Australia Post Postcards
iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.
Age Rating: 4+
We’ve been playing with the excellent Australia Post Postcards app, which allows you to send a real postcard from your iPhone, and we weren’t surprised to hear that it won the Utilities category at last night’s 2012 Australian Mobile Awards.
Developed by Sydney’s Amnesia Razorfish, the app is simple and fun to use, and brings a bit of old-school tactile magic back to the fairly sterile digital world.
You begin by taking a photo or by choosing one already stored on your iPhone. You can then zoom in and out of it and move it within a frame for the best composition. A grid of thirds is shown to help you with this.
Once you’re happy, swiping the card or hitting the Next button flips the postcard over so, using a really nice handwriting font, you can enter your message, the mailing address and your name and email address. Your name appears at the bottom of the card, but not your email address.
The next step takes you to the payment page – while the app itself is free, the postcards cost $1.99 to send to Australia, and $2.99 international. Your payment options are via PayPal or credit card, but not your iTunes account, which is a shame. It would be a lot easier, especially for younger users, to make the postcard an in-app purchase.
My postcard, sent to a suburban Melbourne address, took exactly a week to arrive. It was printed in matte on regular postcard stock, at a reasonable resolution (not photo quality, though). It looked great, but had an ugly white smear about 20mm x 5mm towards the middle, where the printer had obviously failed. This was a shame, but it didn’t detract too much from the enjoyment my daughters got from receiving a real postcard – something that doesn’t happen as often as it should.
In accepting the award, Amnesia Razorfish managing director Doug Chapman said they “set out to create a personal experience while acknowledging the physical and memorable aspects of a postcard”.
“We felt the Postcards app was a natural fit for the Australia Post brand, as it aligns with Australia Post’s traditional mail delivery services, while pushing a digital business transformation. We are thrilled to have this idea recognised.”
It’s an excellent app, combining a simple idea with simple execution for a result that can’t fail to make people happy. And you can’t ask much more than that. We’ll be using it a lot.
Update: Australia Post has contacted us to say they were “sorry to read your postcard had a smear across the middle and wasn’t’ as ‘pretty’ as it should be. You’ll be pleased to know we’ve fixed the problem now and we’re using a varnish to seal the ink so hopefully it doesn’t happen again.”