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Standalone digital photo frames made a major splash years ago as a great way to showcase your memories from days gone by. But did you know you could turn your smart display into a digital photo frame?
These devices let you decide which images to show versus just the random slideshow categories you usually see. The only difficult part is choosing which photos you want to use.Which Devices Can I Turn Into Digital Photo Frames?
Let’s start with Google: both the Google Nest Hub and Google Nest Hub Max let you create photo slideshows. Originally, only the Amazon Echo Show 15 had this functionality built in. But, as of August 2023, all Echo Show displays have this feature. If your Echo display doesn’t, you may want to check for a software update, which should have happened automatically back in August or early September.
Image source: Amazon
Essentially, if you have a Google or Amazon smart display, you should be able to turn it into a digital photo frame.
Currently, you can only set up this feature on Echo Show devices in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Australia.Turning Your Amazon Echo Show Into a Digital Photo Frame
Before you start, you’ll need to make sure you have a photo source ready. Choose between Amazon Photos, Facebook, or your uploaded photos from the Alexa app on your phone or tablet. During the setup process, you’ll choose your desired source, including which albums you want to display.
If you want to use Amazon Photos, you can install the app on your phone or tablet and upload pictures to Amazon Photos. This works similarly to Google Photos. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get free unlimited full-resolution photo storage, along with 5 GB of video storage. If you’re not a Prime member, you get 5 GB of free storage and can upgrade to 100 GB for $19.99/year.
Say “Alexa, start Photo Frame” to start your new digital photo frame on your Echo. It will run for three hours unless you give Alexa another command.
If you’re using Amazon Photos, you can ask Alexa to show you specific albums or dates, such as “Alexa, show photos from last winter.”
The only downside to the Echo Show is that photos only display for three hours before you have to ask Alexa to show photos again. This can get tedious, but hopefully Amazon will fix this in future updates to function more like Google Nest’s continuous photo rotation.
Not sure which Amazon Echo to get? Check out our comparison guide to find the most suitable Amazon Echo.Turning Your Google Nest Display Into a Digital Photo Frame
Image source: Google
Just like with Amazon, you’ll need to first set up a photo source before your Google Nest display can become a digital photo frame. Obviously, as a Google product, Google prefers that you use Google Photos.
You’ll need to download the Google Photos app to your phone or tablet and add the photos you want to use. Divide them into albums or libraries to make it easier to see only the photos you want.
With Google Photos, you get 15 GB of free photo (and any other files) storage. Plans start at $1.99/month for 100 GB and go up to $9.99/month for 2 TB.
Tip: you can also use Google Nest to find your phone or create reminders.
There are two ways to set up the Photo Frame feature on a Google Nest display. The first is via the Google Home app.
Open your Google Home app on your phone or tablet.
Select your Nest device.
Open Settings (the gear icon).
Tap “Picture Frame” and choose the photos/libraries you want to use.
The second method is via the display itself.
Swipe up from the bottom of your Nest display.
Tap “Picture Frame” and select the content you want to use.
Alternately, you can simply say “Hey Google, change Picture Frame” to open the Picture Frame settings.
You can let Google Photos create live albums or create your own. Either way, you can have up to 20,000 photos in a single album. This should continue to give you something new to see each time you look at your Nest display.Frequently Asked Questions Will I still get notifications when using my display as a digital photo frame?
Yes. But, on Echo Show devices, you won’t see the notifications displayed on the screen as normally would. However, you’ll still hear them. You can also swipe down on the screen at any time to check for notifications.Can I remove individual photos from my displays?
Yes. Simply remove the photo from the album linked to your photo frame. In Google Photos, you can archive the photo or tell Google to remove it (which archives it). You can also move photos that you know you don’t want to see on your display into a separate album or library. Don’t include that particular album in the content you want to see when setting up your digital photo frame, and you’re good to go.
For Google Photos, you can also create a Locked Folder, which hides your photos behind your phone or account’s password. Even if you share your Photos with someone else, they can’t see the Locked Folder.Can I interact with photos on my display?
Absolutely! Want to know more details about a photo? Simply ask Google or Alexa to tell you when or where the photo was taken. This is a great way to check the date on any photo, though the dates may display at the bottom of the photo anyway.
Image credit: Google
Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.
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Do you have an old smartphone or tablet that’s just lying around the house with no purpose? As long as it has a functioning camera, you can turn it into a home security camera. This is perfect for monitoring the inside of your home, office, garage or any other building.What you’ll need
To create your home security system, you’ll need the following:
A Camera. For the best results, I’d recommend using an old smartphone or tablet that you can set up as a dedicated security camera.
A Viewer. This is the device where you’ll monitor the feed from your security camera. For the best results, use the smartphone you are actively using.Installing the Alfred Home Security Camera mobile app
To start, install the Alfred app on your old smartphone or tablet. Alfred is cross-platform, so you can install it on any compatible Android or iOS device:
1. Install the Alfred mobile app (available for Android and iOS) on the device you want to use as your camera.
2. Launch the Alfred application. You’ll be prompted to create an account, so tap “Sign Up” and follow the onscreen instructions.
3. Once you’re logged into your account, tap the “Viewer/Camera” item in the toolbar and select “Camera.”
4. When prompted to set up this device as a camera, tap “OK.”
5. Alfred will now request permission to record video and take pictures and permission to record audio. If you’re okay with these requests, tap “Allow.”
Congratulations, your old, unwanted smartphone or tablet is now a fully-functioning security camera!How to set up your security camera
You can now position your old device so that it’s pointing at the area you want to monitor. This step can take some trial and error, imagination, and potentially also some duct tape or other fixtures!
To get the best results, you should generally:
Place your camera device around one to two meters away from the object(s) you want to monitor.
Avoid pointing your device at reflective surfaces, such as windows and mirrors, as this can result in false motion detection alerts and may also interfere with the picture quality.
Avoid pointing your camera at moving objects such as fans or objects that show movement such as TV and laptop screens.
Once your device is in position, you should avoid pressing the “Power” or “Home” buttons, as this may put the device into sleep mode or close the Alfred app entirely. Instead, allow the screen to dim and then turn off naturally.Monitor your home from any location
Next, install Alfred on the smartphone or tablet you’re using as your Viewer:
1. Install and launch the Alfred mobile app on your Viewer device.
2. Log into your Alfred account. Make sure it’s the same account you’re using on your Camera device!
3. Alfred will now request various permissions; grant these permissions to proceed to the next screen.
4. Tap the item in the Alfred menu bar and then select “Viewer.”
Once Alfred detects more than one device using the same account, it should link those devices automatically. Whenever you want to view the live feed from your Camera, simply launch the Alfred app on your Viewer, and the feed should appear automatically.Add motion detection to your home security system
By enabling Alfred’s motion detection, you’ll receive a push notification on your Viewer every time movement is detected:
1. Launch the Alfred app on the device you’re using as your Viewer.
2. Find the camera where you want to set up motion detection.
3. In the upper-left corner of the Camera feed, tap the little cog icon.
4. Find the “Motion Detection” slider and push it into the “On” position.
5. While you’re in the Settings, you may also want to change the sensitivity of the motion detection by tapping “Sensitivity” and then choosing from the available options: “High,” “Medium” or “Low.”
Now every time movement is detected, you’ll receive a push notification on the smartphone or tablet you’re using as your Viewer. You can then launch the Alfred app and see exactly what’s happening in real time.Accessing and storing Alfred’s security videos
Whenever it detects motion, Alfred will automatically record everything that’s happening and upload the clip to the cloud for safekeeping.
To review all of Alfred’s recordings:
1. On your Viewer, launch the Alfred application.
3. You’ll now be taken to Alfred’s “Events Book.” To play any clip from your “Events Book,” give it a tap. If you want to save a clip, then tap the dotted icon in the clip’s upper-right corner and select “Save to Moments.” Alternatively, you can delete a clip by tapping the “Trash” icon.Access your security camera from any Internet-enabled device
Don’t have your Viewer at hand? You can drop in on your security feed from any web browser.
1. Head over to the Alfred website and sign in to your account.
2. Select the “Camera” tab.
3. Select the camera that you want to view.
4. You can now view this feed on your laptop or computer.
If you have an old smartphone around, we have shown you a way to repurpose it and use it as a security camera. You can also use it as a dashcam or a smart speaker. If that is not enough, find out more ways to reuse your old Android phone.
Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.
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Apple’s home strategy has been all over the place, but the company appears to finally have a hit with the HomePod mini. Rumors have been floated about Apple making a HomePod with a display, but word on the street is that the product being tested looks a lot like an iPad mounted to a speaker. Instead of making a Frankenstein product very similar to Google and Amazon’s products, Apple should take the blueprint it’s laid out with HomePod mini and use it as a basis for a unique ambient smart display.An angled circular display
The top surface of the HomePod mini lights up with colorful Siri animations, but it can’t actually display any sort of content or controls. In fact, the HomePod mini has volume controls printed on the surface, which would obstruct any visuals. HomePod mini’s design, however, is a lovely complement to nearly any space. And the vibrant colors introduced last year help add a pop of fun to drab rooms.
HomePod mini’s light-up surface is on the top of the device, but I propose that Apple angle the surface and add a proper touch display. The new angle would allow users to more easily use controls and view content – it’d be far better and add more utility to the product.
Touching the HomePod touch’s display
HomePod mini is already powered by Apple Watch’s S5 chip and it runs a variant of iOS called audioOS. The technology is already in place to power a small smart display. The software for this smart display could be based on watchOS and even feature faces from the Apple Watch.Apple Watch faces
The ‘HomePod touch,’ as I like to call it, could start with a customizable clock that lets you choose from a handful of circular Apple Watch faces. Below you can see what Utility and the Mickey Mouse faces would look like on HomePod. This new functionality would turn the HomePod mini into a particularly good bedside alarm clock.
Utility and Mickey Mouse clock facesControls for apps
But a clock isn’t the main reason HomePod mini should gain a display. It should gain a display for utility. You could ask Siri to show home controls for lights and other accessories. HomePod mini is great for calls since it offers vastly improved audio. A display could show the name of the person you’re talking to, a mute button, an end button, the length of the call, and more.
The space gray HomePod touch would have a consistent black background that works perfectly with watchOS user interfaces. The white HomePod touch could use a persistent white background that complements the physical design of the product. I imagine the HomePod touch with an LCD rather than an OLED to allow for the persistent bright colored backgrounds, particularly since the display would be on at all times removing any sort of fear of burn-in and keeping the price low.
HomeKit lighting controls & a phone callMedia controls
Music controls and podcast controlsFun, fresh colors
The new colors that Apple introduced for the HomePod mini in November gave the product a breath of fresh air. The yellow and orange colors in particular really light up a space. The colors have been very difficult to get and have helped the HomePod mini grow in popularity.
For the HomePod touch, Apple could offer green, blue, and pink options as well as white and space gray. They’d all have matching braided cables like the standard HomePod mini and rubber bottoms to stay in place on a table.
Green, blue, pink, white, and space gray HomePod touch modelsPricing strategy
The HomePod touch would effectively be the current HomePod mini and its great speaker coupled with a small Retina display. The current HomePod mini is priced at $99 and the HomePod touch would effectively add a built-in Apple Watch. You can look to the Apple Watch Series 3 at $199 and remove all of the health sensors, water proofing, and more expensive materials. HomePod touch would ideally be priced at $199 and be an obvious step up from the HomePod mini.
The display and added functionality would make a good case to any consumer shopping for a simple home smart speaker. And customers who already have HomePod mini could seamlessly add a HomePod touch into their current setup. You could even create stereo pairs with HomePod touch and HomePod mini.Conclusion
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How to Use iPad as Mac Mini Display for Any Mac with Luna Display
Your iPad becomes a wireless display for Mac mini, which is a stationary hub. The processing power of Mac mini and edge-to-edge retina display of iPad are at your fingertips.
You need to put a few things into place:
Your Mac mini (or any MacBook Pro/Air, iMac that has USB Type C port.)
Any iPad (except the first generation iPad.)
Accessories: A Bluetooth keyboard case, Mouse, and Apple Pencil (Second Generation)
Strong Wi-fi network
Step #1. You need to download Luna for Mac app on your Mac mini; for this purpose, keep your existing external display connected to the Mac mini.
Step #2. Next, launch System Preferences on your Mac mini.
Step #4. Connect your iPad to the same Wi-fi network as your Mac mini.
Note: If Wi-fi is not available, you can connect your two devices using a USB cable.
Step #5. Then you are required to download Luna Display app on your iPad.
Step #6. When both apps are installed on both devices, open Luna Display app and follow on-screen instructions.
You will be asked to insert Luna device into Mac mini.
Step #7. It is time to disconnect the external display from your Mac mini.
Note that if you use FileVault, you’ll still need an external display to unlock your drive whenever you reboot.
There you go!
Video: iPad touchscreen Mac Mini Setup
Now you can use your iPad as a Mac mini display.
Since Mac mini is shipped without a display, Luna Display finds a suitable usage for Mac mini users. One should not limit the use of Luna Display to Mac mini as users can always use this dongle with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or an iMac.
Users, who wanted to experience superior graphics on iPad, can now use programs like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro on iPad.
When you wish to go back to iOS on your iPad, simply swipe up like you used to bring home screen on your iPad. Coming back to macOS is equally easy; just tap on Luna Display app to go back to macOS.
Is it a good deal?
Only if you have both devices at home or office. You should not buy an expensive iPad only to use it as your Mac mini display.
Luna Display: A sincere effort to rework Apple ecosystem
Apple is creating competition among its own devices; my article (linked above) hints at this point. For the last three years, Apple has made tremendous efforts to improve its iPad 12.9″ as the company knew that the large-screen tablet has nearly replaced laptops, though it hasn’t replaced computers yet.
Makers of Luna Display have not failed to sense this practice of Apple, as they note, “Anyone with a close eye on Apple will notice there’s a common theme with each hardware announcement: Apple is always trying to outdo itself by creating more powerful standalone products, as if each product is slowly creeping up on the boundaries of another product.”
While Apple could not (or they don’t want to) combine the iPad and Mac mini, Luna Display has successfully done this. Users will surely welcome this product to make their life more comfortable and mobile.
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.
Live Photo compatibility is pretty much non-existent outside the Apple ecosystem. That’s why the iPhone and Mac auto-converts live images into JPEGs while sharing them via apps such as Mail.
But one way to preserve a Live Photo’s dynamic nature and improve compatibility is by converting photos to a video. That also helps retain audio, which is not possible when turning Live Photos into GIFs.
Table of ContentsConvert Live Photos to Video on iPhone Using the Photos App
If you want to convert a Live Photo into a GIF on the iPhone, you can use nothing but the native Photos app for that. However, the option that lets you do that is tucked away inside its Share Sheet and is easy to miss.
1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
2. Switch to the Albums tab and tap Live Photos (under the Media Types section) to bring up a list of all Live Photos on your iPhone.
3. Select the Live Photo you want to convert.
4. Tap the Share button in the lower-left corner of the screen.
5. Scroll down the Share Sheet and tap the option labeled Save as Video. The Photos app should save the Live Photo as a video instantly.
5. Open the Recents album on your iPhone or tap Videos under Media Types to locate the converted video.
6. Repeat for any other Live Photos you want to convert.
The Photos app converts Live Photos to videos using the HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) standard. You can check that by swiping it up to view the video’s metadata. Since HEVC encoded videos tend to lack support on non-Apple devices, the Photos app auto-encodes them in the H.264 format to improve compatibility while sharing.
You can also use the Photos app to convert multiple Live Photos. However, that results in a single continuous video instead of individual photo files. If that’s not what you want, use a shortcut instead (check the next section).Convert Live Photos to Video on iPhone Using the Shortcuts App
Alternatively, you can use a shortcut to convert Live Photos to videos on the iPhone. You need to have the Shortcuts app for that. If you can’t locate it, you can get it off the App Store.
The Shortcut app’s Gallery does not include a native shortcut that converts Live Photos to video. However, you can use an external shortcut that supports the functionality. Just add our pre-made shortcut, and you should be good to go.
3. Use the Photos selector to select the Live Photo or Photos you want to convert. To access your Live Photos only, switch to the Album tap and select Live Photos.
4. Tap Add.
5. Pick an album to save the converted videos. You should see a notification once the shortcut finishes performing the conversion from Live Photo to video.
Rather than downloading a shortcut, you can create your own shortcut featuring similar functionality. Tap the Add icon at the top-left corner of the Shortcuts app, search for and add the following actions, and modify them accordingly.
Select Photos – To set up the shortcut to pick multiple Live Photos, expand the action and enable Select Multiple.
Encode Media – You don’t have to modify this action.
Save to Photo Album – To receive a prompt to pick a save destination each time you perform a conversion, tap the Recents variable and select Ask Each Time.
Show Notification – Add an appropriate confirmation message—e.g., Done.
Follow that by specifying an icon and a name from the top of the shortcut creation screen. Then, tap Done. You can then start using the shortcut immediately.Convert Live Photos to Video on Mac Using the Photos App
On the Mac, you can use the Photos app’s Export function to turn a Live Photo into a video.
1. Open the Photos app on your Mac.
2. Expand the Media Types category on the sidebar and select Live Photos to bring up a list of all Live Photos in your photo library.
3. Select the Live Photo or Photos you want to convert (hold down the Command key while selecting multiple items).
5. Check the box next to Include IPTC as XMP (if you want to include the image’s metadata in a sidecar XMP file) and select Export.
6. Specify a location to export the image and select Export Originals.
You should see a still image and a video file for each live photo within the exported folder. You can delete the image files if you want.
To ensure compatibility on non-Apple devices, import them into the Photos app first. Videos that you then share will be auto-encoded in H.264.Convert Live Photos to Video on Mac Using the Shortcuts App
If you’re running macOS 12 Monterey or later on your Mac, you can use the same shortcut you learned about for the iPhone to convert Live Photos to video.
2. Select All Shortcuts on the sidebar and run the Convert Live Photos to Video shortcut.
3. Switch to the Albums tab and select Live Photos.
4. Pick the Live Photos you want to convert and select Add.
5. Pick an album to save the videos and select Done.
6. You’ll receive a notification once the shortcut finishes converting the images.
Like the iPhone, sharing converted videos directly from the Mac’s Photos app changes the default encoding from HEVC to H.264. That ensures compatibility on devices that don’t feature support for HEVC encoded videos.Start Converting Live Photos to Video on iPhone and Mac
Google Slides is a free online presentation creating tool developed by Google. Today, it is widely used by users and has become a good alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint. To use Google Slides, you should have a Google account and an active internet connection. There are many ways by which you can make a presentation effective and more informative. One of these methods is to add a PDF file to your presentation. In his article, we will see how to insert a PDF into Google Slides.
All your data will be saved automatically on the cloud.
You can create new and edit existing presentations in Google Slides by signing into your account.
You can download Google Slides presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint supported format.How to insert a PDF into Google Slides
Now, let’s talk about how to insert a PDF into Google Slides. We will describe here the following two methods:
By converting a PDF file into images.
By adding a link to your PDF file.
Below, we have described both of these methods in detail.1] Insert a PDF into Google Slides by converting it into images
The following steps will guide you on how to insert a PDF into Google Slides by converting it into images.
Convert your PDF file into images.
Open Google Slides and sign in using your Google account.
First, convert your PDF file into images. For this, you can use free online PDF to JPG converter tools or software. There are many online tools available that let you convert your PDF files into images. Different tools have different limitations in the free plan. Therefore, you may have to try more than one PDF to image converter tool depending on the number of pages your PDF file has. After conversion, save the images in JPG or PNG image formats.2] Insert a PDF into Google Slides by adding a link
If you want to upload the complete PDF file, you cannot do so by using the method described above. For this, you have to add a link to your PDF file in Google Slides. The steps to do this are as follows:
Open your web browser and go to Google Drive.
Upload your PDF file to Google Drive.
Create a link to your PDF file.
Copy that link and paste it into Google Slides.
Let’s see these steps in detail.
That’s it, you have successfully inserted a PDF into your Google Slides presentation.
Read: How to add audio to Google Slides.Can you import PDF into Google Slides?
If you want to import the entire PDF file into Google Slides, you can do so by creating a link to your PDF file. After creating the link to your PDF file, you can add that link to your Google Slides presentation.
We have described both of these methods step by step above in this article.How do I insert a PDF into slides?
You can insert a PDF into Google Slides by converting it into images or by creating the link to the same. The latter method is easy and lets you insert the entire PDF file into Google Slides. If you use the latter method, you can link a text or an image in Google Slides to your PDF file. In this article, we have covered both of these methods in detail.
I hope this helps.
Read next: How to insert Google Slides into Google Docs.
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