Eye-Fi Mobi cards make mobile sharing easier, more affordable


posted Monday, June 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM EDT

Connected memory company Eye-Fi has today announced a new addition to its eponymous, Wi-Fi capable memory card lineup. The brand-new Eye-Fi Mobi cards are aimed at consumers looking to improve their social networking experience, and the existing Pro X2 card line will remain the flagship product for enthusiasts. According to the company, more than half of its customers are connecting their cards to movile devices, and so it wanted to improve the experience in this area.

Available in 8GB or 16GB variants, the Eye-Fi Mobi card won't connect to your home or work network. Instead, it's designed to connect only to smartphones and tablets, running either iOS or Android operating systems. (This includes Amazon's Android-based Kindle Fire, which can't access Google Play without being rooted, as the required Eye-Fi app is also available from Amazon's Appstore for Android.) It's the same app used currently by other Eye-Fi cards, although it has just been updated to support the new Mobi cards.

Of course, the existing Eye-Fi Pro X2 card could already connect to your phone or tablet, so what's new? The answer is simplicity: Establishing that connection in the past required you first of all to configure the connection on your computer. Now, you'll be able to connect simply by opening the Eye-Fi app on your mobile device, and then entering a ten-digit code from the back of the Mobi card case.The rest will be handled automatically, and once configured the connection will be reestablished in the future without your intervention when you open the app.

The Eye-Fi Mobi card is available in 8GB or 16GB capacities, and eases connection to mobile devices like smartphones or tablets.

What happens if you pair the card to multiple mobile devices? Whichever is closer (and therefore, has the stronger signal) is the one that your Eye-Fi Mobi card will connect to.  With the connection established, you can transfer JPEG photos and sub-2GB movies from your camera to phone or tablet automatically, and from there, the world's your oyster: photo editing, sharing, or just viewing your images on a much larger screen than that of your camera. For iOS users, your images will automatically be added to your Photo Stream, and sync to iCloud for you.

You can shoot raw images as well, but these are simply written to the card, and can't be transferred. (Which makes sense -- most mobile devices won't have the horsepower for editing raw files, and even if yours does, finding a proper raw editor rather than an app that simply extracts the JPEG preview might be tricky.)

Just like the current Eye-Fi Pro X2 16GB card, the new 8GB and 16GB Eye-Fi Mobi SDHC cards are Class 10-rated, and we understand that this will be the case for all of Eye-Fi's cards going forwards. Compared to the Pro X2 card, the new Mobi cards are significantly cheaper, befitting their consumer-friendly design. 16GB Pro X2 cards are priced at around US$100, but the 16GB Mobi costs US$80, while the 8GB Mobi is an affordable US$50. Both capacities are available immediately from Amazon, Best Buy, and from Eye-Fi directly.