Like most parents today, you probably have a million family photos of your kids scattered across just as many devices and social media apps. And trying to keep them all organized and in one place, not to mention easily at hand to show unwitting dinner guests who didn’t actually ask to see them, can be a pain. With Joy, however, all of your digital pics live on one dedicated device that — much to the chagrin of those same guests — sits front and center on your coffee table.
For all intents and purposes, Joy is a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen tablet that costs $499 and — unless you were a computer science major in college — can only be used for one thing: looking at pictures. So know that going in. And while it was inspired by the old photo albums of your youth (in which every pic of you sleeping as a newborn was on your stomach! Oh, mom …) and the new wave of digital picture frames, it’s obviously much pricier than both of them … combined. That said, it does have some nice features.
Unlike said digital picture frames that cycle through the same old shots over and over, Joy consolidates images from all your accounts and devices (even Dropbox and Google Photos) and allows you to display them using some slick magazine-quality layouts. It can work with a slew of different image/video formats and all of your files (up to 10GB) are automatically backed up to the cloud. Not only that, but Joy sits on a wireless magnetic charging stand and doesn’t need to be plugged in, so it will actually get used and/or not tripped over. The battery reportedly runs for about 5 hours between charges which means plenty of time for that narrated slideshow of the family vacation to Hershey Park.
And speaking of narrated slideshows, the trademarked StoryTime™ function is a voice-only, FaceTime-like app that lets you call, screen-share, and “oooh” and “ahhh” about pictures with anyone else who also owns a device — so, most likely, grandma. If your folks don’t own one, though, they can still view all of your photo albums on their own computer or tablet using the free app. Joy won’t be ready for this holiday season (it’s scheduled to ship next summer), but they are offering $200 off if you pre-order today. So, maybe send this article to grandma?