Review: The Skylight Frame and Calendar Are Great Family Tools | Lifehacker

If you’ve gotten kids, and people kids have grandparents, a Skylight Frame would possibly make a number of sense as a vacation reward for them, with a Skylight Calendar for you, which you’ll nab at 25% off, beginning at the moment, on the Skylight web site, utilizing the code BLACKFRIDAY!. 

Smart picture frames are digital frames that show photos you add, and so they’re the right reward for grandparents. I would not be shocked in the event that they have been invented as a method to ship photos to the grandparents after they hit the market 30 years in the past. But now, even our grandparents rock smartphones, so a sensible body has to supply a bit greater than pulling pictures out of your telephone. The Skylight Frame gives an even bigger image in a a lot slicker show than telephones and even tablets can. A touchscreen in a clear, trendy body (it is available in an array of body colours and a 10- or 15-inch dimension) with a low profile, it seems to be precisely like an image body, aside from the ability wire snaking off the again. Skylight produces two merchandise, the Frame and the Calendar, which look the identical however function a bit otherwise—and I’ll speak about each and who they’re fitted to. 

The Skylight Frame

The entire concept of the Frame is to share pictures, both a method or forwards and backwards. To ship pictures, you both e-mail them to a devoted e-mail tackle, or share them through the app (you will must generate a hyperlink, after which ship them the hyperlink through e-mail or textual content, which prompts them to obtain the app and authorize you). Although initially I discovered the notion of emailing pictures to be clunky, I used to be reminded that for a lot of grandparents, an app is a cumbersome technical impediment, and lots of layers of authorization make dad and mom really feel protected. An older target market additionally explains the simplicity and huge, clear person interface of the app. The app doesn’t have a number of capabilities or choices, nor a number of management. The app does a couple of issues very merely: sends and receives pictures to the frames you’d prefer to share them with, or generates a sharing hyperlink. Once the images have arrived, you’ll be able to select which you’d prefer to put into circulation in your Frame. 

The Frame is straightforward to make use of, nevertheless it solely has one job

Photo of the Skylight Frame settings

Credit: Amanda Blum

The Frame does an excellent job of creating portrait-oriented pictures appear to be they belong, even when you’ve gotten the body hung in panorama, by backfilling the margins. While you don’t want a subscription plan to ship and examine pictures, you’ll be able to improve to a subscription on both the Frame or Calendar for $40 a 12 months so as to add movies to the combination. The body comes with the world’s best wall mount and a separate stand within the field, if you would like it to hang around on a desk. It has a contemporary, low-profile energy wire. Online setup took fewer than 10 minutes—all you really want to do is join the Frame to wifi. The touchscreen is extremely responsive; you swipe to go between setting screens and to advance pictures. That stated, you may depart the body alone as soon as it’s arrange and it will work simply positive, auto enjoying pictures by itself. You can use the settings to routinely put it to sleep at evening so the sunshine isn’t bothersome. The wifi stays reliably linked, but when your kin nonetheless don’t belief on-line units of their house, you’ll be able to disconnect the body from wifi more often than not and it will work simply positive—reconnect it sometimes to select up new pictures. The quantity of management the app gives over the Frame is the right quantity to bridge generations of customers, and I like that you would be able to carry out all of the fundamentals of the product and not using a subscription.

Consider Calendar your property base

photo of the Skylight Calendar

Credit: Amanda Blum

Various associates with children have already got purchased Skylights, and I figured they’d have one and the grandparents would have one, however I used to be shocked that my associates had usually simply gotten them for his or her dad and mom and skipped on one for themselves—they’d solely considered sending photos to different folks, reasonably than receiving additionally them. That stated, I feel dad and mom ought to take into account a Skylight Calendar for themselves after they purchase kin a Frame, as a result of the entire level of sharing pictures is that it goes each methods. Your children will in all probability profit from seeing pictures of Grandma and Grandpa, and it retains the kin engaged, and encourages extra interplay. Cousins sharing photos forwards and backwards, sending movies as a shock for holidays—the purpose is interactivity, and you are able to do all of that with the Calendar, and extra.

The Calendar has many of the performance of the Frame—you’ll be able to ship and obtain pictures from others, whether or not they have a Skylight or not, both through the app or devoted e-mail. But primarily, it’s a calendar aggregation device. You can sync calendars from a slew of different platforms together with Google, Apple, Outlook, Yahoo, Cozi, and Readdle Calendars and it aggregates all of them to at least one shared calendar you’ll be able to view by day, week, or month. A subscription makes far more sense on the Calendar—it means you’ll be able to ahead flyers or emails from college and Skylight will flip them into occasions on the calendar, and since you’ll be able to sync each methods (to and from Skylight) it updates your supply calendars. Even and not using a subscription, you’ll be able to alter fonts and colours and all types of different facets of the calendar. You can share these calendars the best way you share pictures, and Skylight will even inform you the climate forecast on the time and placement of your occasions.

Fun however less-necessary options

The Calendar additionally gives to-do lists, grocery lists, and meal plans you’ll be able to add to, edit and show. These are all nice capabilities, however I believe, as they have been for me, all capabilities already served by different platforms. And in contrast to the calendar sync, you’ll be able to’t mixture these different platforms. The solely different place you’ll see that info is in your app. Skylight may think the household sitting across the Calendar because the platform for plotting out the week collectively, however that’s not the truth of households I do know. 

Bottom line: This is a good Black Friday purchase

And that’s the place I feel Skylight may actually iterate—if it noticed the Calendar and Frame as aggregation hubs. People already do the entire issues provided on the Frame and Calendar elsewhere; the worth is the bodily hub for the household to have the ability to rapidly verify in from—a simple method to verify the day’s occasions earlier than you run out the door, or to see if there is a new video from Grandma, or to get a fast look on the month. I’d desire to easily have a folder in my Google Photos or Apple Drive that I can throw issues into and it syncs the Frame to that, as an alternative of emailing or going by way of one other app. I’d love for it to mixture my Todoist lists and even possibly Asana. While the Skylight Calendar does provide much more performance and suppleness than the Frame, that is the place it may actually shine.  At $160 for a small Calendar or $299 for a big, it’s a tough promote for the capabilities {that a} respectable pill would do. At 25% off, nonetheless, they turn into much more enticing—so reap the benefits of this deal.