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Thread: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

  1. #1
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    Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    Ubuntu 20.04, iPhone SE 2020, Sabrent BlueTooth (BT) dongle.

    I am trying to make a functional connection between my iPhone and BlueTooth (BT) dongle in order to download photos from the iPhone to the PC. Following standard setup, both the Bluetooth Manager GUI and my iPhone show pairing successful - this includes matching a 6 digit code and accepting the code as seen via the BT Manager and the iPhone. The BT icon on the system tray shows the BT icon with a lock symbol, and the BT Manager GUI has both a key and the trusted symbol affixed to the iPhone device likeness. Yet, I do not achieve a functional connection.

    Following are some command line diagnostics. Of particular note is results from lsusb and idevicepair which do not return positive results.

    lsusb sees the dongle, but not the iPhone
    sudo rfkill list shows -
    hci0: Bluetooth
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no

    hcitool dev sees MAC addresses of iPhone and BT dongle

    hcitool scan returned nothing

    idevicepair pair shows:
    "No device found, is it plugged in?"

    hciconfig -a shows (abbreviated)

    BD Address: 00:1A:7DA:71:13 (Sabrent MAC addr)
    UP RUNNING PSCAN ISCAN
    Link policy: RSWITCH HOLD SNIFF PARK
    Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT
    Name: 'mark'
    Service Classes: Rendering, Capturing, Object Transfer
    Device Class: Computer, Desktop workstation
    Manufacturer: Cambridge Silicon Radio (10)

    ifconfig -a returned 3 different ethernet MACs

    I tried to pair a Sony noise cancelling headset and encountered similar results as above. I also tried a different BT dongle, and again, similar results: appearance of pairing, but seemingly not really paired.

    Since the GUI configuration gives the appearance of complete pairing, but isn't, I would like to assume there is some last tweak that could make the process complete. Help please.

  2. #2
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    Re: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    Bump - for help

  3. #3
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    Re: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    Bump #2 - for help

  4. #4
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    Re: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    Bump #3 - for help

  5. #5
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    Re: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    Comments and a question:

    Tethering usually refers to sharing internet connection, not access to and transfer from storage.
    I don't know exactly what happened with the Bluetooth headset but I imagine it paired correctly which doesn't mean the system automatically changes to that audio output (and Ubuntu may need additional software to support HFP).

    The question comes regarding the iPhone: Doesn't it strictly requires iTunes for what you're trying to do? Last time I checked it did.

  6. #6
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    Re: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    The simplest way I've found to download to/from an iphone is to use the vlc for mobile app on the iphone. Do an online search on using it by searching "using vlc for mobile on iphone ubuntu". That should give you a number of sites explaining its use. You can then use your browser with the ip address of the iphone to copy to/from the iphone.

    When I plug my iphone into a usb port on the computer and click on iphone in the left panel of the Desktop, it opens shotwell which shows the DCIM directory wth the photos on the iphone. On Ubuntu 20.04, this only works if I first open 'iphone' in Shotwell, then close it and open it again. Not sure what that's about.

    I expect your problem is related to the method you are using with the dongle and bluetooth. I don't use bluetooth so can't help, good luck.

  7. #7
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    Re: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    @ yancek
    I will try the VLC approach. I find it a bit perplexing that there is not an abundance of iPhone/Ubuntu users who choose to download data wirelessly. I assumed someone would nail the process. I have downloaded with a wired connection, and I do it all the time with my camera. Just believe it would be convenient to avoid the plug-in requirement.

    @CelticWarrior
    Thank you. I looked up the definition of tethering and indeed it involves the internet. I believe I was mis-told by my iPhone service provider (in fact, Consumer Cellular) was no help with my attempt to BT pair.

  8. #8
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    Re: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    An iphone will be another device on your network if it is not physically attached to the computer. Ubuntu documentation at the link below suggests using SSH although the documentation doesn't seem complete.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ip...ing%20wireless

    You can apparently also use VNC or Samba. Never tried either myself. A good part of the problem is the extremely proprietary nature of all Apple software which makes it extremely difficult for Linux developers to create software to work with Apple products. Additionally, the percentage of iphone users is much lower than android so there really isn't much incentive.

    https://www.idc.com/promo/smartphone-market-share/os
    Last edited by yancek; December 29th, 2020 at 02:35 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Tethering iPhone to USB Bluetooth dongle

    o.k., thanks for additional info. i will try and get to "VLC approach" this eve or tomorrow. I can say that I have transferred photos from iPhone to my PC via emailing, not a major effort, but Earthlink has a 20MB limit such that iPhone videos are too large to process(maybe even a 10sec burst may be too many MB). I should state that that is the main driver for me: not individual photos but video clip transfer to PC, while avoiding the cloud stuff.

  10. #10
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    i

    The most common and simplest way to do this is with the cable with the usb you get with the iphone. When I do this on Ubuntu, I see 2 icons in the left panel, one an icon of the phone and the 2nd an icon of a camera. Clicking the camera icon opens the iphone to the pictures showing the DCIM directory. If you open the file manager (nautilus) to the directory to which you wish to copy (/home/user/Pictures for example), you should be able to drag and drop the picture from your iphone to the Pictures directory. Also, right clicking an image in the DCIM directory or sub-directory and selecting copy, you should be able to then paste the file there.

    If you select the camera icon in the left panel on your Desktop, a window opens showing the DCIM folder and in the upper right of this window, you can click on Shotwell, you need to click the File tab in the upper left and select the option Import from folder which will then open a new window which shows the folders in your /home/user directory. Click on the iphone icon in the left panel of shotwell and you will see the DCIM folder containing photos/videos. Double-click on DCIM and you should see any sub-directories with your photos/videos. Click OK in the upper right and a new window will give you an Import to library message with options to Copy Photos or Import in place. If you click Copy Photos, a message in the left panel will show importing and the files will be imported to a sub-directory under /home/user/Pictures. When it finishes, you should see a message photos successfully imported. This imports all images in the specific folder. I don't see any way to select individual or several image files.


    The Import in Place option is explained at the link below. The option you want is to Copy Photos.

    https://askubuntu.com/questions/1529...ithout-copying
    Last edited by yancek; December 31st, 2020 at 09:51 PM.

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