The EyeFi X2 Pro has three network modes: private, direct, and "hotspot". The hotspot mode is part of a previous offering where they had a deal with AT&T and others to allow use of various commercial wifi services; that's actually discontinued and isn't really relevant. Of the others, "private" lets you provide a list of named wifi networks with credentials, and the card will connect to those. And "direct" means that the Eyefi card itself acts as an "access point", providing an ad-hoc wifi network (but, of course, one that isn't routed anywhere else).
My use case is simply wanting to do selective uploads of some of my pictures — if I'm out with my camera and take a nice photograph which I'd like to share, I currently have the option of waiting until I get home, or attempting to convey the gist of the image by taking a snapshot with my phone cam. I've even resorted to taking pictures of images in review on my LCD screen.
So, I got the EyeFi in an attempt to address this. I could use the direct mode, which would give a workflow like this:
- Configure the phone to connect to the EyeFi card's network
- Transfer photos
- Disconnect from the EyeFi network, and probably tell my phone to forget it so it doesn't connect to it inadvertantly.
- Now, upload the selected photos to where I want to share them.
This seems somewhat painful, so instead, I'm planning to use my phone's hotspot capability, and configure the card to know about that as a "private" network. That way, I'll just need to turn on the hotspot and transfer photos, skipping all of the reconfiguring, and leaving my phone actually connected to the cell network at the same time.
I'm concerned, though, that rather than sending the files point-to-point to my phone once set up this way, it actually uses some sort of remote service. That would cause the files to go to my phone over wifi, up to the remote service over cellular, and then back to my phone over cellular as well. It doesn't do that, does it?
It sounds like a silly concern, but the EyeFi in general has invested a large amount into making the whole thing seem like magic, where devices are abstracted out, and I'm worried that this design was chosen towards that end (to avoid dealing with, for example, wifi networks which do not allow peer-to-peer connectivity). I found the whole setup process to be completely confusing and convoluted, with some of the most befuddling software with the weirdest user experience decisions. And you need to have a centralized EyeFi account and register the card using the software for it to work — which implies a centralized system of some sort.
Does anyone know how this actually works?