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2/2/2012
08:17 AM
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Cool, Ad-Hoc Photo Postcards From Your Smart Phone

Want to send a great, cheap valentine? Take an appropriate photo with your phone, write a note, and send it as a fragrant postcard.

Sometimes the simplest apps are the most satisfying. One that I came across in a lonely corner of the massive show floor of CES last month was Postcard on the Run, a service I expect to use a lot. It lets you create a custom postcard with a photo you take and messages you write and then mails it--the old-fashioned way, through the post office--to the people you specify.

The YouTube video explains it pretty well:

Using Postcard on the Run just now, I took a photo with my iPhone, entered some text, drew a signature with the touch screen, and specified a recipient.

For 50 cents more I added a scratch-and-sniff coating to the postcard from a choice of 11 fragrances (I chose popcorn). The total cost, including delivery: $1.99. But cost can be as low as 99 cents.

The app is available for both Android and iOS. I used the iOS app. In addition to using a photo taken with your device, Postcard can pull one from your camera roll or Facebook galleries. However, as it warns you, many Facebook pictures have to be downscaled in resolution to the point where they can't be printed with good results on the postcard.

Many years ago there was a similar service from a company called tabblo. The company is still around but the specific service is long gone. My wife's favorite valentine ever was a postcard from them with a picture of our daughter and me and a corny poem I wrote (no, I'm not including it here). The hundreds of dollars of flowers I've bought over the years are all dead and gone, but she still keeps that postcard on her desk.

Postcard on the Run might be a great, inexpensive valentine, but it's also a great way to send an "I love you" or "Thinking of you" message to an old friend or relative. It will cheer them up much more than a greeting card from the drug store or a post on their Facebook wall.

Name: Postcard on the Run

For very little money you can create a custom postcard on your smart phone with your photo, your message and your signature, and even add a fragrance to it.
Price: $0.99 to $1.69 delivered; 50 cents to add a fragrance to the card.
Pro:
  • Really easy to do.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Fun.
Con:
  • What's not to like?

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