This isn’t Joby’s first photo app, not even its first free photo app. But it’s strides ahead of the original which offered those things Apple omitted from its native camera app – digital anti-shake, a thirds grid, spirit level, burst shooting, a self timer and press anywhere shutter action.

Frame X Frame incorporates all of those (there’s really no need to download both apps), and they’re handy additions, particularly to the iPhone 4’s admirable lensmanship. But where Joby has upped its game is with the addition of time-lapse and stop motion photography.

Fire up the app and you’ll be presented with an ad for Joby’s Gorillamobile for iPhone 4 bendable tripod. Fair enough: it’s a free app, after all. A similar ad appeared on the original Gorillacam app. A new addition is the return to this screen even when the app is woken from the dock. A time-consuming annoyance, but at the risk of being repetitive, it’s free. Deal with it.

On to those new features, then. Time lapse presents you the option of up to 1000 shots (let’s hope you’ve got some spare memory going for that one) with intervals from two seconds to 24 hours. So whether you want to grab a sped-up version of the classic busy intersection or a moody daybreak, it’s there providing you can keep the camera still (back to that ad if you’re wondering how).

Sadly, Joby doesn’t stitch these shots together. You’ll have to do that yourself with editing software – probably a faff too far for most apping photographers. And you wonder why, when it does produce a video from your stop motion stills.

Stop motion can be set from one to 2000 shots at similar intervals to the time lapse function and with the addition of a framerate choice between half a frame per second and 20fps. There’s also the option to shoot frames manually if, say, you want to shoot an animation sequence. This time, the finished article is viewable instantly as an impressively smooth stop motion video. Again, one of Joby’s tripods or a stack of strategically piled books is essential.

The results – for a smartphone – are great and definitely food for thought for the more artistic corners of the YouTube community. It’s a shame the time lapse shots can’t be put together in-app, but we’re sure Joby will be back in future. It’d make that annoying ad screen more palatable.

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Joby Frame X Frame review

Joby Frame X Frame isn’t perfect, but it’s a great way to get into stop-motion video for free

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