Picture this: You’re on a whirlwind tour through a country you’ve never visited and have little time in between activities to hunt down postcards, address them and add the obligatory “Wish you were here!” line, buy postage, and mail them to a long list of friends and family. What can you do? If you have your iPhone and the Simply Postcards app, you’re in luck.
Simply Postcards is a free app that provides you with a way to use pictures taken with your iPhone (or use any picture stored in the Photos app), pull addresses from your Contacts, add your custom text, and submit the virtual postcard to be printed and mailed for you. Sound good? We thought so too and tested out the app to see how the service actually works and we were very pleasantly surprised.
In order to create and send postcards, you must first set up an account within the app. An account is free and only requires your email address and a password.
To create a postcard, you must choose a photo from the photo library or use the camera to take a picture. You can zoom and move the picture around to focus in on a specific area if you’d like and there are basic photo editing tools within the app as well allowing you to rotate the image or adjust exposure. There are also overlays to apply to frame your picture with some graphics. At the time of this review, there are only four of these (Birthday, Holiday, Valentine, and Vintage Airmail) though Simply Postcards tells us that more are on the way soon.
Once you’ve finished adjusting the picture, you choose the Flip button to address the card and enter text in the section for your personalized message on the left. There are six fonts and font sizes from which to choose.
Recipients can be selected straight from the Contacts on your iPhone or entered manually. You can send the same postcard to up to 8 recipients at once.
While we didn’t feel that the font and font size choices were lacking, Simply Postcards is planning on adding more in a future update. Additionally, the company plans on adding a custom signature feature that would allow you to sign the postcard in your own handwriting using your finger or a compatible stylus.
After this, all you need to do is tap Send and confirm that you want to mail the current postcard. Once submitted, Simply Postcards states that your postcard is printed and stamped on the same day it’s submitted and sent out the next day with delivery within the U.S. in about three days or up to one week outside of the U.S. Our test postcard arrived within three days and looked exactly as we’d configured it. The paper felt like standard photo paper but a bit stiffer.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to view a list of postcards you’ve sent or check the status on any recently-submitted postcards though Simply Postcards tells us that history information on cards sent is coming soon.
Simply Postcards is generous in offering one free credit with the app, so you can try it out before spending any money. To send more postcards, you must buy credits which cost from $1.99 (if you only buy one credit at a time) down to $1.00 (if you buy 30 credits at once) each. It costs one credit to send a postcard within the U.S. and two credits to send a postcard outside of the U.S. All purchases are made via PayPal within the app where you can use an existing PayPal account or enter your credit card information without needing to create or log into a PayPal account.
While we used Simply Postcards on our iPhone for this review, the app also works on the iPad and iPod touch. Of course, on the iPad and iPod touch models without a camera you’ll only be able to select existing photos stored in the Photos app and won’t be able to capture new ones to use to create postcards.
We love apps that make our lives easier and let us leverage the connectivity and ease of use of our iPhones and Simply Postcards falls squarely in this category. While we’ve seen our share of lovely store-bought postcards, being able to send a more personalized postcard featuring you and/or friends and family enjoying an exotic locale is more meaningful in our humble opinion. While Simply Postcards is currently missing just a few features, like sent postcard tracking and additional overlays, an update adding these and more is planned for release in December and we think the app is a fun and exceptionally convenient one to use on vacation or anytime. We also really appreciate that Simply Postcards includes a free credit so you can test the service before spending your own money.
Simply Postcards has been kind enough to offer a special promo code for three free credits in addition to the one free credit already provided with the app for AppShopper.com readers. Once you create your free account in the app, enter code “appshop3” without the quotation marks in Account –> Account Info –> Redeem Code within the app.