Dear Granny, having a lovely time on the white sandy beaches, enjoying the local culture and drinking plenty of the local plonk. Wish you were here. Love Chris xxx.

The summer holiday season is well underway here in the UK, with Britons jetting off to their favourite holiday location. If only there was some way that you could send glorious snaps from your phone through to your loved ones…


Free app/£1.49 a card
Android Market

Touchnote has been around for a while and is available on a wide variety of platforms. We know what you’re thinking: with a smartphone in your pocket isn’t the postcard dead? 

To a certain extent we’d say yes: uploading an image to Facebook or Google+ means you’ve smugly shared some of your holiday with all your friends, but there is something special about a postcard dropping though the front door, and we all know people who don’t use social networks or prefer a traditional approach.

Touchnote blends the two, letting you snap off a photo on your phone and transform it into a printed postcard that gets delivered by the postman at the other end. It’s a fusion of old world and new which is what we like about it.

You get the convenience of using your phone, avoid any awkward moments trying to buy stamps and you don’t have the delay of local/global postal services. Some of these details you might argue are the charm of postcards, but the real bonus is being able to use your own photos.

That means you can take a photo of yourself in front of that monument, the local beach or whatever else you fancy. Even if the writing is printed and potentially impersonal, the photo certainly doesn’t have to be.

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The app itself is logical and cleanly arranged. You simply choose the image you want to use, either by taking a photo or using one you’ve already got in the Gallery, write the message then pick who you want to send it to.

If your contacts (in your Contacts list) all have addresses - and we’re guessing that your main family and friends will - then you can just select the recipient and that’s about it.

The final part of the process is payment. Touchnote gives you your first postcard free, but after that you’ll pay £1.49 for a single card, or you can buy in bulk (one free for a five-credit purchase; two free for a 10-credit purchase). You pay via PayPal or credit card, which is simple enough.

Bear in mind that there will be a data cost in sending the card, so if you are roaming then the real cost will be higher, unless you can find some local free Wi-Fi. When your card is delivered you'll receive an email alert; in our tests the card was printed and posted the following day, and the print quality was excellent.

Touchnote is a nice app to have sitting in your phone ready to use for those perfect picture-postcard moments. Yes, you will pay slightly more than getting a real card and stamp, but you can’t knock the convenience, or the simplicity, of the app.