New tech updates for the latest cameras and lenses always generate a ton of buzz in the photography community, as they should. New gear often opens up new possibilities. It’s for that reason, actually, that I find myself equally excited about another tech update, one which serves as an official game changer in backing up and managing all of those wonderful photos we capture (even the ones with awkward expressions that we somehow missed while chimping). I’m talking, of course, about the GNARBOX 2.7.0 update! For the uninitiated, GNARBOX creates the most rugged and reliable backup devices on the market, and their stellar reputation is well-earned.
We were already excited with their previous update, but with 2.7.0, GNARBOX has once again reset the bar. If you ever shoot on-location and/or need an absolutely dependable and efficient backup device, I highly recommend taking the time to read on and see how GNARBOX can improve your workflow and take a lot of the stress out of managing your files.
Here’s a quick overview of the new features, improvements, and bug fixes included in the 2.7.0 update. Be sure to read about our hands-on experience with the GNARBOX 2.7.0 update below as well:
iPhone/iPad Hotspot Tethering
“Users will now be able to complete a full cloud workflow while in the field using the new Hotspot Tethering feature. This feature works by allowing users to connect their GNARBOX 2.0 to their iPhone or iPad’s cellular hotspot using a lightning to USB-C cable. Files can now be uploaded to Dropbox or Frame.io immediately from the field, enabling remote teams to begin working together even while their shooters are still in the field. With the increase of 5G connectivity, we expect that this feature will only continue to improve over time!”
Backup Preset: Cloud Upload
“In addition to the improvements for Backup Presets, we have also combined the power of cloud upload with Backup Presets. Users can now not only define the location and folder to backup to, but can now add cloud destinations as part of their preset. This gives users even more automation, with no need to manually upload content to the cloud. Instead, create a Backup Preset containing the cloud service of your choice (Dropbox or Frame.io), and your data will automatically push to the cloud as soon as the GNARBOX is connected to the internet.”
Home Mode Switching from OLED and Auto-Connect
“Many users have requested a way to switch their GNARBOX 2.0 into Home Mode using the OLED. This new feature makes it much faster and easier to connect to your home WiFi network than was previously possible. Users can now quickly switch their GNARBOX into Home Mode with a few button presses on the unit, and GNARBOX will automatically connect to any network it has previously been connected to. This feature cuts the number of steps needed to connect to your home network in half, saving time, and allowing you to quickly get online once arriving back to the studio. Additionally, the combination of this feature and cloud upload on preset make uploading your data to the cloud once arriving home incredibly fast and easy, allowing you to spend less time getting online and more time focused on other things.”
Selects + Safekeep = GNARBOX App
“Since we launched GNARBOX 2.0 just over a year ago, one of the biggest points of feedback we’ve received from our users is that they wished that Selects and Safekeep functionalities were combined into one app. We’re grateful for all those who shared their feedback with us regarding the challenges that two apps brought to their workflows. Today we’re excited to announce that we have combined Safekeep and Selects into a single app – the GNARBOX app. You’ll now be able to open workspaces and manage your files all in the same place, removing the need to move between apps to complete tasks.”
Key improvements to Backup Presets (formerly “Folder Presets”)
“This update includes key improvements to the core GNARBOX 2.0 product experience of backing up as conveniently as possible with automatic organization. Additionally, we have changed the feature name to Backup Presets, which we feel more accurately describes the feature and user experience. Included in these improvements:
- Ability for users to assign an existing Backup Preset to be the default “Backup Now” function
- Ability to duplicate any existing preset
- Ability to rearrange the order in which presets appear in the list”
Updated OLED icons for WiFi Mode & Upload Tasks
“Users now have more insight into the status of their GNARBOX via the OLED, which now indicates whether the device is in Home or Field mode, and if a cloud upload is in progress.”
Updated Task Manager Icon
“Based on user feedback, we have updated the task manager icon to more clearly indicate its function. Additionally, when a task is in progress, the icon will change to display a yellow clock.”
SD Card Update Process – Retain User Settings
“Improvements have been made to the SD card update process which allows users to decide if they would like to retain their user settings (cloud logins, WiFi networks, backup settings etc) when updating their GNARBOX 2.0. This improvement makes this update process even more seamless. We do recommend you use the standard updating process of updating over WiFi, but if there are any constraints instructions for updating using an SD card can be found here.”
NOTE: As a reminder, it is our recommended best practice that you do NOT update your GNARBOX while in the midst of traveling, especially if you will not have access to a computer. If an update appears while you are on a trip, please try and update once you return home.
Support for DJI CineSSD for Inspire 2 drone
“This release adds support for the DJI CineSSD reader for the Inspire 2 drone.”
Support for Sony MRW-G1 XQD/CFexpress reader
“This release resolves an intermittent bug which caused issues connecting the Sony MRW-G1 XQD/CFexpress card reader for some users.”
[Related Reading: The Ultimate 3-2-1 Data Workflow with the GNARBOX 2.0]
How to Update to the New Software
This software release requires downloading the new GNARBOX app, followed by Software, Operating System and Firmware updates. You can learn more about how to update to the new software here.
Check out the 2.7.0 Release Video!
Our Real World, Hands-On Experience with GNARBOX 2.7.0
It probably seems pretty obvious how these updates will help you when reading through the list above, but we wanted to share our experience using the GNARBOX 2.7.0 to give additional context to how this major update can really benefit photographers.
Our photography team at Lin & Jirsa Photography consists of dozens of shooters, and we take GNARBOX units with us to all of our weddings, no matter how large or small the event. Preserving our files is equally important for every job. We’ve previously shared data management tips for multi-shooter studios like ours, and GNARBOX plays a significant role in our data management workflow.
Here are some of the ways we’ve benefitted from the 2.7.0 update:
- Selects + Safekeep = GNARBOX App: The update is worth it for this feature alone. The fact that it’s named GNARBOX and has the GNARBOX logo makes it even easier to find rather than “Selects” or “Safekeep.” This also eliminates any chance of accidentally opening the wrong one. The app seems to run smoother as well, and we haven’t had any issues with lagging or freezing, which would happen on occasion in the past (rarely).
- Key Improvements to Backup Presets (formerly “Folder Presets”): The new Backup Presets system is more intuitive and it certainly helps to be able to add a cloud destination to a Backup Preset. When using a preset with a specified cloud destination (the video above does a great job of explaining how to set up a cloud destination), GNARBOX automatically backs up files to the destination set in the preset on either the GNARBOX or a connected drive. It will also queue an upload to the desired location in the cloud automatically. Whenever your GNARBOX unit is connected to the internet, the queued cloud upload will begin. This automation makes for a great timesaver.
- For remote editors (photo or cinema), this update also makes it really simple to share files immediately. You no longer need to ingest cards when you get home nor do you need to then upload to Dropbox to share with your editor/post producer. This does all of it for you while also creating a redundant copy and organizing it on the device itself. It makes a huge difference when you need to get files to an editor for quick turnaround situations.
- Home Mode Switching from OLED & Auto-Connect: It’s my opinion that more info is better. The screen can now show which wifi network you’re on as well as whether you’re in “Field” or “Home Mode.” It may not seem like a huge deal, but it is really helpful to know.
- iPhone/iPad Hotspot Tethering: This new feature works in tandem with the preset cloud destinations and makes the combo super powerful when working in the field. You can use a Lightning to USB-C cable to connect your GNARBOX to your iPhone or iPad (if the iPad has cellular service) and utilize your hotspot via cellular connectivity to upload to the cloud from the field when not in range of a wifi network. For small shoots it makes it so easy to have everything backed up for you by the time you get home so you have it on the GNARBOX itself as well as backed up to Dropbox. We were able to do all of this with 4G, and I would imagine that 5G (which this update should be able to take advantage of) would be even better. It might even make it possible to have a remote same-day editor for a wedding (or some similar use case).