It looks like a digital photo frame, but the Skylight Calendar is simply a calendar. Sure, it can display pictures, and if, you put the display to sleep, but that’s not its primary job. Skylight Calendar is all about organization and keeping a family on the same page.
The ideal role this product plays is immediately apparent, even if your family doesn’t currently use a centralized calendar. Everyone can imagine a world inside their home, where every time you pass the frame all the exercises, evening meetings, weekend activities and parent-teacher conferences are all visible at a glance.
The only problem is that keeping the calendar up to date, especially with kids’ activities, takes work. So, Skylight Calendar will ultimately be only as good as what you put into it.
- Supports a wide range of calendar hosting services
- Unique email address for adding new events
- Calendar does not support portrait orientation
- limited photo support
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A calendar or a photo frame?
One of the most confusing aspects of the Skylight calendar is that it looks like a digital photo frame, but it isn’t. You can display photos on it, but only when the calendar goes to sleep. By default, the display will not be inactive. In Settings, you can turn on Sleep and set it to turn on after 1 to 10 minutes. Once it goes to sleep, the screen will start displaying the photos you’ve selected from your library.
When Calendar displays photos, it looks good, but there are no controls for pictures. It will show each picture for about 10 seconds, continuously rotating at high speed. Skylight’s other product, the Skylight Frame, is an Internet-connected photo frame that hedges in favor of simplicity. Despite the similarities between these products, the company is largely differentiating on the software side and rolling out a $39 per year Photo Plus subscription plan.
If you primarily want a calendar frame, the pickings tend to be slim. Google’s Nest Hub is an option, but it’s a lot more multi-purpose than strictly calendar. You could repurpose a plug-in iPad with the Display on Calendar app set to never sleep, but it wouldn’t be a pretty look.
The Skylight Calendar is the go-to product in this, admittedly narrow, product category. And it is good at what it does.
What Can a Digital Calendar Frame Do?
If you use Google, Apple, Outlook, Yahoo or Cozi, it’s especially easy to set up your personal calendars on the frame. You sign in and Skylight handles the rest. Your calendars are also mirrored and viewable in the Skylight app. You can also configure calendars with different names and colors in the app. There are several ways to add popular sports app TeamSnap to Skylight general question.
Additionally, the Skylight email you create during setup can be added as a guest to any event, and that event will then appear on your frame. You can give this email address to other people, and they will be able to add events to your calendar as well.
On the Skylight calendar, there are several different views of your events available. Multiple layouts are helpful, but chances are each family will find what works for their schedule and probably won’t change much. That’s how I started using it in my family home. We don’t have a schedule that’s packed to the minute, so we didn’t make much use of the daily view. The weekly and monthly views were the ones that were most helpful here.
While it’s probably still easiest to add events from your phone and sync them across frames, you can add them from the device itself. You can also add groceries that will sync to the Skylight app. If you go all-in on the Skylight calendar, grocery items are easy to handle, making it one more place to check off essential items to buy at the store.
The touchscreen of the calendar is good. It works well enough for its purpose of minimal text entry, but it can feel a bit cheap compared to modern phone or tablet screens. The company does not share technical specifications for the resolution and screen type. It is definitely bright enough and usable in all lighting conditions. You can control the brightness if the automatic setting is not to your liking.
Should you buy Skylight Calendar?
If you primarily want a photo frame, Skylight Calendar probably isn’t for you. It will display photos, but it is not positioned for that use. This product is sure to want to be in your kitchen or that space in your home that your family mixes in. The white, glossy exterior is attractive, but the product is all about productivity and utility.
Despite its $159 price tag, and no discount, it doesn’t have many other competitors for the calendar in its price point. It stands alone in many cases. I think candidates for this product are families that already have a paper calendar on the wall that they use regularly. It’s the perfect tool for turning that habit into a completely digital schedule.
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