Sometimes sending an email just feels so impersonal…
Sending your friend, or loved one, a postcard is a much nicer way of expressing your [insert emotion] than merely emailing them a link to an hilarious Onion article. This is where Touchnote comes in.
With the release of Cards, Apple has made it clear that they a least see a market in this sphere, even if they aren’t going to pursue it fervently in the future. One small issue, however, is that it’s not available for the iPad! Not to fear, Touchnote provides you with an iPad friendly alternative, but is the extra love you’ll receive in response to your physical postcard worth it?
How Easy Is It?
For an app that focuses on a single venture, it’s got to make it a breeze! The good news is that sending a postcard using Touchnote is much easier than going out and doing it in the real world, you can achieve a great deal from right there on your sofa…
The app is blissfully simple in its conception, and guides you through the process with deft swiftness. Simply open it up and add an image to begin the process of putting together your card – there’s no confusion here, just tap to add a photo.
You have the normal options available, such as taking a photo or using one from your library, but there is also the option to select a shot from Facebook. Which is actually a rather nice feature, and saves you the effort of finding it first and saving it to your photo library!
You can then do a few simple things to edit the front of your postcard, these include:
- Resizing the photo; which is done using the standard pinch gesture, although you can also rotate by using two fingers and twisting.
- Adding text; which is severely limited in terms of options – it’s only added at the bottom and in one colour/font.
- Add a filter; this feature is almost a joke, giving you access to three extra filters – just download Snapseed (or similar) and do your photo tweaking first!
- Paint; you can also paint on the image using some very simple tools – there’s a sliding scale of brush size and a selection of twelve (wow!) colours.
The makers of Touchnote have sacrificed any real editing features for the sake of simplicity, which is perhaps a good decision to make. Do all of your editing first using decent photo apps, and the use the Touchnote service to prepare and send your card.
I would advise using a simple photo for the front of the card, it’s definitely the classy way to go – there’s no good that comes from scrawling on the front, save your quips for the back!
The back of the card is really where the preparation is needed, there are four things to add; your message, the address, your signature, and a map of the postcard location.
Simply tap to add your message and begin writing. There are no formatting options whatsoever, but this is both a blessing and a curse – Touchnote is decidedly simple, but it does make the process fantastically quick and easy!
When adding an address there is the helpful option of selecting one from your address book!
Add a signature by tapping on the corresponding box, it’s a nice feature which helps to add that personal touch – even if it’s a little scrawled!
The final thing to decide is whether you want to include a map of the postcard location, this is something you shouldn’t definitely leave on! It’s a great little detail that Touchnote uses your current location to add a small map to the card, and it makes great use of the fact that you’re sending it from an iPad.
Process & Price
The process of actually sending a card is very easy indeed, with the purchase of credits achieved with a debit or credit card, or through PayPal. You can buy packs of credits and get more credits free if your purchase the larger packs.
It costs either $1.49, £1.49, or €1.49, depending on where you live – which to my mind is nonsense! I live in the UK and am paying a significant premium over those living in the US…
The upside is that Touchnote cards actually compare very favourably with Apple’s Cards in terms of price. Touchnote will send your card from anywhere to anywhere for a single flat price, whereas Apple’s worldwide service costs $4.99!
This obviously makes a huge difference, Apple’s cards look to be of a very high quality – but need to be to warrant anything like that price.
Delivery times are between 1-6 days depending on where you are sending the card, with anywhere in Europe or the US coming in at under 4 days. This is also impressive given the feedback regarding Apple’s Cards service, which can take significantly longer.
To truly test Touchnote it only makes sense that I actually send a postcard using it! So I sent one to myself…
I like the overall quality of the glossy postcard, and the text on the back looks good, but the print quality of the photograph on the front could definitely be better. Holding it casually in my lap it looks fine, but looking at the postcard carefully you can see that it’s not as crisp as you’d want a printed photograph to be.
It did, however, arrive quickly and I found the whole process to be enjoyable and smooth. While it lacks depth in the feature department, it makes up for it (in the most part) in simplicity – it’s an app that’s perfect for anyone who wants to send postcards from their iPad.
I really like the price, and the actual delivery of the cards, my only issue is with the depth of features available within the app itself. If you’re intrigued it’s worth giving it a try – you might find it to be just what you’re looking for!