It may not be obvious, but Dayframe has the potential to be the one of the most used app of all time. The whole purpose of Dayframe is to be an easy to use, always up and running, tabletop, touch-based, voice-based, reference kiosk with a nice slideshow to boot.
Here's how to make the most of it.
A place for Dayframe and Dayframe in its place
How you'll use Dayframe depends on the device. The Nexus 7 was our inspiration for coming up with Dayframe, but we also wanted our app to be great for re-purposing old tablets. Naturally the app has to work on phones too… But each device has difference advantages and use cases.
There's a good chance you're replacing your large tablet with a smaller Nexus 7 or Kindle.
Don't toss the old tablet in a box. Try setting it up on the kitchen counter or someplace people often check in within your home. This tablet will have a new life as a home kiosk and photo frame.
Your tablet needs to be plugged into a power source. Large tablets don't charge using USB alone. Also, make sure you have a tall stand that has a high enough base to allow your tablet to be plugged in from the bottom, so you don't have to turn it upside down (and the power / volume buttons aren't accidentally pressed down all the time).
Note: we're planning on having on/off timers, night mode, and motion detection in the official release. This way Dayframe won't have to run the screen 24/7. But for now you'll have to turn it on & off manually.
Nexus 7 / new Kindle
Nexus 7 is much more portable that the larger tablets, so there's a good chance you'll cart it around. If you work at a desk, that's a perfect place to set up a stand and have a second screen. You'll have pictures of your friends, family, and interests on a loop. It's nice to see at times and it doesn't have to be a big distraction like a web browser can be.
We think phones will be useful for people who haven't committed to Android tablets (yet). In that case you'll probably want a stand on your desk(s)... or maybe at your bedside. We haven't integrated with Night Stand apps yet, but we should have something in place before the official launch. Don't forget: you can use voice command to set alarms.
Keeping it fresh
We added some photostreams to get you started. Instagram Popular is pretty basic and features young fashionable people, cats, celebrities, and sayings. It also changes every time so it doesn't repeat too much.
We also added the Flickr Interesting photostream. There's ~100 new pics each day and they're quite good so you'll have "great photography" in the mix.
Finally we made a custom Dayframe Dashboard for Tumblr that follows ~100 artists & topics and we'll change the line-up every once in a while. With that many sources it's easy to always have fresh stuff.
Next you need "you" stuff.
Everyone uses Facebook so go ahead and add that. Even if you don't use Facebook your friends do. So now you can follow what's new without needing to check in ;-)
IMPORTANT FACEBOOK TIP: many users have photos set to private. You may want to talk with your friends about changing those settings so you can see more stuff.
Next is Twitter. Twitter provides pictures of your interests. We added Twitter so you can see Twitter photos without having to click on each Twitter photo in the official Twitter app. Twitter has recently announced that apps like Dayframe are doomed to be booted in Spring 2013, so enjoy while you can.
The big surprise is Tumblr. Tumblr is AWESOME on Dayframe. if you don't already have a Tumblr account, you probably will now. Tumblr has a ton of "tumblogs" with crazy pic collections. You can follow artists and you can follow collectors (people who collect interesting pics from everywhere). Tumblr adds memes and funny stuff to the mix. You'll love Tumblr.
Finally there's Instagram. If you don't know Instagram you should. You'll basically get to see fun pictures made by all the people you follow on Facebook & Twitter. The whole focus is pics so they're usually creative (or food) and there lots of social discussions for each image.
We'll be adding more services and deeper integration into each service before we launch, including friend's pics in Facebook, Instagram & Twitter tags, location-based streams, and your device's gallery / images.
Viewing & Sharing
As you'll discover, the Dayframe slideshow is set to autoplay quickly after you're done browsing images. If you're not using the device this is probably the most interesting thing it can be doing.
As mentioned before, we have some basic power settings in place already. The screen will stay on when the device is plugged in. If your device's battery drops to 20% or less, DayFrame will revert to your regular screen timeout setting.
Phones are fine on USB, but tablets really need to be plugged into a power source. They can use USB power but they'll continue to slowly drain the battery.
Dayframe looks nice when the sidebar is transparent. We didn't do this view as a default because older devices could stutter and we didn't want a bad first impression. Transparency works great on small, high res screens. Large tablets also look good with transparency but the transitions will stutter more.
There's a couple of different place you can like & comment on images: in the slideshow and in the Photo view.
Like just takes a tap and you're done.
Comments use voice-to-text by default (you can toggle it off). Press the comment button and say what you think:
and we'll show you the text:
Just so you know: it will often be wrong, but it's a start. It works better if you enunciate.
The desktop app / launcher part of Dayframe is entirely voice based for now. Google has done a great job with voice recognition, especially with Jellybean, so you can do a lot of things already just by speaking:
- search the internet for something: "Search for…"
- get the weather: "What's the weather going to be this week?" *
- set an alarm: "Set alarm for 8am."
- get game updates: "What's the score for the … game?"
- call / dial: "Call …" or "Dial …"
- send email: "Send email to …"
- sent text: "Send text to …"
- write a note: "Note to self …"
- play music: "Play Bassnectar." **
* don't just mumble "forecast" (NSFW)
** Android doesn't recognize Bassnectar yet, but it should.
Voice commands are the next frontier so they're going to improve dramatically over the next few years.
I think that's everything for the preview. Hope this helps!