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Key Takeaways

  • Amazon introduced PhotosPlus, a subscription service that turns your Echo Show 8 Photos Edition into a digital photo frame, displaying photos with a 30-second rotation speed.
  • The Echo Show 8 Photos Edition is the only device currently compatible with PhotosPlus, offering a dedicated Photo Mode.
  • You can still use other Echo Show devices as a digital photo frame with some limitations by activating Photo Frame mode.

Smart displays are once again on the rise. Google has its nest hub and even an interesting dock for its Pixel Tablet, and Amazon has a whole range of Echo Show devices. These connected screens are a great way to improve your smart home works. They can show you the weather, quickly connect you with a friend on a video call, or let you watch a quick cooking tutorial in your kitchen.

However, when you’re not actively using these displays, you can still make them into a great aesthetic part of your house by turning them into a digital photo frame. That way, you can always have all the great memories within your reach.

With the newest Echo Show 8 Photos Edition, Amazon tries to make using its device as a photo frame much easier and streamlined. This is why, with the device's announcement, the company also revealed a new subscription service called PhotosPlus. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What is Amazon PhotosPlus?

Amazon PhotosPlus is an upcoming subscription service that the company introduced to accompany the Amazon Echo Show 8 Photos Edition. The purpose of this service is quite straightforward - it’s supposed to make your Echo Show into a fully-featured digital photo frame.

What it exactly does is enable you to turn Photo Mode on your device. This makes the photos available on the device and in the cloud, the primary content displayed on the Echo Show’s home screen. It cycles through them with a 30-second rotation speed. Moreover, the slideshow will now last indefinitely, as opposed to normal photo slideshow on Echo Show devices, which lasts only up to three hours before turning off.

What’s more, an Amazon PhotoPlus subscription also allows you to store 25GB of photos and videos in the cloud, which can then be easily accessed on your Echo Show. You might know that with your Amazon Prime subscription, you already get unlimited photo storage and 5GB of video storage. If you are a Prime subscriber, the additional 25GB of data allowance will be added to your video storage pool, expanding it to 30GB in total.

How much does Amazon PhotosPlus cost?

Every customer buying the new Amazon Echo Show 8 Photos Edition can use the Amazon PhotosPlus subscription for 6 months for free. If you want to continue the service after 6 months, you’ll have to pay $1.99 monthly for Amazon PhotosPlus.

What devices does Amazon PhotosPlus work with?

As we’ve mentioned, Amazon PhotosPlus was announced together with the release of Amazon Echo Show 8 Photos Edition. The device is $10 more expensive than the standard version and is tailored to work with the PhotosPlus subscription as a digital photo frame.

Even though both the new Echo Show 8 and the Echo Show 8 Photos Edition share the same hardware, only the latter is compatible with the Amazon PhotosPlus subscription. So, if you’re deciding between these two and might want to use your smart display as a digital photo frame, you must buy the Photos Edition to get the best experience out of your device.

What’s more, the Echo Show 8 Photos Edition is the only Echo Show out of the lineup compatible with the new subscription. The company may soon introduce Photo Editions of other models in its catalog, but for now, you only have one choice to get the best digital photo frame experience. Important to note is that the Echo Show 8 Photos Edition isn't available yet and is scheduled to launch "later this fall."

What if I don’t buy Amazon PhotosPlus?

Paying a subscription fee to use your device as a digital frame is nothing new, and some companies have been doing that before Amazon’s attempt. However, with the many subscription services already existing, you don’t want to get sucked into another one. So what will happen if you buy an Echo Show 8 Photos Edition and decide not to buy a PhotosPlus subscription service?

Well, as we’ve said before, you’ll be losing both the 25GB of video storage in the cloud and the Photo Mode on your Echo Show 8. However, canceling the subscription does not mean that your Echo Show 8 Photos Edition will stop working. It will, essentially, revert to being a normal Echo Show 8. Of course, if you ever decide to go back to paying for the service, it’ll come back immediately with all the Photo Mode features you’ve had before.

How to get your photos to show up on the Amazon Echo Show

Whether the upcoming Echo Show 8 Photos Edition or any other Echo Show device, you can already use it to show your favorite photos as wallpaper or in Photo Frame mode. To do so, you’ll first need to upload your favorite pics to the Amazon Photos service. Here’s how to do it on Android:

  1. Open the Amazon Photos app
  2. Tap the Smile icon in the top-left
  3. Tap the Settings icon
  4. Go to Upload Settings
  5. From the Auto-Save menu, toggle Save On or Off for photos and videos
  6. Go to Device folders to Auto-Save
  7. Toggle Save all device folders if you want to backup all your folders
  8. Note that your files backup only when you open the Amazon Photos app

Here’s how to set up your photo and video backup to Amazon Photos on your iOS device:

  1. Open the Amazon Photos app
  2. Tap the Smile icon on the top left
  3. Tap on Uploads
  4. Select the three dots in the top-right corner
  5. Select Uploads settings
  6. Go to the Auto-Save menu
  7. Toggle Save to On for photos and videos
  8. Note that your files backup only when you open the app

Once your photos are safely backed up to your Amazon Photos cloud storage, you can use them as wallpapers and Photo Slideshows across your Amazon devices. Here’s what to do if you want to set custom, rotating wallpapers from your Amazon Photos on your Echo Show:

  1. Say, “Alexa, go to settings” to your Echo Show device
  2. Tap on Clock & Photo Display
  3. Select Amazon Photos
  4. Chose the collections (for example, created albums or On this Day collection) that you’d like to see as a rotating wallpaper on your device

As we’ve mentioned, you don’t need to buy the Echo Show 8 Photos Edition to use your Echo Show as a digital photo frame. If you’re OK with some limitations, you can do that by turning on your device's Photo Frame mode. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Swipe down from the top edge of your screen
  2. Select Photo Frame (alternatively, you can also say, “Alexa, start Photo Frame”)

You can customize the Photo Frame to either show your personal photos from Amazon Photos cloud or go for pre-loaded collections available on the device.