One of the most simple and entertaining uses for Android has been the digital picture frame. By putting your device in a dock or just leaning it up against something, you can set a picture and have a little digital picture frame with you wherever you are. Dayframe, a new app from the developers who brought us HD Widgets, has put a unique spin on it. If you want to see the video review, click above.
So how does this app work? It’s really very simple. It’s a combination photo browser, screen saver, and photo slideshow application that weaves beautiful pictures on your Android device screen when you’re not using it. It does this by pulling photos off of a variety of social networks, including Flickr, Picasa (Google+), Facebook, Dropbox, Instagram, and other popular sites. When you use the app, it’ll show a photo, slide around for a moment, and then transition to the next one.
What makes it unique are the behind-the-scenes settings. You can sign into a number of services to pull your own personal photos. Or, if you’ve had enough of those, you can choose from a number of categories which will populate your feed with photos from others. From there you can set a timer that’ll play streams as a screen saver when you’re not using your phone, interact with the slideshow in a variety of different ways, or ignore all the social networking nonsense and just enjoy the photos. It’s your choice.
The last thing we’ll talk about in terms of functionality is the settings. You can customize it to run only when you want it to. Between the Timer function, the bandwidth settings, battery settings, and others, the stream will only go when you want it to.
How Can I Use This?
In terms of sheer usage, this app is all about making your device interesting even when you’re not using it. You can use this to turn your device into a digital picture frame. If you can think of a place or reason to have a digital picture frame, then you can include it into the large number of reasons to have an application like this one.
Some uses that the developers include are using it at events to show off pictures, as a screen saver, as a digital picture frame for your desk or table, among others. It’s a very simple app but if you get creative you can use it for quite a lot of things.
What we liked
So here’s what we liked:
- The simplicity. You simply sign into your accounts, pick a few categories of things that you like, and go. The settings, photo feeds, and other various functions are easy to find and use in the left and right side pull out menus. It is not difficult learning how to use this app.
- The built in categories add a lot of interesting feeds in for you. This is a great way to view photos of things you may not have otherwise ever stumbled upon on your own.
- It’s well done. The moving photos, the option for social integration, the transition effects, and everything put together make for a high functioning and visually appealing app and we like that.
- Not all the pictures are simply one-off pictures that people post. You’ll see thumbnail images from link sharing as well so you may actually find some good stuff this way without the tedious scrolling through social networking apps.
- Once it’s set up, it does all the work on its own which is awesome.
- The developers have been amazingly responsive to consumer critiques so far and new features are already being worked on in response to them.
What we didn’t like
And here’s what we didn’t like so much:
- Some of the pictures (especially link shares) come up very low quality. It doesn’t happen often but it just looks bad when it does.
- A few people have said that the scrolling pictures are distracting. It’s one of our favorite features, but we can see why people who don’t need more distraction can not like them. Thankfully, the developers have said that turning of animations will be a feature soon.
- According to the developers, Daydream integration was turned off on purpose. They had a good reason in that Daydream causes the app to run all night and the Timer function prevents this. However, they have expressed that it may be turned back on.
At the end of the day, this application is a huge step forward in the photo slideshow space. It has a great user interface, great options, and it’s a fun way to give your device something to do when it doesn’t have anything else to do. If you include the upcoming features like transition options, Daydream support, and (if it ever becomes available) Chromecast support, Dayframe will have a feature set that will be tough for any future developer to top. It really is the photo frame app we’ve all been hoping for so if you haven’t yet, give it a shot!