Multi-panel photo apps like the excellent Diptic seem to be all the rage in the App Store right now. It seems that every day, there is a new diptych-style photo app. It’s an interesting photo style and using multiple images in a single photograph can really help tell a story.

Frame Magic is a recent release and it’s on special for free right now, down from $0.99. It’s not a great multi-panel photo app like Diptic or PicFrame, but for free, it’s good enough.

Frame magic has 16 basic frames — up to four panels. Frame sets containing up to six panels are an extra $0.99 available as an in-app purchase. The standard-issue set is definitely very usable.

When importing images, Camera Roll is at the bottom of the album list, not at the top where I expect it and where it makes most sense. The app makes you go through several clicks and gestures before you’re in the Camera Roll, where most of the images you’re likely to use are.

It has some basic editing tools. You can flip or rotate each image within the frame. You can even easily switch back and forth to a basic grayscale conversion.

Frame color is easy to change using the app’s built in color panel. There are also four presets with the popular cyan, white, gold and black. There are only ten frame patterns. I’m not a fan of frame patterns. These are pretty harsh and remind me of some of the old Mac System 7 desktop pattern presets.

The app saves to your photo album and also shares your finished piece by email, facebook or Twitter. Images are saved at a maximum size of 1514×2048 pixels on an iPhone 4 — that’s about 3.1 MP and is smaller output than Diptic or PicFrame. UPDATE: Reader and app beta tester Pat Timney shares that the developers plan full resolution support in a future update.

One of the things I like a lot about Frame Magic, though, is changing the style of the frame keeps any images you’ve already placed. They’ll need some tweaking to fit the new layout, but it’s a lot quicker and easier than re-importing the images all over again.

Frame Magic isn’t bad for free. If it goes off sale, I’d still recommend one of the more full-featured diptych apps for the money. It offers almost no features that you can’t get better elsewhere. But for free, it’s a good app and a great intro to multi-panel photography. It’s easy to use and it’s high (not full) resolution output should be good for many iPhone photographers.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Frame Magic - Dion Cho



UPDATE 09.18.11 @ 13:35: Updated release comment. Also added info about full-res planned for a future update.