If you’ve ever longed for a more technological solution to the frustration of sending postcards when travelling abroad, I’d like to introduce you to Postage, a $4.99 app that makes this process enjoyable, beautiful, and far less expensive (probably!)
Postage for the iPhone allows you to easily create beautiful electronic postcards from your photos and share them with your friends and family. Let’s take a look at how it works, and whether it’s worth taking away with you next time you go on vacation!
Sending a Card
Obviously the main functionality of Postage is to design and send postcards. This is done in a linear fashion, through a series of well-detailed steps. Let’s see how it works:
Selecting a Postcard Design
When you first open Postage, you’re thrown straight into the process of designing a new card. The first screen that displays asks you to select a postcard design, of which there are several different categories. These include Simple, Frames, Cards, Love, Cutouts, Travel, Comic, Announcements, and plenty more. As with any application like this, some designs are really appealing, and others could do with quite a bit more work.
I was really impressed by the range of different designs available, and there are plenty of great layouts to choose from depending upon the occasion (in fact, Postage is great for sending any type of card – not just holiday postcards).
Adding and Adjusting a Photo
Once you’ve selected a postcard design that you’re happy with, you can move on to pick a photo. It’s a great way to personalise a card to your current location, and drop in an image of your family at the beach. Three options are given here:
- New Photo
- Photo Library
- Paste Photo
After dropping in your photo, you can pinch, rotate and drag to reposition the image in the way you’d like. This works brilliantly, and it’s rare to see all of these touch gestures implemented in one part of the interface. Rotating, pinching, and dragging at the same time is oddly satisfying…
Several effects let you customise the look and feel of your image; Black and White, Sepia, Brighten, Glow, Contrast, Soften, and a few other more extreme and unusable ones. This is a nice touch, but I’m not sure how often these would come in handy for me personally.
The next step depends upon whether you chose a card that includes an area for writing. If you did, you’re given the chance to type in a short message.
Unfortunately, the area available for writing doesn’t expand so you’re stuck with a fairly small space. This is something I’d love to see improved upon, as I have fond memories of writing long, rambling postcards to friends and family.
Next, you can change the layout, style, size and colour of the typography in your card. This is a really welcome addition and I enjoyed playing around with the different options available. Postcards vary a great deal in their design, so a versatile set of font options ensures your message can be tailored to fit in.
Sharing Your Card
Finally comes the most important part – sending your carefully crafted card off on its way. You can do this in a few ways:
- Attach the card to an email
- Post it to Facebook
- Post it on Twitter (with your own message)
- Export the card to your Photo Library
- Copy the card to your iPhone clipboard
The interfaces for sharing your card on Facebook and Twitter are absolutely gorgeous. Even if you have no intention of using either of these sharing features, click them to see how the screen animations unfold. Beautiful.
This is a decent range of exporting options, and saving the image to your Photo Library will easily let you import it into another application if you have a different sending method in mind (posting it to a Tumblr account, for instance).
When you’ve done this, tap “New Card”, and you can start the process again.
Things to Watch Out For
After tapping “New Card”, your old one is gone forever. If you didn’t save it to your Photo Library, you would need to go back and create it from scratch. I would really liked to have seen a method for saving various postcard designs within the app to tweak and come back to later.
If you want to send the same card to multiple people, this isn’t a problem. After “sharing” the card through one of the mediums available, just go back through the design stages to address it to a new person. You can repeat this as many times as you’d like, providing you don’t tap “New Card” at the end.
Another thing to watch out for is the obvious problem of data allowance abroad. If you’re not on a Wi-Fi network, sharing a chunky image over the local data network is likely to be very pricey – probably more so than actually buying a physical postcard!
Don’t Neglect the Written Word!
There’s something about a traditional postcard that I’d miss if this was the only way I communicated with home while on holiday. Trying to cram as much writing as possible into a tiny area, and spending time picking the best photo of the local scenery are both fond memories of travelling as a youngster.
That said, I imagine that your Grandma would be suitably impressed when a personalised postcard pops into her inbox (you set push notifications up for her, right?!).
There’s a lot to like about Postage, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as a fantastic postcard solution. If you’re heading off on holiday soon, it’s worth taking with you!
Postage for the iPhone allows you to easily create beautiful electronic postcards from your photos and share them with your friends and family. Whether you are traveling, celebrating a holiday, announcing an important life-event or just having fun with your photos, Postage allows you to keep in touch while you are on the go.8