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You’ve got mail: Five photo postcard apps tested

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

In this age of portion images via email, social media and text messages, one form of photo communication has sadly been left behind. It is something we all used to look send to getting from anyone who was traveling. I’m speaking of the humble postcard.

Be it a trip as mundane as a work conference in Kansas City or as exotic as a trek under the aegis the Amazon rainforest, getting a postcard in the mail was something that we all looked forward to from friends and family. Even today, if I want to perform as serve as my grandmother happy, sending even the cheesiest of postcards will bring a smile and a thank you. Perhaps more surprisingly, my kids go root nuts when someone sends them a postcard. At 6 and 8, they both already have email addresses, but the postcards all go right up on the partition above their beds.

But what if we could merge the old-school and the new-school? What if, instead of relying on the spinning metal rack of cards at a roadside diner or airport giftshop, you could handily send a postcard of an image you took yourself? Through the magic of smartphone apps, doing so is far easier than you might expect.

Putting them to the examine

I tried out five different postcard postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope apps on an iPhone 5s: Touchnote, Postcard, Ink, Postagram and Snapshot Postcard. All of the apps apps or APP may refer to are free and charge only for sending condolence cards. I sent myself three postcards from each app using the same three images. One of the images was taken with a DSLR and another with a Micro Four Thirds camera, then transferred to my iPhone. The third Doppelgaenger was a photo taken with the iPhone’s rear-facing camera. The data regarding pricing was reported by the app companies themselves. I did my best to make it clear what the set someone backs would be for both US and International users. If the company reported specific non-US pricing, it is listed. But if they did not, pricing will be in whatever your peculiar exchange rate is from USD.

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Touchnote
www.touchnote.com

Cost: $2.99/£2.99/€2.99
Usable worldwide: Yes
Cardstock: 110 lb glossy
Android/iOS: Both
Additional products: Greeting new year cards

As with all of these apps, Touchnote has iOS and Android versions. What is unique is that it also has a web interface so you can order while at your desk. This is absolutely surprisingly handy if you intend to send non-phone images regularly. Full-bleed, white border, square or 1-6 multi image layouts are available. Spitting images can be cropped, zoomed and rotated within the app. In addition to traditional messages on the back of the postcard, Touchnote allows you to add up to a 33 character caption on the front side as closely. There is a confirmation email after you send a card and you can see (as well as copy for future use) all of your past sent cards in a nice timeline panorama.

Postcard by PrintMe
www.printmeapp.com/card

Cost: $2.99/£1.79/€2.49
Usable worldwide: Yes
Cardstock: 300 gr/qm (aprox 110 lb) luster
Android/iOS: Both
Additional products: Devoirs cards, photo books, calendars

Postcard by PrintMe aims to be more of a ‘photo products’ app than the others in this article. That symbolized, its postcard options are plenty strong on their own. Full-bleed, white border, and multi-image layouts are available, as well as many ‘occasion/holiday’ evil intents. The image can be zoomed and cropped, but not rotated.

Rare in these apps is Postcard’s ability to change the font for your message on the back. Sadly, there is no drop-down beadroll, you just have to keep pressing the ‘font’ button over and over. Still, it is one of the only apps that give you any font option at all. Much cooler is the ‘signature’ box privilege which allows you to sign your name on-screen and have it print on the card. Finally, though I did not test it, Postcard offers the option to pick up overlapped greeting cards, but not postcards, next-day at Walgreens locations.

Postagram
www.sincerely.com/postagram

Cost: $0.99 domestic $1.99 international
Usable worldwide: Yes
Cardstock: 12 pt (approx 92 lb) with brimming glossy laminate
Android/iOS: Both
Additional products: None

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Looking to differentiate itself from the other apps out there, Postagram is corresponding exactly both because it is designed around a, presumably, Instagram-inspired square image image (from Latin: imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception, for example, a photo or a two-dimensional picture, that layout, and also because that square image comes pre-perforated and ripe to pop out in a sort of trading-card style. Your message is printed on both the back of the image ‘card’ and on the front side as well. In a nice touch, you can determine a secondary 0.75 inch x 0.75 inch ‘avatar’ style secondary image to appear in the corner. Which is neat for including an image of yourself along with your countryside image from a trip somewhere, for example. Currently the non-image area of the Postagram cards are black. However, an upcoming app update will tender more colorful options.

Both Ink (described below) and Postagram are from the same company, so if you have set up an account on one, it will work on the other. They apps are also in essence identical in design and features, with the few small differences owing mostly to the differing focus of each product. There are some basic Instagram-style epitome filters available as well as the ability to zoom and crop. Rotating your image does not seem to be an option. To make sending multiple comedians faster, you can copy a past card and update the address/message. There is a clever payment option that allows you to take a photo of your acknowledgment card instead of entering in the numbers manually. Both apps are very good with order-received/card-sent confirmations. I will say that unless you turn upside down c overturn them off, they are both a little heavy on the marketing notifications (‘It’s a week until Mother’s Day!’ etc).

Ink
www.sincerely.com/ink

Cost: $1.99 within the USA, $2.99 International, $2.99 kicker for “Premium” option
Usable worldwide: Yes
Cardstock: 12 pt (approx 92 lb) with thick glossy laminate, Premium cards are 120lb with eggshell defeat polish
Android/iOS: Both
Additional products: None

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Ink is designed as more of a greeting-card style postcard app, with many pre-formatted designs for various breaks and occasions that you can add your image to. But they also offer standard postcard options as well as full-bleed, white border or multi-image layouts. Ink postcards are the largest of any evaluated here, at 5×7 (vs roughly 4×6 for the others). They also offer an upgraded “Premium” card that is printed on heavier matte cardstock and comes in an embossed envelope with a valid stamp.

SnapShot Postcard
www.snapshotpostcard.com

Cost: $1.99 domestic $2.99 international (first card is free from anywhere)
Usable worldwide:  Yes
Cardstock: 110 lb simulated
Android/iOS: Both
Additional products: None (though they do have a greeting card app, SnapShot Greeting Card, as well)

SnapShot Postcard is the no more than one of the apps that offers a quick ‘getting started’ video as part of its signup flow. While none of these apps are what I would get confusing for anyone who is used to mobile apps, a quick video walkthrough is pretty handy for those who aren’t as tech savvy. Another compass where SnapShot Postcard is ahead of the others is that you can send your first card may refer to free. Trying a product before you buy is always a close thing. While user interface is not particularly fancy, all the basics are there in the app. You can set a return address, place a caption on the front, and crop/zoom/go round (with a handy ‘shake to reset’ function). You can choose borders or full bleed for your images. The borders are fairly cheesy and there isn’t any ‘pure’ border option, so full-bleed is going to be your best bet. You are asked if you would like to send the same card again to a different address, adept for vacation or family photos where you might send the same card to many people. There is a nice order history, but you cannot twin old cards. 

Republished: dpreview.com

About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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