Pogoplug Mobile hands-on [Video]

Pogoplug has brought its latest cloud storage product along to ShowStoppers at IFA 2011 this year, the Pogoplug Mobile, and as the name suggest it targets mobile users looking to access and backup their data while on the move. Smaller than the existing Pogoplug, the discrete black box hooks up to your home ethernet connection and can then share USB or SD storage with the company's freshly updated Android and iOS apps, or the new Windows or Mac software. We caught up with Pogoplug CEO Daniel Putterman for all the details.

As with previous Pogoplug devices, installation and setup is a speedy process: plug in power, ethernet and some form of storage, register for an account and then choose from the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Android apps, or the new Mac OS X or Windows apps. The web interface is still supported too, for other smartphones and when you're using someone else's computer.

With its mobile focus, the smartphone apps are the main push with the Pogoplug Mobile: it can automatically upload a copy of every photo and video you take to your personal cloud (either over WiFi-only, over 3G and WiFi, or on-request only). In the process, along with the original file it creates multiple versions suited to different bandwidths, so that if you want to stream video over 3G you should see fewer jumps and skips. Viewing the original file is an option.

Pogoplug Mobile demo:

[vms 49a0801c39b6e449dbed]

The new desktop apps mean drag & drop file management is supported, and both local and mobile software supports Pogoplug's sharing tools. You can share individual files or groups of files, and since you're actually inviting others to access content served up via your home (or office) broadband rather than on your phone, you don't have to leave your notebook or handset turned on as they send, or stomach the ensuing data bill.

Pogoplug will continue to sell the existing consumer ($79) and business ($299) models, as well as offer the free and premium ($29) software apps (which we reviewed a few months back). There's no WiFi in the Pogoplug Plus; apparently experiments with previous wireless-enabled models only confused customers, and the service works best when it's hard-wired to your home or office router.

As for rivals like Amazon's Cloud Drive and Apple's incoming iCloud, Putterman says that the big marketing and promotion efforts of the two companies, and others, have in fact helped rather than hindered Pogoplug. "When people hear all these things about iCloud they say to themselves, 'I guess I need to find out about this cloud thing'" the co-founder explained. "That helps us."

Pogoplug Mobile is up for pre-order from today, priced at $79.99, with availability on October 1 2011.