A few weeks ago a small package arrived at my door. Inside of a non-descript box was this: Apotop’s Wi-Copy. The best way to describe the Wi-Copy is to call it a hub or digital swiss army knife. Inside of its post-it note sized chassis is a 19.24 Watt hour battery, SD card reader, USB port, Ethernet jack, and micro USB port. It also has a WiFi card with the ability to connect to 2.4Ghz devices and repeat 2.4Ghz wireless signals. The Wi-Copy is the answer to the question we’ve all been asking ourselves, “Why doesn’t someone make an accessory for my phone that’s like a router, battery pack, and SD card reader in one?”
Physically the Wi-Copy is a svelte device with a matte black polycarbonate finish. It has a rigid feel and does not bend under pressure. The ports feel solid and they maintain a good grip on the cables once they’re plugged in. There’s a small switch on the left side of the device that enables it to toggle between its off, battery, and WiFi modes. To charge your phone with the Wi-Copy you simply switch it into battery mode and then use a USB cable to connect your device to its charging port. Conveniently the Wi-Copy itself is charged via USB.
To control the most of the Wi-Copy’s features you need to connect to it either through its iOS and Android apps or via its web interface which is only available when you connect to it via WiFi and then browse for its local IP address 10.10.1.1. The iOS and Android apps worked well enough, although the Android app did crash while we were using it and neither app meshed with the visual styles of the platforms they ran on. In the end I just connected to it via WiFi with my desktop.
This is the Wi-Copy’s default page. There’s really not a whole lot going on here and needless to say the UI could use some work. Clicking on the SD folder opened the SD card I had in the Wi-Copy.
Which brought me to a page showing the basic file structure of my SD card. It’s not very pretty, but it does work.
And finally I can preview the files in my SD card’s folders. I’m not sure what to call this UI, but it’s not something developers should be emulating.
Clicking on the green gear in the upper right hand corner brings you to this menu where you can configure most of the Wi-Copy’s functions.
The WiFi settings button take you here. To a page where you can control the basic settings of the Wi-Copy’s 2.4Ghz broadcasting.
Clicking on the WiFi repeater button takes you here. To a menu where you can select a network to connect to and repeat.
After you connect the Wi-Copy resets itself before beginning its duties as a network repeater. The signal strength emanating from the Wi-Copy was good and it worked well in its duties as a repeater.
All in all the Wi-Copy is a device that doesn’t really fit into a traditional category. It’s a mobile accessory, but calling it that really doesn’t do it justice. And while the Wi-Copy impresses with its physical design its web UI and apps leave a lot to be desired. It offers a lot interesting features, yet it excels at none of the tasks that it performs. Apotop’s Wi-Copy is truly a digital swiss army knife.S|A
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