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Wish You Were Here: Postcards from the Web

 By Sarah Klein

When the commercials say “there’s an app for that”, they’re not kidding. Now, the iPhone delivers new meaning to the old postcard catchphrase “Wish You Were Here” with a free download called goPostal. It’s not quite the same as receiving a handwritten letter, but still, who doesn’t like getting mail?

The service, available via the iPhone application store, allows users to snap a photo with an iPhone and send it as a printed—as in bona fide snail mail!—postcard to anyone, anywhere. Instead of buying a generic postcard from your destination, you can customize your own card to send to friends or family, or create a souvenir for yourself that you won’t even have to carry home!

After snapping the photo, users can add a personalized message before selecting a contact from their address book to be the postcard recipient. goPostal will print the customized postcard and mail it to the supplied address. Each postcard is a bargain at only $1.29. (It costs 28 cents to mail a normal postcard within the U.S., and much more to send messages oversees.)

Even travelers who don’t have iPhones can use goPostal. Anyone with Internet access can upload photos on a computer, enter the destination information, and the service will print and mail the card. The post office has a similar service called PremiumPostcard. For only $1.13, you can upload your own image, customize your message, and send your postcard off to its destination.

If you’re just looking for a way to make your own postcards but can handle the shipping yourself, there are many custom printing websites, like Zazzle, that can walk you through the steps. Your masterpiece will be delivered to your door for you to address and mail at your leisure. And often, if you order in bulk, say 100 postcards of your favorite picture of Fido, each card can cost as little as 64 cents. Just keep in mind that’s without postage.

Some may say that letter-writing is a lost art. Personally, I think that with new technology like this, it just keeps getting better!

Comment by Tom, posted 8/6/2009, 2:49 PM:

I just received the cards I sent myself and I have to tell you, they look AWESOME!
Comment by Beckie Mostello, posted 8/5/2009, 9:28 PM:

What a great idea! I am always looking for new iPhone apps! Thanks for sharing!
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