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).
 Project Life by Becky Higgins LLC – Review

Project Life by Becky Higgins LLC – Review



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What we love…

easy to use photo collage and scrapbooking app that has helped me share more photos with my family

What we’d love to see…

ability to save  photos to iCloud, a subscription or bulk purchase for the kits or a premium version that includes all content

Summary

This is my “go to” digital scrapbooking app that allows me to free my photos from my iPhone.  I love how fast and easy it is to do up the pages and share them with my family.

Our Rating

Project LifeI am a self confessed photo-a-holic – and until I started using Project Life – all of those photos lived on my iPad or iPhone destined to stay in the memory forever.  I would pull off a few photos here or there to demonstrate my photo skills, but sadly many were relegated to be taken and never seen again!  Enter, Project Life by Becky Higgins the app that brought my photos to life!  I have two kids and love to take photos of them as they change and grow, as many moms do.  Unfortunately, even with my best intentions they would get stuck on my iPhone or iPad never to be seen again.  Several months ago a friend of mine, who is a big scrapbook lover told me I HAD TO TRY THIS APP!  I downloaded this digital scrapbooking app and within a week – I was hooked.  My family and friends love all of the photos I am sharing and best of all – I don’t need to worry about the backlog of photos at the end of the year when I’m trying to do my photo book.  My current year photo book is almost done!  I don’t have to worry about pulling out lots of scrapbook supplies that I will need to put away when I am done – instead I can focus on my photos and trying to make them look nice to share with family and friends.  We even have done school homework using Project Life – my son had to do a study of the wind as part of his science homework – we took a bunch of photos, scrapped them into the app and within 10 minutes of completing the photos had the story told and ready to share with his teacher!

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First you pick a layout in the app – you can either do a collage or a scrapbook page.  The collage pages are either 4×6 or 6×8.  From there, you add in and position your photos with the pinch and zoom method and then you can fill in the empty boxes using the added digital scrapbook packs.  It’s really easy and quick to do a page, and you can “tell the story” in a moment with your photos instead of leaving them to tell the story.  Photo pages can be exported in 8×8 or 12×12 which are perfect for Shutterfly or other photo books.  The collages can be exported and inserted into your pages as well.  The app includes a few pre-designed templates (more can be purchased) as well as designer cards which you can insert into the collages.   It’s easy and fast to import your photos which you can easily move around within the app if you don’t like the placement and the pages in progress can be saved if you can’t finish them at that moment in time.  Pages can be shared via social media like Facebook, Twitter, email and text as well as saved to the camera roll on your device for use in other apps.

My pictures are now free!  Now, I take photos and can scrap them on the go while waiting in a car line, if I have a few minutes of downtime and I share them with my family more regularly.  I love how easy it is to make pages and put them into my photo book which will eliminate the end of the year scramble for me.  I also find that I’m sharing my photos more regularly with others rather than letting them sit on my iPhone never to be seen again.  I like to use Project Life in conjunction with Tinybeans which allows you to easily upload photos on a day by day basis to share with family and friends.

In terms of improvements, I wish that there was either a subscription based model to purchase the “kits” or a “bulk” purchase method.  When I first downloaded the app, I downloaded several kits as well as formats and spent about $15 in in-app purchases, for me because I use the app frequently it was worth it.  I’d love to see a “premium” version of the app that includes all of the kits and is updated regularly.  I also wish there was an easier way to sync finished pages across devices, you can use Dropbox, but I’d love to see iCloud included in a future update.

This is my “go to” digital scrapbooking app.  I love how easily I can take photos and convert them from a “stuck on my iPhone” to sharing them with family and friends at a moment in time.  It’s easy to use and makes much less mess than traditional scrapbooking and the best part is that my pictures are now able to be seen by everyone rather than just hidden on my iPhone or camera!  Win – Win! There are in-app purchases and no parental gate since this is an app designed for parents – as always I encourage you to switch off in-app purchases in your device via the settings.



Project Life Project Life by Becky Higgins LLC

Price: $2.99 USD

Imagine scrapbooking without scissors or adhesive or tools … or without having to print photos! Never before has scrapbooking been so easy, so fast, or so available in the palm of your hand! The Project.

Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. They have a variety of devices including an iPad, iPhone, and an iPod and is often found with a device! My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.
Review of the iPro Lens Series 2 Trio Kit for iPhone by Schneider Optics

Review of the iPro Lens Series 2 Trio Kit for iPhone by Schneider Optics


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Pros…

High quality lenses, handle provides a convenient way to carry and store lenses as well as being useful for steadying the shot, lenses can be used with different models of smartphone by getting a new case

Cons…

Must use custom case, case not compatible with many screen protectors, no place to store lens cap in handle.

Summary

For the serious iPhonographer the iPro Lens Trio Kit provides a good selection of high quality add on lenses – including a macro, wide angle and 2x zoom. It also includes a custom case and carrying handle that doubles as a storage solution for the lenses. Highly recommended !

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The iPro Lens system is a system of add-on lenses for Smartphones from Schneider Optics, a company known for its high quality professional lenses. The lenses are available individually or as a set. They require a special case for your Smartphone, this is currently available for the iPhone4/4S, iPhone5/5S, iPhone 6, iPhone6+ and Galaxy S4. I tested the iPhone 5/5s Trio set with an iPhone 5.

The iPro Lens Trio Kit Includes:

  • iPro Case for iPhone 5/5S
  • Macro Lens S2
  • Super Wide Lens S2
  • 2X Tele Lens S2
  • Combi Handle (3 Section)
  • Lens Cap

Case

The case is a 2-piece black polycarbonate shell which slips on to the iPhone. The case has a bayonet-style mount in front of the camera lens and screw mounts on either side for the handle. It has a rim which hugs the front surface of the iPhone tightly. Because it is so snugly fitting it may not work with a screen protector I had a Screenguardz Glass screen protector on my iPhone and the case slid off the screen guard. It is a very simple looking case, but I quickly got used to having it as my everyday phone case, and it is easy to remove and re-install it. I did wish it came with a compatible screen protector as I do prefer to keep my iPhone screen protected.

Handle

The handle is a really neat feature of the system, it screws into the long side of the case giving an easy way to hold the camera steady when taking pictures. There is a tripod mount in the base of the handle allowing you to easily use a tripod with your phone if you wish. The handle is made up a several segments and inside each one. It is also where you store the lenses- each segment has a bayonet mount inside allowing you to safely store a lens, and when you close the handle a little lens cleaner cover the lens surface.  If you purchase additional lenses they come with an extra handle segment so you can just add them to the handle. It really is an ingenious way to carry the lenses, keeping them protected and close at hand, and at the same time providing another useful accessory. The only downside is the lens cap does not seem to fit anywhere in the handle, so it is easy to lose.

Lenses

Included in the Trio set are a 2x Telephoto, a Macro and a Wide-Angle lens. The lenses attach to the case by a bayonet mount, and stay in place very securely. The lenses can not be used without the case, but if you upgrade your phone you only need to buy the new case to be able to continue using the lenses.

The lenses all have very high quality optics and produce really sharp images. I have really enjoyed using them to take photos with my iPhone. I am including a selection of images taken with each lens.

Macro– this gives 2.5x magnification, I found the handle really useful with this lens as it much decreased the camera shake I had when using other companies Macro lenses.

Schneider Macro2

Telephoto – for everyday use this as the most useful of the lenses as I find many situations where I wish the native iPhone camera lens was more zoomed in (of course you can use the digital zoom but that decreases picture quality.)

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Schneider Telephoto1

Aircraft museum with Telephoto

Schneider without Telephoto1

Same picture without Telephoto

 

Wide-Angle – this doubles the field of view of the iPhone camera. It does cause an exaggerated perspective with rounding at the edges – this can make for some fun effects. There are also available for purchase a wide-angle lens which has lens distortion and a fish-eye which is even more exaggerated (we did not test either.)

SchneiderWide angle2

With Super Wide Angle

 

Overall, I was very impressed with the  iPro Lens Trio Kit. For the serious iPhonographer it provides a good selection of high quality add on lenses including a macro, wide angle and 2x zoom, and additional lenses can be purchased separately. The iPhone case works well, though I do wish it came with a compatible glass screen protector. The handle is a really useful accessory and a great way to store and carry the lenses. I also appreciate the fact that you don’t have to buy new lenses when you upgrade your phone, you just need to replace the case. Highly recommended !

The Trio Kit has an RRP of $229, and is available from ScheiderOptics.com, Amazon and many other retailers

 

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.

 

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).
The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – With Great Giveaways Too!

The iMums Christmas Gift Guide 2014 – With Great Giveaways Too!

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones? 2014 is drawing to a close and it is time to start shopping for Christmas Gifts. The iMums have been searching far and wide for gifts that will be a hit with family members of all ages. Which ones are on your wish list this Holiday Season ?

We have picked out some of our favorite products from the past year to share with you including products for the home,and office,  for the young and young at heart, gifts for use on the go, photography picks, and some brand new cases for the iPhone!

 

Gifts for The Young and Young at Heart

In this section we highlight some cool products that kids and teens will enjoy, but they aren’t just for kids – adults will have just as much fun racing a rally car, enjoying a light and sound show or feeling the soothing effects of playing with sand.

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For the Home and Office

We have a great selection of gift ideas for the home and office. Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a pet lover, a home baker,

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Gifts for On-The-Go

We have a great range of on-the-go gift ideas including mobile storage solutions, portable speakers and bags and cases for the avid traveller and those who like to stay closer to home.

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For the Photographer

Whether you prefer to take pictures with your DSLR or iPhone we have some great gift ideas.

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Stocking Stuffers

These are a few of our favorite gift ideas for $30 or less.

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Giveaways

Giveaway for the Perfect Bake
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a ReadyNAS RN102
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win a Minnie Amelie bag from Mia Tui
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter to win an Ozobot Smart Robot – Congrats to our Winner Helen W – your prize is on the way!!

Sales and offer codes

Yantouch Diamond+ 

From November 18 until December 31, 2014, the Diamond+ is $50 off, priced at only $99 (normally $149) from Amazon Yantouch IceDiamond+  when using coupon code YT50DOFF

Ozobot

To celebrate the launch of #OzoGroove, we’re offering 20% off Ozobot Dual Packs when you use the promo code: GROOVY20 Visit www.ozobot.com to purchase!

Mia Tui

15% off your entire order using the code imums at MiaTuiUSA

 

 

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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