Kwilt has launched the Kwilt2 ($79) and Kwilt3 ($149), two platform-agnostic devices that turn any USB memory key or external drive into a personal cloud at home where you can offload photos and videos from smartphones, cameras and other devices and access their content whenever you wish. They work with macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android OS.
A personal, or private, cloud isn’t a tangible thing. It’s a place that gives users the ability to store, synchronize, stream and share content on a device such as the Kwilt, moving from one platform, screen and location to another.
I’ve been test driving the Kwilt2, the entry level device that’s designed as a personal content storage and aggregation accessory for photographers. It’s proven handy for me, but a blessing for my wife, an amateur photog who takes about a zillion pics at family events and on vacations, then forgets to back ‘em up. Plus, she often finds herself running out of memory on her iPhone.
If you use a DSLR or action camera, or are an avid drone user, you might go for the Kwilt3, which offers faster processors, enhanced networking speeds and USB 3.0 capabilities.
Setting up a Kwilt is simple. You insert the supplied memory stick and/or an external drive. Plus in the power adapter. Connect the Kwilt to your router via the included Ethernet cable. Download the free mobile app at the Apple App Store, and you’re good to go.
All of your content is saved in its original format and resolution. With the Kwilt hardware/software combo, you can:
Back up your mobile photos and videos from anywhere;
Directly transfer your originals from your SD card or backup from your iPhone;
Expand your storage space as needed. You can connect a USB key, portable drive or multi-disc storage device to the Kwilt;
Access content stored on your connected drives from anywhere through your phone, tablet, or computer;
Share photos and large videos from any of the aforementioned devices via email, text or “Shared Link”;
Access your photos, and videos from Dropbox, Google Drive, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, etc.;
Use filters to access and organize your photos and videos based on dates, locations, media sources, etc.
Edit your photos within the Kwilt app by applying filters, correcting color, crop adding text, etc.;
Order custom prints, phone cases, posters, stickers, and more with in the app.
Since the Kwilt stores your digital files in the privacy of your home, you decide you can access them. And since they’re stored locally, there are no storage fees.
However, you should note that downloading files is slow; transferring photos from my iPhone Xs Max to the Kwilt2 took about 10 seconds per pic. Be prepared for a long wait if you’re dealing with thousands of photos.
The Kwilt2 and Kwilt3 are available for purchase immediately in the U.S. at MyKwilt.com. If you’ve purchased Kwilt’s Shoebox or Shoebox Plus devices in the past, you’re eligible for a 50% discount when upgrading to the new devices. Kwilt requires iOS 10 and above and works best on iPhone 5s and above.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★