APP OF THE DAY: Touchnote Postcards for iPad review

Christmas has just finished and you may not be planning (or can afford) a 2012 holiday yet, but the humble postcard has much more use than to offer a simple "wish you were here" sentiment. After all, how many times have you really wished that the recipient was with you on holiday? We love Granny, but she doesn't half take a while to get up steps.

Nope, there's plenty of other reasons to send a postcard. If you've run off with the wage run of your, now former, office of work, for example, and want to gloat - although we'd advise switching off the global positioning functionality of the following app first. Or, what if you want to prove that you genuinely are holding a kidnap victim? Send the ransom demands on the back of a postcard with a picture of the hostage holding the day's newspaper on the front. Simple.

See, there's plenty of alternative uses for...

Touchnote Postcards for iPad

Format
iPad
Price
Free (sent postcards cost £1.49 each)
Where
iTunes

Having already wowed us on Android, we have to say that we're even more impressed by the extra real estate offered by the iPad version of Touchnote. Titled Touchnote Postcards for iPad, it does exactly what it says on the tin (well, what it says in the headline of the app on iTunes, anyway). It offers a staggeringly simple way to create custom postcards and send them on their merry way without you having to step one foot into a post office this side of the pond or otherwise.

The app is much like those from Moonpig, Apple Cards, et al, and similarly allows you to import your own photos into a ready-made template. It then, within a few clicks, can be sent via Touchnote's remote service to anywhere in the world. Unlike many of the other services though, it single-mindedly concentrates on postcards, making the whole process even simpler still.

First up, you import a photo from your own library on the iPad, its camera, your Photo Stream or Facebook, and can be of any type (as long as it's at least 450 x 450 pixels). The software then allows you to move it around and select an image style (from four, including black and white, and sepia), add text, and even draw onto the picture using a rudimentary paint brush.

Then you just need to fill in the details on the back, including a message, add a custom made signature, and either send it to a brand new address or one you have previously stored in your iPad contacts. That's basically it.

You can choose to include a map of the location you sent the postcard from, but there's little else. Some may prefer more picture styles, different fonts for the text, or other options, but the whole idea of Touchnote is to keep things as simple as possible.

In terms of payment, you pay through pre-pay credits. Each card sent will cost £1.49, $1.49 or 1.49 euros (depending on your home country's currency) and there are packs that you can buy that include free credits. For example, if you buy five credits, Touchnote will charge you for four, eight credits will get two free and so on. Your account settings keep a running total of what you have left, and you can pay by PayPal or credit/debit card.

The most important part, though, is that the cards themselves are of extremely good quality. The paper used is super thick and glossy (perhaps even covered). They seem waterproof, and the printing is at 300dpi, so pictures come out sharp and natural.

In all, an impressive service that doesn't take a gadget geek to work. Superb.



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