Eye-Fi back tracks, has app to put old products on life support

JC Torres - Aug 11, 2016, 3:00am CDT
Eye-Fi back tracks, has app to put old products on life support

At the start of July, Eye-Fi, makers of the popular Wi-Fi enabled SD cards, made a very unpopular announcement. One that could have ended in a lawsuit of some sort along the way. While it was technically just shutting down some old servers and services, it was, in effect, bricking “legacy” Eye-Fi cards as well. Unsurprisingly, there was such an uproar among its customers that Eye-Fi really had little choice but to give in and offer those customers an imperfect but probably acceptable solution, a software that will let them continue using those products long after the have been formally declared dead.

Most users probably have no issue with the act of shutting down services that the company considers not just obsolete but probably also security risks. The problem, however, is because of how Eye-Fi cards work. In a nutshell, those cards need to communicate with Eye-Fi’s servers in order to even work, the very servers that it will be turning off on September 16. It doesn’t matter if the cards themselves were in perfect working condition. They would have stopped working nonetheless, leaving users with practically bricked cards.

Part of Eye-Fi’s justification for the rather aggressive push is that those cards relied of Wi-Fi technology now considered to be insecure. Owners, however, argued that they should be the ultimate judge of whether they want to take that risk or not. And apparently, they do.

So the good news is that Eye-Fi will be releasing a new desktop software named “Eye-Fi X2 Utility” or X2U for short, that will let owners continue using those cards for basic functionality. Which pretty much means being able to transfer their camera’s photos and videos to a computer. The bad, but expected, news is that the software won’t have the full capabilities of the soon to be dead servers. At least better than nothing, right?

There is slightly worse news for Windows Eye-Fi users. The X2U tool will be primarily available to Mac users. Eye-Fi is still investigating whether it’s feasible to bring the software to Windows as well, which means there is a chance that it won’t. As such, it isn’t making any promises in that regard.

SOURCE: Eye-Fi


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