Basically every new camera that comes out these days has Wi-Fi on-board, but the technology hasn’t progressed to the point that it’s seamless. There’s still a little friction when you’re trying to get photos from your camera to another device — and that’s still one step removed from the internet. Wi-Fi enabled SD card maker Eyefi is hoping to help fix that problem with Eyefi Cloud.
Eyefi Cloud works with the Mobi SD card the company released last year. Mobi was a step in the right direction for Eyefi, simplifying the task of getting your photos from your camera to your phone. Though Eyefi was a pioneer in getting Wi-Fi into cameras — the company’s first cards dropped in 2006, before the current deluge of new Wi-Fi shooters — the system has always been kind of a pain to use. (Eyefi is rebranding and will hereafter be “Eyefi” rather than “Eye-Fi”.)
The Mobi card made wirelessly transferring photos about as simple as it is with the best Wi-Fi camera options. The card turns itself into a wireless hotspot your phone connects to. Depending on how crowded the airwaves are, and the mood of your particular session with the Eyefi Mobi app, the transfer is somewhere between super simple to slightly frustrating.
Now with Eyefi Cloud, the app can push photos to Eyefi’s servers as well. It’s almost as simple as photo syncing offered by Dropbox, Google Drive, and others though, not completely because your phone needs to ditch the Wi-Fi connection with the card before it can connect to the internet and upload your photos. As you can see in the images in this post, the interface will look pretty familiar to anyone who has used a basic online photo album before. There’s a web-based desktop version, as well as apps for iOS and Android.
Eyefi Mobi cards all come with a three month membership to Eyefi Cloud, and if you already own a Mobi card, you’ll get the deal as well. A 12-month membership costs $50.
Cloud storage options abound these days, and it seems a little silly to pay $50 a year to store just your photos when you can get a terabyte of free photo storage from Flickr. On the other hand, getting photos from your camera to the cloud and synced across your devices from a single provider might be worth paying for. In my experience using the new service for a few minutes I can say it’s definitely easy, if not definitely easy enough to be worth it.