We reported in the middle of last month that Eye-Fi was planning to launch a new cloud-based photo sharing service with the name Circ. That day has arrived: the wireless SD card maker has officially launched the service into private beta. Unlike other cloud services, which cap storage space for free accounts — 5GB is a popular limit — Circ doesn’t. Rather than limit free accounts by storage, Circ is based on the number of devices used. A free account lets you sync 2 devices, while a $50/year paid account allows up to 20.
What Circ does is take your devices and sync them both with one another and with the cloud. This allows for all your photos to be always accessible everywhere you go, whether or not you’re connected to the web. Delete one copy from the app, and it’s copied across all your devices and the cloud.
The app is also designed to help you to organize and sort your massive collection of photos and videos. Once content is imported, they’re automatically organized by date and camera before they’re synced. You can also build custom albums, mark photos as “favorites”, and add captions and tags. All the metadata is synced with the photos.
In terms of image resolution and quality, Circ stores original resolution images. However, it does perform “intelligent recompression” on them to shrink the file size without any visible loss in quality. (Check out this 5.1MB original photo, and compare it to this 1.1MB recompressed photo.)
Since different devices have different screen sizes, the app intelligently picks and transfers images at a resolution that’s optimized for your device. View the photo on a computer, and you’ll be enjoying the full (recompressed) original. Check it out on a smartphone, and you might pull up a file that’s 1/10th as large in terms of file size.
Photographs stored in the Circ cloud can be easily shared from the Circ cloud. The app includes a number of options for easy sharing, and you’ll be able to point family and friends to photos and albums by sending them simple links to your Circ account. Registration won’t be required for viewing the content.
Circ currently offers dedicated apps for Windows and Mac computers, as well as iOS and Android devices. Apps are also being developed for additional platforms.
If you can’t wait to start trying out this service, we’ve received an exclusive invite code just for our readers. Enter Circ_PetaPixel at the beta testing signup page, and you’ll receive a registration link within a couple of days. The code is only good for 250 people, though.
The cloud photo storage and sharing space may be teeming with services now, but Eye-Fi’s new free and unlimited service will definitely put pressure on services that are still charging monthly or yearly fees for extra storage.