The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon

Use your iPhone to turn your dig­i­tal pic­ture frame on and off


If you want to man­u­al­ly turn the screen of your dig­i­tal pic­ture frame on or off, check the avail­able mem­o­ry on your SD card or just shut down the Rasp­berry Pi because you will be gone for a few weeks, doing it on your iPhone is a lot faster and more con­ve­nient than log­ging on to your frame.

In this arti­cle, I will intro­duce PiHelper, a free iOS app that lets you mon­i­tor, con­trol and man­age your Rasp­berry Pi and con­se­quent­ly your dig­i­tal pic­ture frame.

Remote Con­trol Your Pi


Although the dig­i­tal pic­ture frame does not require much user inter­ac­tion, there are times when you may want to adjust the time con­trolled on/off set­tings when, e.g., guests stay late.

The app for that is called PiHelper and was writ­ten by Qian Sha. You can down­load it from the App Store for your iPhone and iPad.

If you are a nerd, PiHelper pro­vides a direct overview of the cur­rent activ­i­ties on the Pi. You can drill down into detailed stats for CPU uti­liza­tion and mem­o­ry or view file direc­to­ries.

For some­body who val­ues con­ve­nience, you can use PiHelper as a sim­ple remote com­mand to, e.g., turn your mon­i­tor on and off.

PiHelper is very easy to set up. I will show you the com­mands that I have con­fig­ured for my use.

Set­ting up PiHelper

All you need to con­nect to your dig­i­tal pic­ture frame is your host­name (the name that you have giv­en your Rasp­berry Pi, e.g., "digitalpictureframe2018", add ".local" to your host­name, enter Port "22", the user­name (prob­a­bly "pi") and your pass­word.

Test the con­nec­tion and if it works, save it.

Tap on your instance that you have just set up.

You can add the com­mands in the top right cor­ner. Click on "Edit com­mands" and enter the com­mands that you would like to add.

Turn the mon­i­tor on or off

The two most request­ed com­mands are prob­a­bly turn­ing the screen on and off. Although the on/off times are defined in the crontab if you are using a time con­trol, you may want to over­ride them at times.

Under "Com­mand Name" call it "Mon­i­tor on" and enter the fol­low­ing line in the Cus­tom Com­mand.

sudo vcgencmd display_power 1

Save it.

Repeat the same with "Mon­i­tor off" and enter in the Cus­tom Com­mand:

sudo vcgencmd display_power 0

Save it.

Shut­down and reboot

The com­mand for Restart is

sudo reboot now

and for Shut­down

sudo shutdown now

Health mon­i­tor­ing infor­ma­tion

At the bot­tom of the screen, you can keep an eye on the cur­rent CPU and mem­o­ry uti­liza­tion, the CPU/GPU tem­per­a­ture, and the avail­able disk space.

PiHelper offers a low-cost straight­for­ward remote con­trol for con­trol­ling your dig­i­tal pic­ture frame. Did I already men­tion that it's free?