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

If you’ve got youngsters, and people youngsters have grandparents, a Skylight Frame would possibly make loads 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 at this time, on the Skylight web site, utilizing the code BLACKFRIDAY!. 

Smart picture frames are digital frames that show footage you add, and so they’re the proper present for grandparents. I would not be shocked in the event that they have been invented as a strategy to ship footage to the grandparents once they hit the market 30 years in the past. But now, even our grandparents rock smartphones, so a sensible body has to supply a little bit greater than pulling pictures out of your telephone. The Skylight Frame affords a much 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 dimension) with a low profile, it appears 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 little bit otherwise—and I’ll discuss each and who they’re fitted to. 

The Skylight Frame

The entire thought of the Frame is to share pictures, both a method or backwards and forwards. To ship pictures, you both electronic mail them to a devoted electronic mail handle, or share them through the app (you will have to generate a hyperlink, after which ship them the hyperlink through electronic 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 plenty of layers of authorization make dad and mom really feel protected. An older target market additionally explains the simplicity and huge, clear consumer interface of the app. The app doesn’t have loads of features or choices, nor loads 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 photographs 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, but it surely solely has one job

Photo of the Skylight Frame settings

Credit: Amanda Blum

The Frame does a great job of creating portrait-oriented pictures seem to be they belong, even when you’ve got the body hung in panorama, by backfilling the margins. While you don’t want a subscription plan to ship and consider pictures, 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 wire. Online setup took fewer than 10 minutes—all you really want to do is join the Frame to wifi. The touchscreen is very responsive; you swipe to go between setting screens and to advance pictures. That stated, you might depart the body alone as soon as it’s arrange and it could work simply high-quality, auto enjoying pictures by itself. You can use the settings to routinely put it to sleep at night time so the sunshine isn’t bothersome. The wifi stays reliably linked, but when your relations nonetheless don’t belief on-line gadgets of their house, you’ll be able to disconnect the body from wifi more often than not and it could work simply high-quality—reconnect it often to choose up new pictures. The quantity of management the app affords 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 and not using a subscription.

Consider Calendar your own home base

photo of the Skylight Calendar

Credit: Amanda Blum

A lot of mates 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 mates had typically simply gotten them for his or her dad and mom and skipped on one for themselves—they’d solely thought of sending footage to different individuals, somewhat than receiving additionally them. That stated, I believe dad and mom ought to take into account a Skylight Calendar for themselves once they purchase relations 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 relations engaged, and encourages extra interplay. Cousins sharing footage backwards and forwards, 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 electronic mail. But primarily, it’s a calendar aggregation software. 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 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 and not using a subscription, you’ll be able to regulate fonts and colours and all kinds of different elements of the calendar. You can share these calendars the best way you share pictures, and Skylight will even let you know the climate forecast on the time and site of your occasions.

Fun however less-necessary options

The Calendar additionally affords 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 believe, as they have been for me, all features already served by different platforms. And in contrast to the calendar sync, you’ll be able to’t combination these different platforms. The solely different place you’ll see that data 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 fact 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 the entire 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 strategy 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 choose 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 combination 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 features {that a} first rate pill would do. At 25% off, nonetheless, they develop into much more engaging—so reap the benefits of this deal.