archive.
  • You can save to a memory card or to My Sounds.

Then you can copy the memory card onto your computer or send your saved sound files to another phone. Simple? Not really. Worth it? You tell me.

If you’ve found an easier or less expensive way to do this, please leave a comment below.

Keep your photos

What about those pictures or videos you took with your cell phone? Pictures have never been particularly easy to move off your phone, with the exception of texting them to another phone. Of course, that can be an expensive and time-consuming task. But to prepare for your move to the iPhone, you need to get the pictures off your old phone. Verizon offers an application called V CAST Media Manager. You’ll need to have QuickTime installed on your computer. If for some reason this won’t run on your PC, you can also wirelessly connect your phone to your computer using Bluetooth. There are a number of steps, depending on which mobile phone and what kind of computer you use. The gist: Dig through menus on both devices until you've turned on Bluetooth sharing. It does work and you can use this method to move your pictures and video files. Simple: No. Cost to you: Free.

Once you take all your important information off your old phone, you should be ready to go!

This is the second in a series of posts about one writer's quest for a Verizon iPhone and the helpful tips he learns along the way. Check out the first entry here.

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