Smart Home tech, like Digital Frames and Smart Displays, is revolutionizing how we can display our photo library in our homes. I read an article once upon a time that suggested that thanks to the era of smartphone photos, over 90% of the world’s photos have been taken within the last 10 years. Isn’t that wild to think about? If you’re the type of person that’s contributed to a significant percentage of that, I’m sure you have a lot of photos to show off. Gone are the days of tons of old photo albums sitting on bookshelves, replaced by digital sharing. But as much as we like to pass our phones around to share pictures with friends, what are you doing at home to show them all off? Here are a couple of ideas to brighten your home spaces by getting the most out of your smartphone photos.
Making smartphone photos pop with Digital Frames
I’ve always been a big fan of Digital Photo Frames. They’re a really easy, eye-catching, and vibrant way to brighten up your living room, kitchen, or spaces around your home. When they first came out, you were looking at something barely bigger than your standard 4×6 picture. That made sense because smartphones weren’t as common, and you were basically lifting pictures from your digital camera stash and putting them onto an SD Card for your frame to display.
Fast forward a decade and things have changed. Displays are much larger, and manufacturers have adapted the look and the function to better suit smartphone owners’ needs. You can get displays between 8-15.5 inches now, and the frames have even become stylized to fit your home’s decor much better.
The main convenience nowadays is that the process to get your smartphone pictures showing on your new frame is much easier. I mentioned above that the previous process involved selecting your photos off your PC, downloading them onto an SD card, and going from there. While this might still be the process for some of them, many frames these days work with Wi-Fi, so you can sync your device and frame up to play your slideshows by communicating with each other. This also means that you won’t be held to any space/memory restrictions outside of the parent device. There are also some services that offer free cloud storage if you’d like to store your photos. Aura even has a family sharing option where you can share photos easily between users as well.
Depending on the frame you pick, some also come with speakers to play audio files, touch screens to show photo details/information, and even miniature remote controls. There are literally dozens of different options out there.
If you want something really special for your space, I’m partial to Netgear’s Meural Digital Photo Frame. This one is an absolute beauty. It comes with a huge 1080p 15.6 inch display and its own technology to ensure that your photos pop as much as possible. You can connect your photos directly through Wi-Fi, and if you run out of things to display, Netgear has a service to their Meural Membership.
Get more out of your smartphone photos with Smart Displays
If you have or are considering getting yourself a Smart Display, you can easily turn that into a smartphone photo display too. Devices like the Amazon Echo Show and Lenovo Smart Display all have different directions and ways in which you can turn them into photo slideshow viewers. The nice thing about Smart Displays is that they can serve more than one purpose. You can use a Smart Display for things like streaming, alarm clocks, acting as a virtual assistant, and so much more. In many cases, they’re also around the same price as a digital photo frame, too. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about what else a Smart Display can do, here are a couple blogs to get you started.
Features of Smart Displays You’ll Love! by Leo Bond
3 Surprising Things you can do with a Smart Display by Shelly Wutke
Turn your TV into a giant smartphone photo display too!
Digital photo frames are cool, but you can get an easy add-on for your TV and then broadcast your smartphone pictures out to it pretty easily too. If you get a device like the Chromecast or an Apple TV and connect it to your TV, one thing to keep in mind is phone compatibility. It’s pretty easy to cast Android or iOS pictures to your TV via the Chromecast. In fact, Google has easy step by step instructions on their website for both platforms. You’ll need to download Google’s 1st party photos on your iPhone or iPad to make it work. It’s a similar process to get Android photos to an Apple TV. You can do it, but you’ll need a third party app of some sort to make it happen. If all you’re planning on doing with your Apple TV/Chromecast pickup is this singular photo cast, I’d recommend the latter since it’s typically ¼ of the price.
Wi-Fi photo broadcasting is a big reason why I bought my dad an Apple TV last Christmas. I wanted him to have easy access to streaming services, but I also remember how he used to hook up his old digital camera to his TV to show off pictures he’d taken. Now that he’s got an iPhone, I figured this was the next best thing for him. There are other benefits, of course, too. I use my Chromecast to “cast” things from our laptop to our TV that I can’t cast out through my iPad or iPhone.
Brighten up the space with smart lights
While it’s not necessarily something that will put your pictures on your display for you, adding Smart Lights to brighten your spaces is a great way to draw attention to your photo displays. Whether you want to get dimming switches to brighten or soften lighting from overhead, or LED Strip Lights to draw attention to shelving, Smart Lights are a really efficient and easy way to make your space unique. Just like your photo frames/TV display option, you can also control your lighting through your phone and get creative with brightness or colour.
All of these solutions are now available on BestBuy.ca, and in many cases in person at your local Best Buy. How are you displaying all of your smartphone photos at home? Let us know in the comments below!