This is a pretty solid feature, I have to say, and maybe the one that makes me an Eye-Fi convert. We’ve seen some iOS camera tethering options, and of course the Eye-Fi is already pretty useful for when you have your laptop around, but this super easy send-to-device feature could be really compelling to the average non-tech-savvy user. We heard about it back at CES, but it’s actually rolling out this week.
Basically you just up the card ahead of time for Direct Mode, and it learns to use an ad-hoc wi-fi network to send your pictures directly to your iOS or Android device. It’s not quite as immediate as tethering, but it’s a lot easier, and if I’m not mistaken, it basically can use your other device as a secondary memory card.
That’d be nice for some easy workflows: shoot on your point and shoot, they appear on your iPad where you peruse and delete a few, and then when you plug in and sync, they go over to iPhoto. And I’m sure you could figure out a similar process on your Android phone or tablet. The photos can be sent to your gallery, then you can use your own apps or the app provided by Eye-Fi.
The new 8GB X2 Mobile cards with Direct Mode enabled cost $80, or you can download an update later this week if you already have an X2 card.