How do Wi-Fi & cloud digital photo frames work?
Wi-Fi & cloud digital photo frames work through a combination of internal storage space on the frame and the ability to receive and view photos & other media send from almost anywhere in the world. This sending is done through different Wi-Fi-enabled methods that include mobile apps, email, linking external picture albums from social media & photo-sharing sites, and much more.
Many Wi-Fi & cloud digital photo frames like the Pix-Star work offline by letting you load pictures via USB/SD card. You can also load videos & audio files through this method. It’s a great addition for grandparents or anybody that’s not very tech-savvy.
Handy secondary features are quite common on Wi-Fi frames. They include the ability to listen to the radio, remotely control frames to start slideshows & adjust settings, weather forecasts, view photos from social media, set alerts and reminders, and more. These features are what make Wi-Fi frames so well-suited to modern homes & families. They’re easy to use, quick to grasp and add a lot to the frame’s overall versatility and capability.
Wi-Fi frames like these often save received photos to the frame’s internal storage so that they can be accessed offline – though this isn’t always the case. For example, Nixplay’s digital frames can only work when connected to the cloud via a decent Wi-Fi network. They can’t view photos while offline. By contrast, Pix-Star’s frames have extensive offline features and all photos (including those linked from social media & photo-sharing platforms) are saved to the frame’s internal storage.
It’s also worth noting that many top digital Wi-Fi & cloud frames like the Skylight and Nixplay charge optional annually recurring subscription fees to unlock specific features. These locked features often include mobile apps, video playback & support, cloud storage (or its expansion), access to the web interface, etc. We don’t usually recommend you go with a frame that charges a subscription fee to unlock features as you can find those same features for free on other top frames like the Pix-Star – but more on that below.
What are the best Wi-Fi & cloud digital photo frames for 2021?
Pix-Star’s digital Wi-Fi & cloud frames are excellent frames for families, individual users, and elderly users for 2021. They have modern features like free-for-life cloud storage, remote control (remotely manage the frame’s settings, start slideshows, manage local & cloud storage, etc.), extensive Wi-Fi-enabled features, and more.
Perhaps the most unique feature is that you can control & manage up to 25 connected Pix-Star frames from a single user account. This multi-frame control group is easy to create and control through the Pix-Star web dashboard. Here is where you can remotely control any of the connected frames to adjust their settings, start & adjust slideshows, make changes to both local & cloud storage, and even update the frames’ firmware.
Pix-Star’s web album feature offers plenty of versatility that’s well-suited to 2021 and the age of social media. You can link any connected Pix-Star frame in your multi-frame control group directly to social media, photo-sharing, and online storage platforms. It lets you select, link and sync photo albums from almost a dozen supported platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Google Photos, Flickr, Dropbox, Google Drive, and more.
Web albums are saved to the Pix-Star frames internal storage for offline use. They can also be set to automatically sync any newly added photos – which in turn automate the photo-sharing process for the whole family. It’s a great way to keep elderly users and everyone in the family up to date without them having to lift a finger.
Pix-Star’s mobile app (Pix-Star Snap) is intuitive and convenient. You can capture new photos directly through the app or select previously captures pictures from your phone’s gallery. The app lets you send up to 250 pictures in one go and multiple frames at the same time.
Additionally, you can send videos and audio messages to several frames at the same time. There’s no need for family members to create accounts and you have control over who can send photos and which contacts are blocked.
How to set up Wi-Fi & cloud digital photo frames?
The first step is to get the Wi-Fi & cloud digital photo frame online. This is done by connecting the frame to Wi-Fi. Note that you can’t connect to Wi-Fi networks that require web authentication via a web browser (Wi-Fi portals in hotels, restaurants, etc.). Most home networks are fine. Connect to your home Wi-Fi directly on the frame and give it a few minutes to process and connect.
Next, you need to register the frame online. This is usually done through the web interface and only requires the frame’s serial number and dedicated email address (for Pix-Star frames at least). It’s quick and simple. Registering the frame here gives you access to your frame’s web dashboard and unlocks cloud storage.
All that’s left to do is to add the frame to the supported mobile app via its dedicated & unique email address. Now you’re ready to go. Start sending photos & other media to your connected frames and enjoy the experience. Here’s an in-depth step-by-step guide on how to set up your digital photo frame in just 5-minutes.
Can Wi-Fi & cloud digital photo frames play video & audio?
Many premium Wi-Fi digital photo frames can play videos & audio files – though it’s not a universally offered feature. Frames like the Pix-Star can play videos with a maximum length of 2-minutes (more than almost all other top digital frames). Videos can be included in slideshows and audio files can be played over slideshows. This feature lets you easily personalize and customize slideshows beyond the basic settings offered by most frames.
How to send pictures via mobile phone to a Wi-Fi & cloud digital photo frame?
The Pix-Star Snap mobile app lets you send photos, videos, and audio messages directly to multiple Pix-Star frames at the same time. You can either capture photos directly inside the app via your phone’s camera (you need to grant the required permissions to the app when the prompt shows). Alternatively, you can select up to 250 photos from your phone’s gallery and send them to all selected Pix-Star frames.
Note that the Pix-Star Snap mobile app also lets you send entire folders and collections from your phone to your Pix-Star frames in one go. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to send photos from your phone to your Pix-Star frame.