I am a big fan of the Eye-Fi card, and have had my 2GB SD version (i.e. photos, no video) for two and a half years. However, I rarely if ever used the old Eye-Fi Manager software, and over the last few months I’ve been without Eye-Fi wireless transfers altogether thanks to a PC migration, and general laziness on my part. Then last week I got a notice from the company that they’re discontinuing the old Eye-Fi Manager, and replacing it with new Eye-Fi Center software. The shift finally prompted me to set up Eye-Fi on the new computer and give the updated management portal a try.
The Eye-Fi Center has a clean, simple interface showing thumbnails of recently uploaded photos at the top, a list of connected devices along with a calendar to the left, a photo tray for sharing pics at the bottom, and a big preview screen taking up most of the display. There’s also a settings menu available with tabs for network selection, photo storage options, notifications, geotagging, and photo transfer preferences.
Stuff I Like:
The online photo sharing options are fabulous, particularly with the Selective Share feature, and easy to use with the Eye-Fi Center. The software supports a huge range of photo services including the basics like Facebook and Flickr, but also store-based services like Costco and Ritzpix, and blogging services like Movable Type and TypePad. (No WordPress, oddly) I was able to upload a test photo to my Snapfish account in seconds flat, and if I want, I can make Snapfish uploads automatic whenever I wirelessly sync my Eye-Fi card.
I also like the preview pane in the Eye-Fi Center, and the ability open a larger view of any photo in a floating window. More importantly, I like the fact that the Eye-Fi Center doesn’t disguise where my photos are actually stored the way the old Flip Video software used to. I can use the Center interface to view photos if I want to, but it’s not required.
There are a few annoying bits about the new software. For example, the settings window isn’t optimized for my small-screen netbook, making it difficult to access the Save and Cancel buttons at the bottom of the display. But I discovered it is possible to drag the pop-up menu up just high enough to click on those buttons when needed. I also don’t like that there’s no status bar when I’m uploading photos from my Eye-Fi card. It might be less irritating if the card uploaded pics in chronological order, but it doesn’t. So I can see pics coming in, but have no idea how many are left to upload at any given time.
Dave found the interface a bit sluggish on OS X. It moved pretty quickly for me on Windows once all the uploads were complete, but there was lag time during photo transfer.
The Eye-Fi Center has potential. The sharing function is easily its best feature today, but you can see how new capabilities might be added in the future. (In fact, there’s a beta mobile version of the Center available, which I’m planning to check out next.) I also give Eye-Fi high marks for not locking users in with its management software. I plan to continue using the Center going forward, but if it’s not your cup of tea, feel free to stick with files-and-folders management, or anything else. Eye-Fi lets you choose.
Click to enlarge: