Amazon Echo Show smart displays have never been as good as Google’s Nest Hub or a dedicated digital photo frame for doing one thing well: showing your pictures. This is because Amazon clutters up the screen with questionably useful info and alternates your pretty pictures with suggestions for the latest Alexa skill you might like to try, a recipe for egg salad, or a news tidbit about a tomato shaped like a duck.
But as of August 5th, you can now command your Echo Show or Fire TV to show you just your pictures and nothing else for a whole three hours.
Amazon’s digital photo frame feature, previously only available on the Echo Show 15, is now on all Echo smart displays and Fire TVs in the US, the UK, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia.
Just say “Alexa, start Photo Frame,” and you’ll get a clutter-free, three-hour slideshow featuring your Amazon Photos, Facebook photos, or a collection of stock images. (If you want to know how to get your photos to show up in these albums, read my article on how to use your Echo Show as a digital photo frame.)
Crucially, this new Photo Frame mode hides all ads and calendar and weather notifications to become a photo-only slideshow. The only visible text is a small dateline in the bottom right showing when the picture was taken and which album it’s from.
You can choose which albums the Photo Frame mode uses in the device settings for the Echo Show or Fire TV in the Alexa app. Scroll down to Photo Display and choose from Daily Memories, This Day, Favorites, Recents, and other options that pull from your Amazon Photos account. You can also connect a Facebook account here or upload images from your smartphone or tablet.
Photo Frame makes it easy to start a slideshow without having to remember a specific album name and without seeing the same images repeating over and over again. It’s also a nicer way to see your photos displayed on an Echo Show than on the standard homescreen, where a large clock takes up a quarter of the picture, and you still get the occasional ad for an Alexa service interrupting the flow; no matter how many of the over 30 homescreen content choices you toggle off in the device’s settings.
The only real frustration now is why it will only do this for three hours before reverting to the information overload of the standard homescreen. Just let us have the option to leave it on permanently.