Garanimals Blog

November 15th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Three Ways to Send a Digital Card Through the (Real) Mail

Back in July, I wrote a post on a very cool app, Postcardly, that enabled you to turn a digital photo into a postcard that you could send through the mail.

Since then I’ve had the pleasure of trying out two other apps that also use the postal service for mailing postcards or cards.

The first, Postcards on the Run, has the same idea as Postcardly but it’s smartphone based. Take a photo with your phone, run the POTR, app, and send to the recipient. This is really handy, because you can do it all right from the phone, on the spot. It’s quick and really easy. It also has a fun feature that lets you use your finger to sign your name. A nice personalized touch. You can even add a map of the location of your photo if you want.

I also hear that the next release of POTR will include a scented feature. You’ll be able to add a smell to your card, such as bubble gum, ocean breeze, chocolate, holiday spice, and more. So your postcards from the beach can not only look beachy but smell that way too. How cool is that?

The third app I tried is Cards. Since I don’t have an iPhone I downloaded it to my iPad instead. This app is a little different because it is for creating actual cards with envelopes as opposed to postcards. There is a nice, but so far somewhat limited, selection of cards (thank you, birthday, wish you were here) that you can personalize with a photo from your device. Cards prints it on high quality letterpress paper and sends it to your recipient via U.S. mail. Each card is $2.99 (U.S) or $4.99 (international).

I’ve tried all three and while they are all similar, here’s a rundown of the finer distinctions of each.

Postcardly is for sending your pc based photos. Once you’ve downloaded from your camera you can pick and choose your best shots and send via an email. After the initial free 3 cards, you can buy 20 cards for $19.99. The quality is great. They’re printed with a matte finish on heavy card stock. No international option yet, but it’s coming soon.

Postcard on the Run is great for sending your photos right from your phone. Snap the shot, run the app, and send. Prices range from $.99 to a $1.49. (add .20 cents for international). The photo quality is also great. It’s a glossier finish, also on good quality card stock. I like the signature feature. I also like being able to send internationally.

Cards is a nice app for sending an actual card rather than a postcard. The selection is not extensive yet so you might not find just the right card for the occasion, but the card quality is really nice. They even include a piece of tissue paper inside the card. An elegant touch. The photo quality is not as good, since it’s printing the image on the card paper rather than photo paper, but the card itself was beautiful.

All three of these are really great apps. I find it interesting how often I now think of sending a postcard or card through the mail now that these apps have made it so easy. I can’t really remember the last time I bought and sent a traditional postcard. But I can tell you, I’ll be sending a digital postcard from my weekend visit with a friend right after I’m done with this post.

And if this catches on, I think the U.S. Postal service might be thanking the creators of these apps too.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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2 Comments on 'Three Ways to Send a Digital Card Through the (Real) Mail'

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  1. Thanks for writing about us again, Paula! We <3 Garanimals.

    I wanted to stress, too, that Postcardly is great for sending postcards from *any* device—from your smartphone, your home computer, your work computer, an Internet cafe, literally anywhere you have access to your email. I end up sending a lot of my postcards (usually of my 4yo son) right from my iPhone. I just snap the pic, tap to email it, and then boom, I've made my mom and my mother-in-law very happy!

    And you're right that Postcardly is great for getting access to the pics on your computer, too—like you have an SLR, whereas apps usually limit you to the photos on your phone.


    15 Nov 11 at 1:45 pm

  2. You’re right Paul – thanks for the clarification. I haven’t used the phone app yet, but I’ll give it a whirl.

    Paula Palermo

    15 Nov 11 at 5:49 pm

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