iPhone App Review: PicFrame
Bottom Line: A very good multi-panel photo creator that stacks up well against the excellent Diptic.
PicFrame is a new frame/diptych app from New Zealand’s ActiveDevelopment, the makers of picfx. Use it to join multiple photos into one multi-image frame — a diptych, triptych or quadtych.
It’s going to draw a lot of comparisons to the excellent and popular Diptic app by Peak Systems, and it does have many similarities. But there are also enough differences to make this a tough call to choose between the two.
The newcomer PicFrame stacks up pretty well against Diptic — something which many other apps of this class have failed to do previously. The UI is very similar to Diptic and works in a similar fashion.
Select one of the 16 standard frame layouts and then pan, zoom, mirror or rotate your images into position. The frames are highly customizable. Border thickness and color are easily changeable. PicFrame has a good-looking rounded corners option that Diptic lacks.
PicFrame also comes with 8 textures that you can fill the frame with. Several of them are soft, lightly-textured, natural colored backgrounds. For my taste, these are the more useful ones and they look pretty good as a frame. Others are a little more loud and colorful.
Panel sizes can easily be adjusted in PicFrame — a really great feature for adapting the aspect ratio of the stock layouts to the photo.
Although the frames themselves can be adjusted, PicFrame lacks the adjustable aspect ratios that are available in Diptic as an add-on. PicFrame only has the popular square format, as well as 3:2, 4:3 or 3:4 fixed aspect ratios.
Unlike Diptic which allows you to import images seamlessly from Facebook or Flickr, PicFrame only imports from the iPhone’s photo library. Probably not an issue for most users, but it is a significant difference between the two apps.
PicFrame saves your images in one of several out sizes and supports either 1200×1200 pixels or 2400×2400 pixels output on an iPhone 4. Diptic renders larger files, but overall PicFrame is faster.
It’s tough to recommend one over the other. Both Diptic and PicFrame are very good apps. There are plenty of similarites but also many differences between the two. It basically comes down to what features do you need more. They’re both great apps for creating multi-panel photos. In the end, for an extra dollar and one more app on your home screen, you might just find that both work great for you. Of course, Diptic is probably nearing an update soon, so this could get interesting.
PicFrame is $0.99 in the App Store. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2.2 or later.