Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

Eye-Fi Branches Out With Photo-Syncing and Storage App Circ

It’s been about six months since Eye-Fi revealed that it was working on a photo-storage and sharing app, and now the company is finally ready to take the wraps off its project.

Today, the makers of the Wi-Fi-enabled SD cards introduced Circ, a new service that syncs all your photos and videos in the cloud, whether they’re on your smartphone, laptop or tablet, so you can access them from any of your devices simply by launching the app and signing in to your account.

Yuval Koren, CEO of Eye-Fi, said the company came from a consumer perspective when designing the app, which has been in development for about a year.

“We didn’t want to build just another cloud service,” said Koren in an interview with AllThingsD. “We didn’t want the customer to have to think about the technology behind it, or worry about how much storage space they had left before needing to upgrade or dump photos.”

As such, Circ offers unlimited storage, and pricing is based on the number of devices you want to sync. Syncing for the first two devices is free, but for more than that, you will have to upgrade to Circ Plus, which costs $50 per year and supports up to 20 machines.

The app works with iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. There is also a Web client. Once you’ve created an account, you can sign in from your mobile device or computer, and Circ will import all your media. After that, you’ll be able to view your photos and stream video.

By default, all your media is organized by date, but you can rename them, create new albums, “favorite” photos and add tags. You can also share via email, multimedia message, Facebook or YouTube.

I’ve been trying a beta version of Circ for a few days now, and the app is intuitive and a smart idea. I’ve got different sets of photos on all my machines, so Circ is a nice and easy solution for bringing all my pictures into one place.

But I also found Circ to be quite buggy. The app crashed on me a few times, or simply stopped working, but the biggest problem I found was speed. Even after initial syncing, it took a while for my photos to surface, and this happened every time I launched the app.

Koren says that he and his team are well aware of the issue, and fixing it before launching the final version of the app is at the top of his priority list.

Koren did not disclose when the final app would be available, but said it would be “sooner rather than later.” For now, users can sign up for the opportunity to try a beta version of the app starting today from the company’s Web site. In addition, Eye-Fi is launching a developer program so other apps can connect to Circ’s services.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald