If you’re disappointed with the iPhone 4S, the Apple Cards app isn’t going to make you feel better. Still, this little throwaway announcement shouldn’t be overlooked because it will be an interesting way to tie your digital life with your physical reality.
The Apple Cards app is simple: You can choose a picture from your iPhone and then use the Cards app to send a physical greeting card to your friends, family or yourself. For about $3, you’ll be able to send this to anyone in the United States and a few bucks more will let you send it to anyone in the world.
I live a very digital and mobile lifestyle – check out this super long video for an example – and I’m very happy to eliminate paper from my life. I haven’t had a printer in years and the only time it really bites me in the behind is when I’m trying to go to a concert or a basketball game. But photos are different for some reason.
As a kid, I remember my folks having tons of photo albums and we’d have walls filled with printed photos of me and my brothers. I probably take more photos with my phone in a month than my parents took in the 1980s but most of these are either graveyarded on my phone or live on a Facebook, Flickr or Google server. I’m fine with that for the most part because photos are innately social and I want the people I care about to see them but there is still something about having a physical copy of it.
Apple’s Cards app should be a success because it will make printing these photos drop-dead simple and you won’t even have to lick off a stamp to send out your card. Being able to tie in your payment with your existing iTunes infrastructure is also the icing on the cake which will help Apple dominate this small but probably passionate space.
I’ve used Postagram and Postcard on the Run to send physical greeting cards to myself and to my parents and I’ve been very pleased with the results. Setting up is a little bit of a pain but the prints that come look really nice, are cheaper than Apple’s version and can even tie into services like Facebook and Instagram. The folks at Postagram said they’re not scared about Apple jumping into this space but with the ease of use and payment, maybe it should be.
Am I just being a bit nostalgic in thinking that Apple Cards could be quite popular or are greeting cards so far gone that not even Apple can save them? Let us know what you think.
Download Postcard on the Run (iTunes app, free)
Download Postagram (iTunes app, free)