Eye-Fi has released a Mac beta of its desktop receiver for the Mobi wireless SD card. The Eye-Fi Desktop Receiver for Mac follows last month's release of an analogous beta for Windows.

This software allows the Eye-Fi Mobi card to instantly transfer images directly from the camera to the Mac desktop, providing Mobi and Mac users with a major new option for photo and video transfer.

The Eye-Fi Desktop Receiver for Mac works only with Eye-Fi Mobi cards and is not compatible with ProX2, Connect X2, or any other generation of Eye-Fi cards. It's compatible with Macs running OS X 10.8 or higher.

There's no word yet how long the Mac or Windows versions will be in beta before final release, however Eye-Fi is hoping to gather customer feedback on these new products before the actual launch.

Available for free during the beta period, the Eye-Fi desktop software will offer the same features that Mobi customers are familiar with on their mobile devices, including a pairing setup with a 10-digit activation code, built-in Wi-Fi, compatibility with a range of cameras, and auto backup. Pricing for the full release was not disclosed.

If you install this beta, it will remove previous versions of Eye-Fi desktop software from your computer. To turn off the automatic connection, click the Eye-Fi icon in the top bar and close the application. If you want re-enable photo transfers to your computer, run the Eye-Fi Mobi Receiver application again from the applications folder.

Usage restrictions

Since the Eye-Fi Desktop Receiver for Mac connects directly to your Eye-Fi Mobi card, you will not have access to other network resources during photo and video transfer. However, Eye-Fi says networked drives, email, and the internet will automatically resume once all photos and videos have been transferred from your Eye-Fi Mobi card to your computer and the camera is switched off. Eye-Fi says it is looking to add more flexibility to this process.

Moreover, the Eye-Fi Mobi card can transfer photos and videos to only one device at a time (smartphone, tablet, or computer), so once photos or video have been transferred, they cannot be sent to an additional device.

Demo at CES

Eye-Fi will preview its Mobi card software and new features at CES 2014 in Las Vegas from Tuesday through Friday at Eye-Fi's booth (LVH MP40020), and at Showstoppers on Tuesday.

In related news, Eye-Fi is also launching Eye-Fi Labs, an experimental platform for users to preview and test the company's upcoming mobile apps and product features in advance of public release.

Eye-Fi's product development teams will communicate directly with Lab participants to refine products based on customer feedback. Users can register for the Labs program to participate.