Praise be to the gods of mobile telecommunications gadgets: Verizon has now released a firmware for their Motorola RAZR V3C phones that re-enables OBEX. (For those who aren’t hip to the lingo of Bluetooth, OBEX is the communications protocol that enables you to transfer binary objects — think pictures, ringtones, etc. — from your computer to your phone and vice versa.) You’ll have to go to an actual Verizon storefront to get the new firmware uploaded onto your phone, but the apparent additional improvement of the user interface speed will likely make the trip worth it a dozen times over.

In the original version of the firmware for the RAZR, Verizon “accidentally” left it enabled, meaning that customers could get their pictures off their phone and get ringtones onto their phones without having to use Verizon’s own pay-per-transfer service. A firmware update four to six months ago disabled OBEX, and those who cared were pretty upset; it’s good to see that Verizon has agreed to return the functionality to its RAZRs. The funny thing is that Shannon and I have recently realized that this is actually more important than it might seem — both of our phones have taken pictures in the past month that are then deemed too large to attach to an outgoing picture message, meaning that they’re completely trapped in the memory of the phone. Now, we’ll be able to free the pictures from their tiny jails, and use them however we want!

Update: well, maybe nevermind this. It looks like Verizon isn’t being as accommodating as was first thought to be the case — apparently, most people won’t get OBEX back on their RAZR phones. (It’s only people who had an older version of the firmware, the one with OBEX enabled to begin with, who are seeing it present in the latest update; everyone else is reporting the same crippled behavior.) The folks over at Howard Forums are still trying to get to the bottom of the issue, but for now, I’m not sure that anything’s different (except for the improved speed in the interface).