HomeSmart HomesWhat are Cloud Digital Photo Frames and How Do They Work

What are Cloud Digital Photo Frames and How Do They Work


What are cloud digital photo frames?

Cloud digital photo frames combine the strengths of cloud storage and Wi-Fi with standard digital frame functions to bring you some of the most useful and capable digital frames on the market.

Cloud digital photo frames give you access to cloud-enabled features like cloud backups & storage, web album support, multi-frame control, and even controlling a frame remotely. While not every cloud digital photo frame offers all of these features, many of the top frames do. They have a great balance between features and ease of use.

Access to the cloud and its management is usually done through the web interface via your user account. Here you can export your frame’s cloud storage, manage the content, sync new content, and more. Cloud digital photo frames generally need Wi-Fi to make full use of their cloud capabilities.

How do cloud digital photo frames work?

Cloud digital photo frames work by connecting a digital frame to the cloud through your user account. This connection and its management are usually done through a web interface and seldom managed directly on the frame. This is a good feature as managing cloud storage and features are far easier when done on a computer.

Cloud digital photo frames save photos that you add to the frame’s internal storage to the cloud. Here you can export the files for external storage and use, or leave them safely on the cloud. It adds an extra layer of protection in case something happens to the frame that prevents you from accessing your pictures.

Some of the top cloud digital photo frames like the Pix-Star facilitate linking your frame to your favorite social media and photo-sharing platforms. This web album feature isn’t too common but is one of the most versatile and helpful cloud features. Once you’ve linked the albums, they’ll be automatically updated every time you add new photos to the connected album.

Cloud digital photo frames also let you manage your frame directly from the web interface. While this isn’t a strict cloud function (it also needs Wi-Fi), it’s enabled by cloud support. You can change settings, manage your frame’s media storage, start slideshows, create new folders, force sync web albums, and more.

Unfortunately, many of the top cloud digital photo frames rely on subscription models. For example, Skylight’s frames require the Skylight Plus annual subscription to unlock cloud backup and related features. Not all digital photo frames charge recurring fees or subscriptions, but more on that in the answer below. Through cloud compatibility, you get a whole new level of control through online access to your frame – making them more convenient and accessible for the average user.

What is the best cloud digital photo frame on the market?

Pix-Star’s cloud digital photo frame is one of the best on the market – both in terms of cloud-related features, and in its ease of use. You get an excellent balance between a rich Wi-Fi and cloud-enabled feature set and a smooth user experience suitable for elderly users and large families.

To pick up on an earlier point, Pix-Star’s cloud digital photo frame offers free-for-life cloud storage. This is an impressive feature considering how versatile and capable Pix-Star frames are. Combine this with a fully unlocked feature set, no additional costs, and an attractive price, and you get a very practical digital frame.

Pix-Star frames come in two sizes; a 10-inch frame, and a larger 15-inch cloud digital photo frame. Both displays are vivid, bright, immersive, and use a 4:3 aspect ratio (arguably the best aspect ratio for a mix of photo and video playback). The 1024×768 pixel display is crisp and clear, drawing you in with a bright screen and broad viewing angle.

Pix-Star’s digital photo frames truly start to stand out when you look at their features. You can remotely control any connected Pix-Star frame through your user account via the web interface. This feature lets you adjust the frame’s settings (hue, saturation, brightness, firmware updates), start slideshows, create new folders, sync new photos, and much more.

On top of this, Pix-Star frames have web album support. You can display photo albums from popular social media and photo-sharing platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Google Photos & Drive, Dropbox, RSS Feeds, and more. Once you’ve linked an account to one or more frames, the process is automated. New photos added to the linked album are automatically synced, downloaded, and even displayed on all connected frames. It’s an excellent feature for large families with several frames or families that want to get their not-so-tech-savvy grandparents involved.

Pix-Star’s frames are easily managed through the web interface. You have access to the cloud backup and have full online access to the frame’s media library. Here you can make changes, deletions, create new playlists, start slideshows, and more.

All in all, Pix-Star frames are exceptionally intuitive and easy to use. They offer great versatility and a feature set that you’d struggle to find on any other cloud digital photo frame on the market. The icing on the cake is Pix-Star’s free-for-life cloud storage and no additional costs or recurring fees. Read here to learn about what else it takes to find the best digital frame to buy for your home & family!

Can my grandparents use a cloud digital photo frame?

Grandparents probably won’t make use of all cloud digital photo frame features, especially those that involve logging into a web interface. That being said, they can benefit incredibly from cloud-related features.

For example, with some cloud digital photo frames like the Pix-Star, you can remotely control their frame to sync new photos and start slideshows. You can link their frame to specific albums on your Facebook or Instagram account and set them to automatically display on their frame. This keeps them in the loop and involved with the rest of the family.

Most cloud digital photo frames can be used with USB/SD cards for offline use. This is great if your grandparents aren’t interested in all the extra features, or they’d rather you leave you to handle them.

Can cloud digital photo frames work without Wi-Fi?

Most cloud digital photo frames can work offline to some extent – though this can vary significantly between brands and frame models. You’d need to check the user manual or reviews of the frame you’re interested in to be sure.

As an example, Pix-Star’s frames have extensive offline functionality. You can start slideshows, manage the frame’s media library, add photos via a USB/SD card, and view any photo that’s been saved to the frame’s internal storage (including web albums that have already been synced).

You generally need Wi-Fi to receive new photos and video sent to the frame, update the frame’s firmware, sync and update web albums, and use Wi-Fi-enabled features such as weather & radio apps.

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