French startup Lima is presenting another piece of its offering at CES, the mobile app. And it is a very promising app for those who backed Lima to seamlessly access their photos, music library and movies from their phones and tablets. While the team still needs to polish the app interface, it goes beyond Dropbox and Carousel when it comes to features.
As a reminder, Lima is a small device that you plug to your router using Ethernet, as well as an external USB drive. It will then seamlessly transform your USB drives into a personal Dropbox for all your devices. It’s a dumbed-down NAS with native OS integration. And it costs around $100.
After raising more than $1.2 million with a very successful Kickstarter campaign during the summer of 2013, and snatching another $2.5 million in VC money from Partech Ventures, Lima is still beta testing its final product before shipping to all of its numerous backers. Some backers called them out for delaying the release, but I think it’s more important to release an indestructible product as Lima is a storage product — you don’t want to lose all your photos.
In addition to showing me a working syncing demo between a PC and a Mac, co-founder and CEO Séverin Marcombes just presented me the mobile app for the first time. The Android app lets you browse your entire file system from your phone. You can download files to your phone and sync folders.
But the most interesting features are the photo, movie and music views. Like iTunes, Lima scans your songs in your music folder to build a library. You can then browse your music library by artists, albums or songs. With one tap, you can sync albums to your phones, much like Spotify’s offline feature. In the movie view, you can stream movies to your phone. Last year, the company told me that it would re-encode movies to H.264 files for native mobile playback. In the photo view, you get a camera roll of all your photos.
When it comes to the Mac and PC syncing demo, it worked as expected. When you install Lima, it takes over your entire file system. You don’t have a “Lima” folder, all your existing folders will be synced to your Lima hard drive. Marcombes moved a bunch of pictures on the desktop in a folder, and a few seconds later, the same changes were reflected on the other computer.
The first 100 devices have been shipped last month, and backers will be able install the software in a week. If this goes smoothly, the company will be able to send out the device to every backer pretty soon. It’s been a long and windy road, but it seems like it is coming to an end.