PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame- Photo Frames brought into the 21st Century

PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame- Photo Frames brought into the 21st Century



What we love…

Easy to set up and use. Auto update feature allows it to automatically upload and display new photos without any effort

What we’d love to see…

Ability to create own albums and tag and search photos (planned in future updates)

Summary

PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame is an effortless way to bring  family photos off phones and computers and into everyday lives.  It provides an easy way to enjoy and share  photos and memories with family and friends near and far.

recommended-by-the-imums

As children my siblings and I loved seeing the new pictures every time we got a roll of film back from the developers, and we loved reminiscing as we looked through them together. We had albums of family photos lying around that we loved to look through whenever family or friends visited. With my own children most of our family photos have been taken on digital cameras and, more recently, on cellphones.  We take way more pictures now, but we never see most of them – they stay trapped in a digital graveyard on our computers and phones. I really that feel we, as a family, are missing out by not looking at family photos together and enjoying the memories they bring, but any solutions I’ve tried have just been too time consuming, and end up getting dropped after a few months.

I recently started using the PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame and I love how it has brought our family photos off our phones and back into our everyday lives.  When I heard “digital photo frame” my first thought was of a frame we had years ago that required downloading photos onto an SD card, which was then inserted in it to view the pictures. This was OK the first time we did it, but we rarely got around to creating new cards for it so the same pictures stayed on for years. Comparing the PhotoSpring to that is similar to comparing a Prius to a Model-T – they are both digital photo frames but otherwise have little in common. The PhotoSpring is so easy to use, and once set up it can keep adding new photos as I take them, without any effort on my behalf.

Our PhotoSpring is on a bookshelf in the living room and I’ve set it to automatically switch on in the mornings and off around our usual bedtime. It has a nice sharp display screen and a wide angle of view so you can see the pictures from where ever you are in the room. It is currently rotating through around 1,600 photos taken on my iPhone 7 and my husband’s iPhone 6 over the last year. I love that we are now seeing these pictures and that the kids will often comment about pictures they see and reminisce about the times they were taken.

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If a particular photo catches our eye we can take the PhotoSpring off it’s stand and use it as a digital photo album to look through the photos surrounding it at our own pace. It is easy to mark favorite pictures to make then easy to find later or to delete or hide photos we don’t want on display.

My favorite feature is that with it set on auto-update all the new pictures I take on my camera automatically appear on the PhotoSpring without me needing to do anything. As a busy mum of 3 I always have good intentions about making photo albums, printing photos etc but never quite find time to get it done. With PhotoSpring I no longer have to feel guilty about not being more organized with our family photos -PhotoSpring gets our family photos out and on display for without any effort on my part and that is priceless!

 

Unboxing

In the box is the photo frame, charger and stand. The PhotoSpring looks similar to a 10 inch iPad or Android tablet, but slightly thicker. It has a clean look with no buttons on the front and a white border around the screen. The stand works in either portrait or landscape mode. The charger can be connected to the stand to charge whilst displayed, or directly to the PhotoSpring. It has a nice long cord so I had no problem reaching an outlet.

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Set Up

Set up for the PhotoSpring is very quick and easy.  I had mine up and running in about 5 minutes.
1) Connect PhotoSpring to power and wait for it to turn on.
2) Connect PhotoSpring  to your home WiFi network. PhotoSpring will then download the most current version of it’s software.
3) Name your device (e’g Mary’s living room PhotoSpring) then enter your name and email address to get a PhotoSpring account invitation.
4) Respond to the email to create a free PhotoSpring account.
5) Download the PhotoSpring companion apps for iPhone, Android, Mac or Windows to start uploading photos to your PhotoSpring.

You can connect your account to more than one PhotoSpring and invite multiple friends and family to connect to your PhotoSpring. This is great for keep family connected. You can have PhotoSprings at home and work to easily access your photos in both locations. It makes a great gift for Grandparents or other family members because even if they live a long way away you can easily share photos across the miles.

The PhotoSpring comes preloaded with a slideshow that runs you through the features of the frame and how to use it, as well as some art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

Sending Photos

There are 2 ways to send photos to your PhotoSpring:

1) Manually: To send photos you open up the PhotoSpring app on your device, select the photos you want to send, and choose which PhotoSpring(s) connected to your account to send them to.

2) Automatically: choose “auto-update” and the PhotoSpring app will automatically upload new photos from your phone (and thus to your PhotoSpring) whenever you have the app open. You can choose to do this only via WiFi or via WiFi and cellular. For iOS you do need to also give permission for PhotoSpring to use location services for this to work.

The photos get sent to PhotoSpring cloud server and from there they are downloaded onto your PhotoSpring for local storage. This does take a little time, it only takes a minute or two for one picture, but large numbers of pictures can take a while to appear.

I send my photos via the auto-update feature as it means I don’t even have to think about uploading my pictures they just appear, my husband prefers to send his manually.

 

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In Use

Once the photos appear on the PhotoSpring they are automatically sorted and duplicate pictures are removed. It will place the pictures in smart albums based on the place they were taken, if they are geo-tagged and location service permission was granted. If you have multiple people connected to your PhotoSpring it will also create albums based on the person taking them.

When playing a slide show you can display either: a) all the photos on the PhotoSpring,  or b) all of a particular album or c) or you can apply one of these 3 filters:

1) Favorite photos- you can mark these by taping on a heart symbol.

2) People- PhotoSpring automatically detects pictures with people in.

3) Best quality- PhotoSpring assesses the picture quality and marks with a lightning symbol those that it considers the best quality.

The PhotoSpring is available with 16GB, 32GB or 80 GB of memory. How many photos it will hold depends on the size/ quality of your images, mine is a 16GB currently has 1,600 photos on it that were taken in an iPhone 7 and is about 25 % full.

The PhotoSpring is a also a touchscreen device, it has a 4 hour battery life so you can remove it from the stand to look through your photo albums and remove, hide or favorite pictures. You can select individual photos or whole albums when hiding, deleting or marking as favorite. When looking at an album the pictures are organized in date order of when they were taken, and you can choose to see them newest first or oldest first. On the side there is a timeline arrow that you can move up or down to easily find photos from a specific date.

In the evenings I like to sit and look through my photo albums – it is a great way to really enjoy the pictures but also lets me easily weed out pictures I don’t want on display and to highlight favorites that I might want to print or create a photo book from later. I would love a way to easily create my own albums as I do this so, that I could create separate slideshows with a theme e.g. vacations, kid’s art work, Scout trips; I am told that the company has plans to add this feature in the future, along with the ability to tag and search.

Currently PhotoSpring only supports digital photos, but video support is due to be added in the next few weeks. The PhotoSpring has built-in speakers ready for video support. When the company updates the software to add new features it automatically updates via WiFi so you don’t need to check for updates to access the new features.

Summary

I love our PhotoSpring – it makes it so easy to enjoy and share our family photos with very little time or effort on my part. The auto-update feature makes it effortless to constantly update the frame with new pictures. My whole family is enjoying  it. We all get to enjoy our family photos and gives us many opportunities to easily took through photos and share memories together. It makes a great gift for moms and dads as an easy way to view family photos at home or in the office. It is also is a great gift idea for grandparents, as long as they have a WiFi connection, many different family members can connect to their PhotoSpring and easily keep them updated with family pictures even if they live a long way away or even in a different country. Highly recommended !

PhotoSpring Smart Digital Photo Frame is available from PhotoSpring.com with 16, 32 or 80GB storage from $149

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
News: Clarity Speaker becomes First Standalone Device to Offer Access to Both Amazon and Google Voice Assistants

News: Clarity Speaker becomes First Standalone Device to Offer Access to Both Amazon and Google Voice Assistants

Clarityimage001The only Alexa-Enabled device with a built in touchscreen extends early bird pricing

New York, March 31, 2017 – The Clarity Speaker, the first standalone device to provide access to both Alexa and Google voice services, has announced the extension of its presale campaign to April 30, 2017, following an overwhelming response. Clarity, which is also the first and only Alexa-enabled product to boast a fully-featured touchscreen, has also announced that it will offer access to both Google Now and Google Assistant when it ships in June, well ahead of the rumored Amazon Echo touchscreen.

From blasting out favorite Spotify playlists to watching blockbuster movies, the android-powered touchscreen speaker offers great entertainment capabilities and acts as the hub for smart home automation while offering the power and skills of both Alexa and Google voice assistants. Clarity fuses the convenience and functionality of a conventional tablet with the dynamic possibilities of a smart voice-activated, connected speaker. During the extended presale period, Clarity can be purchased for $149 ahead of its shipping price of $199.

Awesome Audio

Clarity is a powerful, super lightweight, super portable Bluetooth and WiFi connected speaker, ideal for listening to music, podcasts or audio books. Content can be played from connected personal devices, internet radio stations or streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora.

Its two 5-watt speakers and spacious sound chambers deliver exceptional sound performance, and at just 2lbs with a six hour playback battery life, Clarity can be enjoyed anywhere.

Two Voices Are Better Than one

Clarity is the first device to allow people to use both the Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistants. A range of service and skills can be accessed through simple voice commands, such as “Alexa read the news”, “Alexa play Adele”, “Hey Google show me the route to the office” and “OK Google set my alarm for 7 a.m.” Because Clarity also has a built in touchscreen, it can display as well as play results found by these services.

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Hub of the Connected Home

With Clarity, users can control and manage every aspect of the connected home. Using voice commands to control Alexa or Google, or leveraging the 7-inch touchscreen, users can control a range of devices including Nest, TP-Link, Samsung SmartThings, Insteon, Ecobee, Wemo and Hue Personal Wireless Lighting.

There’s an App for That

Clarity’s 7-inch touchscreen and built in camera allows it act as an android powered tablet providing access to apps and services you would find on any traditional device. From watching Netflix movies to video chatting and Skyping with family and friends, users can access and enjoy any of their favorite apps from the Google Play store.

Tech Specs and Availability

Clarity will ship in June 2017, priced $199. An early bird price of $149 is available through to April 30, 2017, on Indiegogo. Its full features include:

  • Compact lightweight design – Dimensions 326 x 110 x 160mm | weight 2lbs
  • 7-inch multi-touch screen with 1280×800 resolution
  • Advanced near and far field capabilities
  • Alexa, Google Assistant and Google Now enabled
  • Powered by quad-core CPU
  • Two 5-watt speakers
  • Two megapixel camera
  • 16G internal memory with expandable storage via Micro SD cards available
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 1600 mAh Li-Poly battery providing six hours of audio and 2.5 hours of video playback
  • WiFi (2.4G and 5G Dual-Band) and Bluetooth (4.0) connectivity

 

Clarity is designed and manufactured by Pan Sea Co., Ltd., a company with a proven track record specializing in intelligent electro-acoustic products such as SoundPad. Its team has more than 20 years of experience in consumer electronics and acoustic technology and has spent three years developing Clarity.

“The response and demand for Clarity has been fantastic, beating all of our expectations,” said Dake Liu, CEO of Pan Sea Co. “We are proud to have developed an intuitive device with a number of industry firsts and are extending our presale campaign after popular demand to give even more people the chance to secure the Clarity Speaker at a discounted price.”

For further information visit www.clarityspeaker.com

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 K’ablekey Keychain Flash Drive and Lightning Charge Cable from PKParis   -Review

K’ablekey Keychain Flash Drive and Lightning Charge Cable from PKParis -Review



 

Summary

K’ablekey from PKParis is a great accessory for your iOS device. It is very small, weighs less than an ounce and can be clipped to your keychain so you always have it with you. It is both a Lightning charging cable and a Flash drive, allowing extra storage space for your iOS device and enabling easy file transfer. Highly recommended.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Are you constantly running out of space on your iPhone or iPad ? Or can you never find a charge cable when your iOS device is running low on charge? The new K’ablekey from PKParis is a small but stylish device that solves both these problems.

K’ablekey is designed to fit on your keychain so it’s always with you. It has two halves held together by strong magnets and connected via a short cable. Open it out, remove the caps, and it is a cable with an Apple Lightning connector for charging your iPhone or iPad. The connectors have bright orange caps to protect them when not in use. The caps are magnetic so they stick to each other and to the K’ablekey so you don’t loose them, genius !

Not only is K’ablekey a charging cable it is also a flash drive, allowing you to free up space on your iOS device and easily transfer files to and from your iPhone, iPad and computer (Mac or PC.) On your computer you simply plug the K’ablekey into a USB port and drop and drag files to transfer them to or from the K’ablekey. To use it with your iPad iPhone or iPod Touch you need to install the free PK memory – PKparis app.

 

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With the app you can access music, photos, videos and documents stored on the K’ablekey. You can download them onto your iOS device or view them directly from the K’ablekey. You can also back up your photos, videos and contacts from your iPhone/ iPad and even move them onto the K’ablekey to create more space on your device.

You can view your photos and videos in a list or thumbnail. When copying or moving documents, movies, photos, videos or contacts you can select individual items or select all in a particular category. You can also create folders on the K’ablekey to organize your content.

iPhone Screenshot 4The K’ablekey has USB 3.0 and the specs boast read speeds of up to 100MB/sec (120 for the 32 and 64GB models) and write speeds of up to 20MB/s. I found that the files copied quickly and that the whole process of  reading, copying and moving files was smooth and easy.

For extra security K’ablekey offers the option to password protect some or all of your content. It is also designed to be tough, hard wearing and water- resistant so you don’t have to worry about how it will stand up to use.

Overall, the K’ablekey from PKParis is a great accessory for your iOS device. It is very small, weighs less than an ounce and can be clipped to your keychain so you always have it with you. It is both a Lightning charging cable and a Flash drive, allowing extra storage space for your iOS device and enabling easy file transfer. Highly recommended.

Available online from PKParis website in 16, 32 and 64GB versions from E59.99/ $63.67

iTunes Link: PK memory – PKparis


PK memory PK memory by PKparis

Price: $FREE

This application allows to access the content of your iPhone/iPad/iPod and of the PKparis flash drives (K'ablekey, K'Save etc ). It is a smart and simple way to view / save / copy / share / edit any files.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Running Noah from Useappility -A Fun App for Practicing Multiplication

Running Noah from Useappility -A Fun App for Practicing Multiplication



iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

Makes practicing multiplication fun by incorporating it into an endless runner game

What we’d love to see…

Ability to limit to x10, individual player profiles, different speed levels

Summary

Overall, a fun way for kids to practice their multiplication skills whilst playing an Endless Runner game, Running Noah has 48 levels to work on times tables from 1-4 all the way up to 12x.

Our Rating

Running Noah Learning the times tables takes a lot of repetition, which children often find boring. They’d rather be playing their favorite video game instead of practicing math facts. Running Noah from Useability is a new app that uses children’s love of video games to give them lots of repetition of their multiplication facts whilst playing a fun game.

Running Noah is an Endless Runner, it has four episodes each with 12 levels. You need to unlock a level to move on to the next level. The four episodes have different themes and work on 1-4 times tables, 5-8 times tables, 9-12 times tables and 1-12 times tables respectively. The first episode (1-4 times tables) is free, there is an IAP (currently $1.99) to unlock the rest.

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Gameplay

The flood has just begun and Noah is on a mission to save all the animals and get them into the Ark. As the storm waters rise the land is divided into a series of islands by raging streams. To rescue the animals Noah must build bridges across the streams and also collect food for the animals on the way.

Beside every stream is a stone tablet with a number on it, and on the right of the screen are three numbers from the current series of times tables the student is working from. Tapping on the right of the screen brings up three  more numbers and the player has to tap one number from reach column to create a multiplication problem whose answer is the number on the tablet. The player has to think quickly as Noah keeps running, if he gets to the stream before they have completed the problem he falls in the water. If they create the correct problem a bridge forms and he runs safely to the next island. If they create an incorrect problem the bridge still forms but it collapses when Noah runs across, and he falls in the water. After solving three  problems correctly Noah reaches the stranded animal and gets him onto the Ark which completes the level.

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As Noah is always running the player has to think quickly to keep him from falling in the water, but collecting food adds another layer of complexity. All the animals on the Ark need feeding and food (corn, fish, pineapples or acorns) is above Noah’s head as he runs. To collect it the player has to double tap to make Noah jump at the right time. If they collect very little food the food meter turns red and Noah runs out of energy. Players can replay levels to collect food they have missed, and improve their score, and they need to complete the multiplication problems correctly each time to complete that level.

Analysis

Although the gameplay is in essence very simple, completing the levels does take quick thinking, fast recall and good reflexes. Even as an adult with good mental arithmetic skills I found I often had to replay levels to get perfect scores as it is tricky to answer the problems fast enough and time the jumps right to collect the food.

For each times table the problems include multipliers up to 12 e.g. the lowest level could include 4 x 12. Although this was how I learned my times tables, I have noticed some schools now only teach up to x 10. I would like to see an option to limit it to x10, if your child is learning that way. I would also like an option to add multiple player profiles, so that families with more than one child working on their multiplication skills can track their individual progress and let them compete against each other.

The app has an online leaderboard in it- but kids can not sign up from within the app (a good thing) a link is provided so that parents can enter it in a browser and sign up for the leaderboard if they wish to do so. Once they have completed all levels if the enter a parents email address they will be sent a certificate of completion.

I think the game is designed to be fast paced so that children will have to repeat levels multiple times to get high scores, so that they get a lot of repetition which is a good thing. However, some children with slower reflexes or slower processing speeds may find it frustrating that although they know the answers to the problem they can’t complete the problems in time to stop Noah falling in the water, or they can’t  co-ordinate their tapping quickly enough to answer the questions and jump for the food. With this in mind I’d like to see an option to have different speeds – maybe an Easy, Regular and Fast speed so that slower children can still use the app and to give different levels of challenge which would encourage even more repetition as skills improve.

Summary

Overall, a fun way for kids to practice their multiplication skills whilst playing an Endless Runner game, Running Noah has 48 levels to work on times tables from 1-4 all the way up to 12x. The app is free to download an include the first episode (12 levels) for free – this is a good way to test the app and see if it catches your child’s interest. If it does the $1.99 to unlock the rest of the app is good value. It is child friendly with no adverts, social media or external links.

iTunes Link:Running Noah – Useappility

Running Noah Running Noah by Useappility

Price: $FREE

“…an app that helps kids improve their multiplication skills” BestAppsforKids.com
“…makes practicing multiplication fun by incorporating it into an endless runner game” theimum.com
“… .

NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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