There's a new way to mail printed postcards directly from your iPhone, with a little app called Shoot It! This $0.99 iPhone application lets you take a picture with your iPhone's camera, or select a picture from your picture library, and for less than a buck you can mail a glossy postcard. We downloaded Shoot It! from the App Store and gave it a try on our iPhone 3GS. Click Continue to see what happened.
We first balked at the $.99 price of this application, especially since it's basically a front end for selling mailed postcards, but we were soon reassured when we learned the $0.99 price would be applied toward our first postcard. To use it, you launch the Shoot It! application, snap a picture or choose one from your library, type a postcard message and the address of the recipient, and after a minute, it's on its way.
Three days after we sent our first pic, we received that 4x6 glossy postcard, which looks like a commercial product. It has our photo on the front, looking sharp, and on the back is our message, all done up in an attractive-looking typeface. It looks like a typical postcard, with the address on the right and the message on the left. There's plenty of room for a longer message, letting you tell your loved ones in great detail just how much you wish they were here.
The process is easier than making your own picture postcards, but could be more streamlined. First, the user interface of the app often leaves you with no indication of what you're supposed to do next, with a small "plus" sign at the bottom being the button that gets you to the next step. This won't be obvious to many users.
Next, if you want to send more than the first "free" postcard, you'll have to register at the company's website and give them your credit card number. After that, the company automatically charges you for each postcard, but it would be better if the $.99 charge ($1.25 to the U.K., $1.50 to Western Europe) could be handled by the App Store. If that were the case, though, the company tells us each postcard would cost more, so maybe if you're going to do a number of postcards, that credit card entry hassle is worth it.
The beauty of Shoot It! is its spur-of-the-moment nature. Once you have everything set up, you can take a quick picture and then fire it off on a whim. Then, expertly printed postcards arrive at their destination a few days later, without you even having to pay for a stamp. Even with its quirks, it's still excellent. The $0.99 price is unusually low, since the cost of postage makes up a sizable portion of its retail price. Shoot It! does a admirable job of crossing the divide between the digital world and printed postcards, and we enjoyed using it.