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

If you will have kids, and people kids have grandparents, a Skylight Frame may make a whole lot of sense as a vacation present for them, with a Skylight Calendar for you, which you’ll be able to nab at 25% off, beginning right now, on the Skylight web site, utilizing the code BLACKFRIDAY!. 

Smart photograph frames are digital frames that show photos you add, they usually’re the proper present for grandparents. I would not be shocked in the event that they had been invented as a technique to ship photos to the grandparents once they hit the market 30 years in the past. But now, even our grandparents rock smartphones, so a wise body has to supply a bit greater than pulling images out of your cellphone. 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, fashionable body (it is available in an array of body colours and a 10- or 15-inch measurement) with a low profile, it appears precisely like an image body, apart from the facility twine snaking off the again. Skylight produces two merchandise, the Frame and the Calendar, which look the identical however function a bit in a different way—and I’ll discuss each and who they’re suited to. 

The Skylight Frame

The entire concept of the Frame is to share images, both a technique or forwards and backwards. To ship photographs, you both e mail them to a devoted e mail tackle, or share them by way of the app (you may must generate a hyperlink, after which ship them the hyperlink by way of e mail or textual content, which prompts them to obtain the app and authorize you). Although initially I discovered the notion of emailing images to be clunky, I used to be reminded that for a lot of grandparents, an app is a cumbersome technical impediment, and plenty of layers of authorization make mother and father really feel protected. An older target market additionally explains the simplicity and huge, clear consumer interface of the app. The app doesn’t have a whole lot of features or choices, nor a whole lot of management. The app does a number of issues very merely: sends and receives images to the frames you’d wish to share them with, or generates a sharing hyperlink. Once the images have arrived, you’ll be able to select which you’d wish 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 a superb job of constructing portrait-oriented photographs appear to be they belong, even when you will have the body hung in panorama, by backfilling the margins. While you don’t want a subscription plan to ship and think about images, you’ll be able to improve to a subscription on both the Frame or Calendar for $40 a yr 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 need it to hang around on a desk. It has a contemporary, low-profile energy twine. 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 images. That stated, you may depart the body alone as soon as it’s arrange and it will work simply positive, auto taking part in photographs 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 relations nonetheless don’t belief on-line units of their residence, you’ll be able to disconnect the body from wifi more often than not and it will work simply positive—reconnect it often to select up new images. The quantity of management the app gives over the Frame is the proper quantity to bridge generations of customers, and I like you could carry out all of the fundamentals of the product with out a subscription.

Consider Calendar your house base

photo of the Skylight Calendar

Credit: Amanda Blum

Plenty of 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 mother and father and skipped on one for themselves—they’d solely considered sending photos to different individuals, fairly than receiving additionally them. That stated, I believe mother and father ought to contemplate a Skylight Calendar for themselves once they purchase relations a Frame, as a result of the entire level of sharing photographs is that it goes each methods. Your children will in all probability profit from seeing images of Grandma and Grandpa, and it retains the relations 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 a lot of the performance of the Frame—you’ll be able to ship and obtain photographs from others, whether or not they have a Skylight or not, both by way of 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 1 shared calendar you’ll be able to view by day, week, or month. A subscription makes way more sense on the Calendar—it means you’ll be able to ahead flyers or emails from faculty 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 with out a subscription, you’ll be able to modify fonts and colours and all types of different features of the calendar. You can share these calendars the best way you share images, and Skylight will even let you know 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 features, however I think, as they had been for me, all features already served by different platforms. And not like 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 superb Black Friday purchase

And that’s the place I believe Skylight may actually iterate—if it noticed the Calendar and Frame as aggregation hubs. People already do all the issues supplied on the Frame and Calendar elsewhere; the worth is the bodily hub for the household to have the ability to shortly examine in from—a simple technique to examine 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 favor 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 a substitute of emailing or going by means of one other app. I’d love for it to mixture my Todoist lists and even perhaps Asana. While the Skylight Calendar does supply much more performance and adaptability 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 features {that a} first rate pill would do. At 25% off, nonetheless, they change into much more engaging—so make the most of this deal.