I have a small family, but I like to think we’re pretty close. Emotionally at least. My sister Annabel moved to Ireland with her husband and two children a couple of years ago, so we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like now. We’ve been over to visit quite a few times, but it isn’t the same as being able to pop over for tea and catch up with what they’ve been doing during the day.
I know that there’s Skype and FaceTime and everything like that, so no excuse really not to keep in touch, but as I’m sure Annabel will testify to, I’m a bit rubbish at it. Work and cooking and boring stuff gets in the way. Every night in bed I think to myself ‘I must talk to Annabel properly tomorrow,’ and then another day goes by and I haven’t.
I thought the Nixplay Wifi digital frame might be a nice way to add an extra dimension to our communication, and not just because it requires minimal effort from me. (Although mainly that.) It’s basically a digital photo frame, but it links up to an app, meaning you can invite anyone with the app to share photos directly to your frame. You can see where I’m going with this can’t you? Rather than it just showing my own photos, I can ask Annabel to get the app, invite her to share with me, and tada! I can see photos of her and my nephew and niece, Finn and Mia, whenever I like!
‘Cool,’ said Annabel, when I told her about it, ‘I like the idea of sending you snapshots of our life!’
Finn and Mia are only small(ish), and Annabel and I share the sense of humour of a six year old, and so I thought they’d find it quite funny to be able to take pictures of themselves with silly captions and know that they are going to appear in our living room when we least expect it. Belle has a really good relationship with her cousins, and misses them a lot, so I know she’d really enjoy getting to see them more often, even if it was via a photo frame.
Fiancé works away during the week too, and we both miss him being around, (he probably misses us too), so we thought we could add him as well. That way he could send us his latest celebrity spots, with captions of who they are. (He met Will Ferrell in a toilet last week – I do know him – but sometimes I say ‘who?’)
So, we got to work.
The Nixplay Wifi digital frame itself is very easy to set up, and the companion app took no time at all to download. Once they’re both ready to go and connected to the same wifi network, you pair them up via the app, under the ‘my frames’ section. To add photos, either select existing ones from your camera roll or use the camera to take a new one. At this point you can add a caption if you want to.
(I can see that Annabel will be at her best here – coming up with top notch photography caption puns.)
Send your photos to your frame and abracadabra – they appear as if by magic! It’s really fun. One feature that’s very cool is that the frame itself has a motion sensor, so you can set it to turn off after a certain period of inactivity. When it sees someone nearby, it switches itself back on, so every morning when I go to open the curtains in the living room a random picture pops up, which is a very nice way to start the day.
It’s when you explore the Nixplay web based app though that things get really exciting. (Not sure what it says about me that I found it genuinely very exciting to organise photos into categories.)
Within the Nixplay web app you can manage your playlists, (so I can delete the photo of me that Belle sent to the frame with the caption ‘I will kill your first born’), add new friends and create and link up new playlists. You can specify certain playlists for certain friends too, so if I knew Fiancé was travelling for work for instance, I could create a specific playlist for that and set it so that all the photos he sent me went directly to it.
You can also link up your social media accounts, which I think is really fun. I couldn’t not have a playlist dedicated to my beautiful pictures of doors for instance could I?
I gave Nixplay permission to access my Instagram feed and it pulled out all of my photos for me. Tick the ones you want to add to your playlist and then just drag them across – easy peasy! If I’m working from home then, and want some relaxing door pictures to look at whilst I slave away coming up with witty and amusing tweets, I just set the frame to show me only the doors.
When I first heard about the Nixplay Wifi digital frame I have to admit I was a teeny bit sceptical as it felt like digital photo frames might have been done to death already, but after playing around with it and seeing all the different things it can do, I’m convinced.
If you want a fun, visual way to keep in touch with friends and family – something that goes a little bit deeper and is a bit more permanent than a quick Skype chat – then I would definitely recommend the Nixplay digital frame. It would make a fantastic gift too for parents or grandparents – it’s a brilliant way for them to stay connected with you and your family and to share in family life, whether they live on the other side of the world or just around the corner.
If you fancy getting yourself a slice of the Nixplay frame fun, they currently have a Mother’s Day sale! Get 20% off everything in the Nixplay shop until March 26th with the code MDAY17.
We were sent the Nixplay Wifi digital frame for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.