They say a picture is worth a thousand words but what if you need more than a thousand words? You combine multiple photos into one, throw in a few frames, round the corners and share it with your friends. That’s what you do.
Combining photos isn’t something new. You’ve probably seen your friends doing it on Facebook and Instagram for ages but with so many different apps out there to choose from, how do you know which one is best for you? In this post we’ll take a look at three of the more well-known photo combiners (PicFrame, Diptic and Frametastic), investigating the pros and cons of each, so that you can easily see which is the best one for your needs.
As photo combiners go, PicFrame is pretty complete. You can select your frame of choice from five pages of layouts. You also have the option of changing the ratio (1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 2:3 and 3:4). Photo labels are possible but at an additional add-on price. One of the pros of PicFrame is that you can adjust the frame areas simply by dragging the borders that separate them, something that is often forgotten about or costs extra in other apps.
Once you have picked your frame and slotted your photos in, you still have the ability to adjust the colour, corners and shadows of your overall image. However, it is there that your photo editing controls end, so if you were expecting (or wanting) to spend a decent amount of time on photo editing, you will be disappointed with that aspect of PicFrame.
Sharing is simple and includes export paths to email, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter amongst a few others. The instructions are simple yet complete and easily accessible whenever you have forgotten how to do something.
Pros: PicFrame has great instructions and a wide variety of frame choices. It is also the only app of the three in this post that allows you to adjust the frames without having to pay more.
Cons: Processing and sharing can sometimes be a bit slow when using PicFrame.
Details: PicFrame in the App Store ($0.99)
At first glance, Diptic looks promising. Nine pages of layouts give you plenty of opportunity to find a combination that suits your purpose and if you really can’t choose, you can also let the app select for you by pressing the “random” button at the top right of the screen. Once you have found your layout, you can select your photos from not only your camera roll but also from your Facebook and Flickr albums — a clear bonus if you store a lot of your photos on either.
Adjusting the frame borders to fit your photos better is possible, but it is going to cost you extra in the form of an add-on purchase. The transform button is not as transforming as it might initially sound, only providing the chance to mirror your image or rotate it 90 degrees. The effects tab lets you adjust the photo’s brightness, contrast and saturation via three sliders and the boarder button at the top right gives you some flexibility when it comes to the colour shape and roundness of your frame and the photos inside.
Exporting pathways mainly include Facebook, Flickr, Posterous, tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. If you are one of those people that likes to throw out the instructions and jump right into a product, then you and Diptic are going to gel well as the help button almost takes up more space than the help that it displays. You can glimpse a bit more info in the FAQ accessible from the front page, but not too much.
Pros: Diptic allows you to select photos not only from your camera roll but also from your Facebook and/or Flickr albums. Diptic also has the cool “random” button, meaning no more hard decisions on which frame and/or photos to use.
Cons: Diptic comes with only a very basic set of instructions, plus you’ll pay extra if you want to be able to adjust the frames
Details: Diptic in the App Store ($0.99)
Finally we come to Frametastic. With only two pages of free layouts (you can purchase more) you might be ready to close the app before you even get started but hang on in there. Not only is Frametastic currently free, it has a secret weapon that makes it a bit more useful.
After selecting your layout, make sure you pay attention to the theme at the bottom of the screen. These themes show up in your exports, so while the grass background might look cool when you are selecting your photos, it may seriously affect your street cred when you export it to Facebook (you’ve been warned).
Frametastic lets you adjust the format (again you can unlock more options for a fee) but the secret weapon I mentioned comes in the form of the “apply effects” option when you tap one of your photos. From here you have a nice selection of colour effects (from bright to lemonade) that help to add a little creativeness to your photos in an easy and quick way.
Like the other two apps you have the ability to adjust corners, change the frame colour and the instructions screen, while not as complete as PicFrame, it provides the essentials. Export options are in the form of email, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr and Instagram.
Pros: Frametastic comes with a nice selection of “effects” that you can easily apply to your photos. Whether you want to convert your photos to black and white or just add a sepia tone, you can unleash your inner artist.
Cons: Of the three apps, Frametastic has the fewest frames to choose from. You can always unlock more, but you’ll pay extra for that privilege.
Details: Frametastic in the App Store (Free)
No longer is it good enough to just display your photos one by one. Luckily, the wide range of apps in the App Store, which let you effortlessly combine multiple photos into one, makes the job easy. If only selecting which app to use was as simple! We’ve taken a look at three of those apps in this post and which one is the best? That depends on what you are looking for.
With a good selection of creative effects and a price tag of free, Frametastic is well worth downloading. However, the rather small free selection of frames isn’t going to keep you entertained for long. But instead of splurging on an additional set, you’d probably be better to take your hard earned cash and turn it in for one of the more extensive apps and if you really want to know, my choice would be PicFrame.