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Looking for Android Photo Frame solution to sync with Grandparents

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I'm working on putting together a Christmas present for parents and grandparents. I want to buy them a low end tablet (there are a few on Amazon around the $100 - $150 mark, and without having done much research yet I'm thinking something along the lines of the Coby Kyros 8", the iRulu 10.1", or the Pandigital SuperNova (Refurb)). I would then put an app on it so that it basically becomes a synced photo frame.


Of course they might get some additional use out of it, but some of them are very non-techie and may well leave it purely as a photo frame. Here are the features I'm hoping to find, but having searched and downloaded a bunch of apps I've yet to identify a good solution. Does anyone have any ideas? It can be fairly complex on my end to set up as long as it's zero-maintenance once I deliver it. It also certainly does not have to be a free app, but no ads is a must.


- Syncs automatically over wifi to my photo album. I can use Picasa, Flickr, Facebook, whatever. New photos that I upload should automatically appear in their "photo stream" without any interaction from them. Notification of new photos would be nifty but not required.


- Does not require me to log in to my personal account on their device. Many apps are designed as viewer/uploader combinations that would require me to authenticate to my account, which isn't a safe option. I can create dummy google accounts for each of them if I must, though.


- Also does not require manual syncing from my end. Some photo frames are set up so that you can "easily email photos to them" and then it syncs up. Easy for them, but not a feasible long term solution if I'm managing 5 of these "frames" with various relatives.


- Ideally can sync across a few albums or even a few services into a single "photo stream". This isn't necessary for my immediate goal, but it'd be really awesome if we could set up my grandmother to have synced images from multiple albums across her various grandchildren.


- I've seen a few apps that automatically fire up into a full screen slideshow when plugged into a power source. This is a great feature, so that if someone starts playing with the tablet and gets lost, they can just plug it back in to get back to the photo frame mode.


- I would consider a little polish on the presentation to be a big plus. A few apps go super bare bones and just do zero-transition pops to the next photo. While not necessary, having some sort of cross-fade, screen wipe, animation, etc. would help spiffy it up. Though let's not go hokey either, as some of the 3D dropping-photos-slowly-on-a-table apps do.


That comes across as super specific, but really I just want to have a way of automatically sharing photos with non-techie relatives.


An alternative solution is something like the Pix-Star PXT510WR02, though at $190 it just feels like I should be able to put something together that is more full featured and cheaper with an Android device. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks so much!

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There are a couple of apps that I've tried that are close, but have some substantial problems:


- PhotoFrame Live DayDream. This app just sketched me out. Amazingly tacky ads, self-launching was a mess and over-aggressive - I frankly didn't trust the app to work or be well supported, even though it does have most of the functionality I'm looking for.


- Social Frame HD Slideshot. This app appears to have better support, but the UI and UX are pretty bad. I was unable to get albums set up on the app, which means my grandparents have no hope. :/ I also didn't see any evidence of an auto-sync option, which was a deal breaker.


It does look like Android 4.2 has a "DayDream" mode that will have much of the functionality I'm looking for, though I've been unable to try it. Has anyone given this a shot? Would it work for an automatically-synced photo frame setup? It wouldn't have nice notifications of new photos added, but it may be able to do everything else if I can have it read from a local DropBox folder or something.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can talk about PhotoFrame Live Wallpaper / DayDream. The support is kind of amazing, I got resolved one particular defect in less than 24 Hours, and I know, also from application comments that I'm not the only one. about: Ads, you have Donator Mode (No ads) or other tricks to get rid of them (for my parents I donated so they don't need any tricks). And about self Launching, there is an Option at preferences to avoid self launching.


I've been using this program as my live wallpaper, photoframe and even as daily alarm for 4 months and I am really happy with it. Photo Sync for every source (Picasa, Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, Samba) so I can update photos remotely for myself, or for others with access to my albums (not to my account). Just perfect!

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In my opinion, Android Tablet is much better option than a dedicated Photoframe. I bought for my parents a cheap and good Tablet for 120$ and I installed PhotoFrame Live Wallpaper so, basically, just as a photo frame. Then, I got surprised about the fact that now, not only they receive my photos directly in their tablet, we are also doing video conference, my mother is using it as an outdoors/indoors quality photo camera and video recorder and contributing also to the albums. Our parents / grandparents are not dinosaurs, of course, they learn as we do :)


In my case I also donated PhotoFrame Live Wallpaper and I'm proud of it. I can appreciate the good work. Frankly... ;)

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  • 4 months later...

I was looking for something similar, but I couldn't find anything that was simple and easy enough for my very elderly grandparents to use. They are all close to 90 years old, so I need something simple.


In my view, an affordable Android Tablet would be the ideal hardware, but the app would need to be so simple to use that you wouldn't have to choose from menus or memorise login details etc. It has to be sooooo basic that you don't need to know anything about the internet, social media etc. Pictures and text messages are fine, but you can't really get into too much detail about how they get on the screen.


I think a customised photo frame app could suit the purpose, and I've decided to try and build one myself(!) I haven't yet worked out all the details.

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