By John Painter on Sun, 05/02/2010
I've had my AirStash ($99) for several days now after the delay of nearly a month due to some streaming difficulty in the first model, I've got to say I'm happy but hmmmm. Let me explain.
AirStash is basically a mini wireless router, not attached to the internet, but which you can attach to with basically any device which uses a browser to access the internet. So, I saved a few songs, photos and a couple movies to my SD card from my iMac, popped the SD card into the AirStash and got ready to expand the capacity of my iPad and in the process share with a few people around me. I opened up my Settings > wifi > and selected AirStash and wango, indeed it worked!
Set up was very easy, you access it via your Safari browser (or any browser, on any device) and once I saved AirStash through Safari to my Home Screen (it has a very recognizable icon) it was super sweet to access. The user interface is fairly simple, basically you get a basic menu through your browser which shows you what's stored on your AirStash's SD card, and then allows you to create some play lists, then there's a setting menu which is very basic allowing you to change the color, rename your AirStash if you'd like, and choose whether to stream encrypted or not. It certainly shared photos, streamed music and amazingly streamed my iTunes purchased episode of Dexter - flawless. You charge it by just plugging it into any USB port, or what I realized, your iPhone/iPad charger since it has a USB port
But I say hmmm because of one thing, for me a big thing, which was I admit my fault in assumption and not checking out thoroughly, but also I think AirStash's fault for somewhat misleading advertising namely this passage off their website:
Which says: "Download photos to the gallery with one tap and use your favorite apps to edit and upload. Photographers can finally leave the bulky laptop at home." leading me to believe I could upload images from my iPhone to my AirStash.
Well you can't.
That feature is evidently in the works for a future software release, but that's buried in the FAQ's section:
"Can I upload files to AirStash via WiFi?
AirStash currently supports loading files to your SD/SDHC card from a computer using USB 2.0. We're planning to add file upload over WiFi in a future firmware release."
To move images back and forth between my iPhone and iPad I'm still using Mover + ($1.99) which is fine, but I was really hoping to circumvent taking up all that space of a large number of photos on my iPhone and now music I'm starting to compose on my iPad. As readers know, I took the plunge and got rid of my MacBook and only use the iPad when I'm out and about. Of course I can always sync my iPhone/iPad and upload images and music I've created to my iMac, but the whole point of the AirStash - I thought, was to break that chain.
I'm still happy with the AirStash, it certainly means I can now save a lot of media to SD cards and tote them around with my AirStash, it's still so much lighter than a MacBook, but the AirStash won't be all that it can be until you can upload files via wifi.