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).
 Comics Head – Create your own comic by NextWave Multimedia Inc – Review and Giveaway

Comics Head – Create your own comic by NextWave Multimedia Inc – Review and Giveaway



screen comics head

What we love…

Lots of options and editable details to help you create your own comics.

What we’d love to see…

More cool art assets.

Summary

Comics Head is a features-packed digital tool for creating comics that will get kids to love storytelling.

Our Rating

When I was exploring Comics Head – Create your own comic by NextWave Multimedia for the first time, I kept getting ideas on how we could incorporate comics in our children’s learning. While presenting knowledge in the form of comics can greatly impact our children’s motivation to learn, I think it’s even more rewarding to have them use comics to tell a story.

Students can be encouraged to write by first planning and developing their ideas in comics, which helps to improve their thinking process. They can also relate an experience that they had through photo comics. With the use of comics, students can confidently deliver a presentation that is unique and engaging. Comics also allows them to express themselves freely and not be limited by their lack of writing skills. Comics definitely has a place in education.

To help you create your own comics, all you need is Comics Head. It is easy to use, has plenty of ready templates to get you started right away plus lots of cartoon items and editing features to help you produce professional looking comics. There is a great variety of backgrounds, characters, props and effects for you to choose from. Alternatively, you can find suitable items from the pre-packaged assets that are based on specific themes. You are not limited to these art assets alone as you can also use photos/screenshots taken from within the app and import images from your device’s photo library or external sources. Best of all, you can draw your own items and add them to your comics!

Each art item that is inserted in your comics page can be edited – horizontal/vertical flip, duplicate, crop, apply various filters, add textures, make transparent, etc. You can even change the character’s expression and pose! Comics Head is packed full with many more advanced features to help you produce the most sophisticated comics that will satisfy your audience.

What’s comics without speech bubbles and Comics Head not only allows you to add and design your speech bubbles, but also lets you add audio speech bubbles via in-app recording or importing! You can also arrange the playback sequence of these audio speech bubbles. See an audio comics created by a 7-year-old below!

There are endless possible use for this app and it’s not just for our children. Teachers can prepare their science and history lessons in comics and see their students captivated. Parents can quickly create social stories using photos of real situations when needed. We can also make our own audio comic for our kids who can’t read yet. Greeting or invitation cards, business presentations, travel journals, announcements, etc. – all these you can rely on Comics Head to do the job well!

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Comics Head has awesome supportive features as well. It has several ways to share a completed comics and the in-app help section is clear and concise. Access to the various sections is straightforward and access to all the external links are disabled by default and can only be changed in the password-protected parental settings.

Comics Head makes it so easy and fun for young children to create their own comics while older students and adults will be pleased with its easy to use yet powerful self-publishing tools. With this app, anyone can be an artist and author. Whether it’s for leisure or for work, Comics Head is a worthwhile addition to any home or classroom. Check out this cool comics creator app today and see your child’s love for storytelling grow.

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Free lite version –

Comics Head - Create your own comic Comics Head - Create your own comic by NextWave Multimedia Inc
Category: Education, Photo & Video
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 410.01 MB

$FREE

Giveaway

If you would like to win a promo code for this app, please enter via the widget below. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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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.

Grace was working in the fields of early childhood education and staff training before quitting to attend to her 4 children full time. She and her family live in Singapore, which is well known for her highly competitive education system.
 Bevy Smart Photo System by Lineage Labs – Review & Giveaway

Bevy Smart Photo System by Lineage Labs – Review & Giveaway



press-photo-2

What we love…

easy to set up and use, perfect gift for grandparents or people who have a lot of photos. Affordable, easy to use photo storage solution with fantastic customer service

What we’d love to see…

including HDMI cable and clearer instructions on which internet option to choose

Summary

Hands down, simple easy to use photo system that takes photos from various locations and puts them all into one spot.  I loved the security of knowing my photos were backed up and how easy it was to set up

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Bevy Smart Photo System by Lineage Labs is an amazing device that allows you to “sync” your photos from a variety of different locations and put them all in one spot where they are backed up! I love to take photos of my friends and family using my iPhone, movies with my iPad and even my digital camera.  Unfortunately too often, these items get “stuck” on my device or simply filed away never to see daylight.  I also have a number of old family photos that I’ve been scanning and trying to find a digital solution for.  I have created an album of these family photos and plan to do a slideshow during the upcoming holidays to share them with family.

Adding photos from my device was as simple as dropping them into a folder from my computer, putting my SD card into one of the ports of the Bevy or selecting my photos on the app.

Once photos are uploaded, Bevy organizes them in one of three ways.  They can be seen by (activity) chronological date, timeline where photos are shown based on time and date it was taken (note if you have a digital camera that doesn’t have a time stamp they are put in a “no date” section), the third which I used was creating albums and marking my own favorites.  This made it easy to sort photos and upload them such as when I was scanning photos of a family member I could easily mark them.

I love that all of my photos are in once place.  Setup was straightforward and simple.  I plugged in Bevy, downloaded the app to my iPhone, connected it to wireless and my pictures started making their way to the Bevy.  It was simple and if I had to leave the house while they were uploading, they simply continued when I got back.  I also loved that I could set the privacy levels of who could upload and download items to our Bevy and who could access it.  Right now, I’ve got fairly tight controls on it, but can loosen them if I wish to.  I also like that my photos are stored at my house on an easy to hold device.  I know it is likely that I will still backup my photos but I like the reassurance that they are safely stored.  I also found that by pulling off a few hundred photos from my iPhone meant that my phone worked much faster!  That’s a huge win!

iPhone Screenshot 2I had a hard drive crash last year, which meant that I lost some of my favorite photos which were stored on my desktop computer.  That caused me to try to figure out how I could “solve” the problem and never lose photos again.  I’m happy to say that Bevy is an easy to use tech solution that will allow you and family members access to your photos in an easy to access way.  I also love that you can load photos into albums on Bevy and then show them on a television screen, tablet or smartphone with a simple touch of the device.  I wish I had this earlier this year when I was struggling to make a DVD movie with photos, Bevy could have saved me hours of frustration!  I also loved that it was small and portable which meant I could put it up on a shelf or out of sight – even though it was perfectly cute if I didn’t want countertop clutter.  If you need more storage, you can add in an external drive which functions with Bevy.  I also loved that you can access photos outside of the home as well using the app.

In terms of enhancements, I would suggest including an HDMI cable in the box of the Bevy.  Many want to connect their Bevy and may not have the cable readily accessible.  I would also suggest that it is clearer in the instructions that people should choose the fastest wireless internet they have – available at their location.  I knew I should use my 5G network, but my husband said that was confusing to him.  The faster the wireless, the more seamlessly the photos will upload into the system for use and be stored.  I do look forward to having a way to back my photos up securely to the cloud as well just in case my Bevy should sometime malfunction so I don’t need to worry that my photos will be lost forever as some of mine were during a recent hard drive crash. I also wish there was an easier way to configure the “out of home” access – this was a challenge as my Bevy didn’t want to work externally, but customer service was very helpful in setting it up

Overall, Bevy is a simple easy to use tech solution for all of your photos.  It gathers them in one place, backs them up and allows you to easily sort through them as well as display them in photo albums for your tablet, smartphone or on your large screen television. This could be an awesome holiday gift for those on your list! Be sure to check out our holiday gift guides for more great suggestions! RRP is USD $299. You can also read our interview with Nancy from Bevy to learn more.

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Category:
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB

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Tech Specs
Size   4.6 x 4.4 x 2.0 Inches

Hardware Intel 2.16 GHz dual-core Celeron Processor 2GB RAM 1TB or 2TB Hard Drive

Connectivity WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) Bluetooth 4.0 Built-in SD Card slot 4 USB 3.0 Ports 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet

Mobile Support

iOS 8 and higher (on iPhone 4s and higher, or iPad 3 and higher) Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and higher

Computer Support

Windows 7 and higher Mac OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks) and higher Adobe Lightroom Plug-in

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.

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Bevy, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to United States residents only and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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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).

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