Monday, 20 October 2014

Postsnap: Remote Postcard Service

When we were in Cuba, we sent postcards home. Or rather... we tried to, but not one of them actually arrived back in the UK.

In countries where the value of an international stamp is high, compared to the typical cost of living, it's not surprising that there's sometimes corruption to be found in the local postal services. We took all the precautions advised in the guidebooks, like putting cards in the hotel mail instead of a public post box, but it wasn't enough.

At the time, I remember thinking how great it would be if you could just send your own photos to a local printing service back home, and dispatch them directly to your friends and family.

Now, you can.

Postsnap kindly gave me some credit to try out their service, so I sent myself a postcard as a test.

The app is quite straightforward to use. You can choose one or more photos for the front of your card, and select from a range of frames and backgrounds. You can add text, or apply filters.

Then you enter your message text, and an address, for the back. So far, so good. The signature was more of a challenge: you have to write on the screen, using your finger or a stylus, and I found it impossible to get text that wasn't unnaturally angular. I would have preferred to sign my name with a pen and photograph it, but that option wasn't available (you can add a photo, but only as a small square alongside your name).

Ordering was also a bit fiddly (the server timed out a couple of times) but eventually it went through, and a couple of days later the postcard dropped through the door. The end product was great quality - I went for the large, which comes out at a generous size, and the printing was bright and clear.

The fact that you can do all this from within a single app, even using a photo you've taken on your phone, makes the whole process incredibly simple.

Because it's all UK-based, this is a great option for Brits looking to circumvent the vagaries of international post services, and I'll definitely be using it more on future travels. For once, you might be able to send a postcard that arrives home before you do. It looks like it's only available for iPhone at the moment, but if it takes off, I'm sure an Android app can't be far behind.

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