How to Turn an Old Android Tablet Into an Auto-Updating Digital Photo Frame

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When’s the final time you touched your Android pill? If it’s been greater than a 12 months or so, it could be time to discover another use for that factor—in spite of everything, it’s not prefer it’s getting any software program updates, proper? Right here’s how to use it as a digital photograph body.

You may recycle it or use it as a child’s pc or any variety of different helpful issues, a photograph body is right this moment’s venture—and never a lame digital photograph body, such as you received on the workplace Christmas social gathering again in 2008. We’re speaking a couple of high-resolution, Wi-Fi linked, auto-updating photograph viewing expertise. And extra importantly, it’s one you possibly can arrange at a member of the family’s home, replace remotely, and by no means have to take into consideration once more.

What You’ll Want

To do that, you’ll want only a few easy issues:

  • An Android pill: clearly. And ideally you’ll need one that you just don’t have a use for anymore. If for some motive you need to purchase an Android pill particularly for this goal, you will get tremendous low-cost fashions for below $100.
  • A pill stand: since you want a way to show your venture once you’re executed. I like this one from Anker ($10), I’ve used it for years.
  • A pill charger: since you’re going to plug it in eternally.
  • A Wi-Fi community: you’ll need one for auto-updating the pool of photographs from the online.

Received all that? Nice, let’s go.

Step One: Put Your Pictures On a Cloud Service

To start out, you want to get all of the photographs you need collectively and stick ’em on the web. I desire Dropbox for this feature, however the app we’re going to use additionally helps Google Drive, Google Pictures, and native storage servers. When you already use one thing else, like Fb or Flickr, you’ll want a special app in your pill…however surprisingly, lots of the apps on the Play Retailer type of suck. (Suppress your gasps of shock, please.) So it could be best simply to use Dropbox right here, even in case you don’t use it for anything.

You’ll need to make a single, particular folder in your Dropbox account (or different service) devoted to the photographs in your viewer. Then place the photographs you need to use within the folder. That is best to do on a desktop working Home windows or macOS with the Dropbox syncing program, however it’s also possible to do it by means of a desktop internet browser and even the Dropbox cellular app, if all of your photographs are on the system (or in case you can obtain them there). However significantly, it’s a lot, a lot simpler on a desktop.

When you’re working into storage limits in your photographs, it can save you tons of space for storing by resizing them to the decision of the pill. Having the photographs on cloud storage at full decision isn’t actually sensible anyway, since your pill can in all probability solely show a fraction of that measurement, and even the stingiest of on-line storage plans can maintain 1000’s of photographs at 1080p decision. Right here’s a helpful software for batch resizing photographs on Home windows, and right here’s one on macOS.


Upon getting all of the photographs you need in the correct Dropbox folder, it’s time to change over to the pill itself.

Step Two: Obtain and Set Up Fotoo

To show your pill into a photograph body, I like to recommend Fotoo, a body app on the Play Retailer that has a four.Three-star assessment score. For my part, it has the optimum mixture of options and ease of use. Oh, and it truly works, which I can’t say for many of the dozen or so apps I attempted throughout my testing.

Anyway, obtain and set up Fotoo. It’s free, however there’s a $2 improve to take away promoting (solely within the menus) and add some additional transition choices.

From the principle menu, faucet Dropbox, Google [Drive], Google [Photos], or Native [storage server]. Log in with the related account and try to be ready to entry the folder you created in The first step. You may also add another folder on the account.

Step Three: Set Up Charging Instruments

Now press the “Again” button till you get again to the principle Fotoo menu web page and faucet “Settings.” There’s lots of stuff you possibly can tinker with right here, and you need to—it’s all fairly simple and self-explanatory. However the one setting you really need to allow is below “Charging.”

Within the mini-menu, faucet “”Launch when begin charging.” Now once you plug within the pill (which is the way it’s going to spend nearly all its time as a photograph body), Fotoo will mechanically begin and start its slideshow.

However there’s yet another factor you want to deal with. Slide down from the highest of the display to open the notification bar, then faucet “Settings” or the gear icon. When you haven’t executed so, you want to allow Developer Choices. To take action, Head to System > About Tablet, then faucet on the merchandise named “Construct quantity” over and over till you see the message “You at the moment are a developer!”

You’re in all probability not a developer. It’s high quality, your pill doesn’t know that. I gained’t inform in case you gained’t.

Return one or two menus till you see “Developer Choices,” and faucet on it. In direction of the highest of the listing you’ll see an possibility for “Keep Awake.” It will maintain the display on for so long as you permit the charger plugged in. Allow it.

Step 4: Show Your Tablet

OK, you’ve received your app all arrange, and your pill’s display is ready to keep on so long as it’s charging. Earlier than you end, ensure that the place you’re planning to put the pill has Wi-Fi entry, and the pill itself is up and working on the native community. You may additionally need to flip the quantity for notifications all the best way down to zero—no person likes a loud image body.

Now simply set the pill on the pill stand someplace ornamental, and plug it into the charger. Fotoo will launch mechanically. Alter the brightness to your liking, and also you’re executed: you shouldn’t want to contact it ever once more. Even when the facility goes out and it loses its battery cost, you possibly can simply flip it on, plug it in, and Fotoo will as soon as once more launch. The “keep awake” developer possibility will maintain the pill on for so long as you want.

Everytime you need to add photographs to the pill’s working slideshow, simply drop them into the Dropbox/Google Drive/native server folder you created in The first step, and so they’ll get folded into the slideshow.

Picture credit score: Mikhail Kayl/Shutterstock,

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