Social Frame HD turns Android tablets into photo frames

Got an old tablet lying around? Or want to get more use out of your current one? This app syncs with Facebook and Twitter to give you personalized slideshow goodness.

Social Frame HD can put a Facebook- or Twitter-powered slideshow alongside your feeds -- or do just the slideshow.
Social Frame HD can put a Facebook- or Twitter-powered slideshow alongside your feeds -- or do just the slideshow. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

I like digital photo frames. I think the reason most people don't is that it was always a hassle to add new pictures. The Kodak Pulse solved that problem nicely, as it could receive photos via e-mail and pull them directly from your Facebook account -- but, alas, it's a discontinued product.

But here's a thought: Why not turn a tablet into a photo frame? It's got a great screen (and a touch screen at that), access to the Internet, and a slim, countertop-friendly design. All you need is the right app.

The Google Play Store is home to loads of photo-frame apps, but for the moment I'm liking Social Frame HD. For a mere $3.99, it turns your tablet into a photo frame that automatically syncs with your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. Don't want to invest four bucks? Social Frame Free HD does the same thing, just with small banner ads.

Think about it: You probably already use Facebook or Twitter to share a lot of your smartphone-captured photos. I certainly do. Social Frame HD lets you view those pics as a running slideshow, complete with pan, zoom, and transition effects.

Although the app doesn't give you a dedicated e-mail address like you get with the Kodak Pulse, you can still e-mail photos to your "frame" by sending them to your Facebook post-by-e-mail address. What's more, Social Frame HD lets you sync selected friends' albums (great for seeing, say, photos shared by family members), and it can even sync selected tags as well.

The app supports syncing from your Twitter account as well, and if you're into photography, you can add a stream from the popular site 500px.

What's more, it displays a handy little clock/calendar/weather bug in the corner. You also have the option of viewing Facebook, Twitter, or RSS feeds in a sidebar, which you can display permanently alongside your photos or just slide out as needed.

In short, it's a versatile, entertaining app, one that can breathe new life into an old tablet or just add value to a newer one. Obviously you'll need to leave your tablet plugged in, same as with any photo frame, but that's hardly a deal breaker. And Social Frame HD can be set to auto-launch when it detects a power connection and to never sleep when it's charging. Smart!

If only the app had a dedicated e-mail address for receiving photos, it would be perfect.

Have you found a photo-frame app you like better? Tell me about it in the comments.

 

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