by Bill Snyder

Wirelessly Transfer Images with New Wi-Fi-Enabled Memory Cards

Sep 23, 20132 mins
Consumer ElectronicsMobileSmall and Medium Business

Eye-Fi’s new "mobi" Wi-Fi-enabled SD memory cards make it easy to quickly transfer images from your point-and-shoot camera to mobile devices, and they work much better than previous versions, according to blogger Bill Snyder.

If I want to capture a picture and share it on Facebook or text it to a friend, I usually have two choices: Take the picture with my iPhone and send it off immediately; or take the picture with my Canon Powershot and wait until I get home, upload it to my PC and post from there. But what I gain in immediacy with the iPhone, I lose in quality.

If you own an expensive camera, Wi-Fi is likely built in. If you don’t, you’re probably stuck using a workaround – unless you use an SD card with Wi-Fi built in. Eye-Fi makes Wi-Fi-enabled cards, but until recently, they’ve been buggy and not worth recommending, in my opinion. I recently tested the latest Eye-Fi card and had a much more positive experience.

The 8GB Eye-Fi mobi card costs $50, and the 16GB card goes for $80. That’s a lot more than you’d pay for a standard SD card. Eye-Fi cards work in iOS and Android devices as long as you’re running relatively recent versions of the operating systems (iOS 5.1 and later or Android 2.3 and later.)

The mobi cards are like any other SD cards except that they have Wi-Fi antennae built into them. To set them up, you just download a free app – phones and tablets are supported – and enter an activation code.


After you take some pictures, you just open the app on your mobile device and they’re transferred. You can view the pictures in the app or in your device’s camera roll or gallery.

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t let you select specific photos to upload – it’s all or nothing. (Eye-Fi says it plans to address this issue in the future.) Also, if you saving your images in the RAW format, you’re out of luck.

What about battery life? The card uses some power to transfer photos or videos, of course. The bigger the files, the more drain on the battery.When the card finishes uploading your photos, it turns itself off after a minute or so to conserve battery life.

The card and the associated app disconnect occasionally, but restarting the software usually solves the problem.

The Eye-Fi mobi cards can be truly valuable, and in my opinion, they’re well worth the company’s asking price.

Image: PetaPixel