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First Look: Postino adds e-card options to iPhone postcard app

The ability to send physical postcards from your iPhone is not a new concept, but the just-released Postino (link opens iTunes) from AnguriaLab adds a new twist to an old favorite -- having the option to send e-cards for those who want to send a postcard, but not bother with the hassle of a paper card.

Launching Postino takes you to a simple navigating screen: Photo, Message, Signature, Address, then the almighty Send. You can either select a photo from your camera roll or take a new picture. For this experiment, I chose a photo I'd already taken of my favorite sushi bar here in the Phoenix area. I added an optional frame, a message, then, in a neat twist, drew in my own signature. Shaking the palette for the signature area clears it so you can start over.

For the purposes of this review, I chose to send the postcard as an e-card to my most willing and unsuspecting test subject -- my fiancé. You can either type in the e-mail or address, or choose from your contact list. Physical postcards can be sent worldwide, which is a feature lacking in the other postcard applications that we've reviewed in the past. All you need to do is purchase a virtual stamp through the app, which costs $1.99USD with up to 20% discount with bulk purchases, via PayPal. After you send the postcard, you can use the Recents tab to check on the status of both the e-cards and the physical ones.

The final product generated via e-mail is the two halves of the card side by side, which is one of the things I would tweak. The postcard was bigger than the available screen size, even when I expanded Mail to full size on my MacBook. The e-card sends out at 1200x1600 pixels for the full card. The picture itself turned out great and would look good on a physical postcard, but a smaller size would be perfect for the e-cards. My fiancé also appreciated the e-card he was sent, though he did comment on the need to scroll to see it all.

Postino is currently available for free through the App Store, but will soon cost $.99USD. If you want to give it a try, now's your chance.

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