Pogoplug Mobile hands-on

The cloud is huge (well, infinite, really), and everybody wants their piece. Pogoplug has been a player since the beginning, albeit with a somewhat convoluted setup process, so it's no surprise that the drive-to-web plug appliance company is ready to push out a smartphone-friendly version. Pogoplug Mobile, as it's to be known, brings much of its big brother's functionality (you won't be able to "mount" remote drives) to smartphones, tablets, and dedicated desktop apps. Want to load some photos from your 4 terabyte hard drive in San Fran while you're on the subway in Tokyo? Simply launch an app, sign in with the username and password you registered during the seconds-long setup process, and you're on your way. You can even email photos (links to images on your remote drive -- you won't be using data), post them to social networking sites, or transfer new ones that you shot with the phone. The concept is certainly familiar, but we got to take a look at Pogoplug's interpretation at IFA in Berlin. Jump past the break to see what we thought.%Gallery-132122%

The first thing you'll probably notice is that this Pogoplug isn't a plug at all, much like the Pro. Instead, it's a standalone device (similar in size, though not in shape to the latest-gen Apple TV), with external power adapter and all. There's an Ethernet port, along with a pair of USB ports (one can be used to connect a WiFi dongle, though you won't find it in the box). External design obviously isn't all that critical, since you'll (hopefully) never see the device again once it's all set up. Inner beauty is what we're looking for here, and in our somewhat limited time with the Mobile, the interface looked to be fast, intuitive, and efficient.

While the original Pogoplug is marketed towards power users, the Mobile model has cloud newbies in mind, providing a dead-simple setup process and mobile interface. There are mobile apps for Android and iOS, and Mac and Windows desktop apps as well. You can access all of your files -- from MP3s to PDFs to proprietary doc formats -- remotely. Compatible media can be viewed with the app, while more obscure files can be downloaded, posted online or emailed. You can read Microsoft Office files, but you'll need a desktop app to edit them, then save changes to the cloud -- sadly there's no-file-too-obscure magic editor. We accessed a remote Mobile during our IFA demo, and images appeared almost instantly, likely because the Pogoplug automatically creates all the necessary thumbnails whenever you add an image, so original photos aren't sent -- unless you choose to download them, of course.

There's certainly nothing groundbreaking here, though this is definitely a logical next step for Pogo. But if you already have the storage and really want the cloud (including a way to access files from your mobile devices), the $79 Pogoplug Mobile will be ready to join your interconnected arsenal on October 1st.

Update: There's only one USB port on the device.

Show full PR text

Pogoplug Introduces New Hardware - Pogoplug Mobile

Enables streaming of photos, music and video libraries from home to mobile phones and tablets, and offers automatic, secure backup of mobile content

San Francisco, California – September 1, 2011 – Cloud Engines, Inc., creators of the Pogoplug multi-media streaming service, today unveiled their first mobile-focused hardware product with a sleek new design. Pogoplug Mobile serves as a mobile cloud companion, freeing devices from storage limits by allowing users to stream entire libraries of photos, music and movies from their homes to their mobile phones or tablets. The device also enables users to share unlimited amounts of photos, videos and other content from mobile devices with friends and family-instantly and privately.

Pogoplug Mobile's extreme multi-media capabilities are optimized for iOS and Android devices. Pogoplug Mobile offers Android users a unified streaming and sharing service and enables automatic home backup of all photos, movies, music and other documents. Pogoplug provides iOS users with unlimited, instant streaming of entire media libraries.

"People today have an almost unlimited need to create and consume multimedia content on their mobile devices," said Daniel Putterman, CEO and Founder of Cloud Engines. "Unfortunately, their devices just can't keep up; mobile storage remains too expensive. Pogoplug Mobile solves this problem by providing an incredible streaming and at-home backup solution that turns any mobile device into an limitless media library."

Pogoplug Mobile includes a number of key features:

Stream entire libraries of music, movies and photos to an iPhone, iPad, or Android device
No storage limits

No need to re-download the same content to multiple devices

Permanent storage and backup of all photos and videos taken using the mobile device

On Android, automatically back up photos and movies from your hand-held device to your Pogoplug Mobile wirelessly. Content trickles back to Pogoplug Mobile in the background with no action required by the user

Pogoplug Mobile device works seamlessly with the Pogoplug desktop software and Pogoplug mobile apps (iPhone, iPad and Android 2.2 and later)

Pogoplug Mobile provides users with a streamlined interface for viewing and managing content on their device, while maintaining all of the great sharing and data access solutions provided by the original Pogoplug hardware and software solutions.

Using Pogoplug desktop software, Pogoplug mobile apps, or the browser-based account, users can access and stream files from anywhere in the world, to anyone in the world. All of these features come packaged with Pogoplug Mobile.

"With iCloud on the horizon, the timing for Pogoplug Mobile couldn't be better," continued Putterman. "If you're an iOS user, Pogoplug Mobile will be a perfect at-home iCloud companion. For Android users, it's at-home iCloud for Android."

Pricing and Availability

Pogoplug Mobile will be available in October 2011 for a suggested retail price of $79.99 USD. Pre-orders are currently being accepted at HYPERLINK "" Pogoplug's iOS and Android apps are FREE and available for download in the iTunes and Android app stores, respectively.