TechnologyTell

The Festive Apple 2012: Create and send Christmas cards on your Apple devices

Sections: Home and Personal, iDevice Apps, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Mac Software

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Hard copy greeting cards are now the exception rather than the rule due to the cost of postage and the proliferation of computers, even though surveys indicate most people still prefer receiving greeting cards in the mail over ecards, regarding a physical card as more meaningful than the electronic alternative. Whichever sort of greeting you decide to send, here are some more ways your Mac or iOS device can help.

First, Pad Gadget has posted a tutorial article on making personalized holiday cards on your iPad or your iPad mini.

Second, MacTuts+’s Jacob Penderworth notes that you might need to speed up those postcard mailings to make the delivery deadline. I took to his OS X Contacts app to find needed addresses so he could send out Christmas cards as soon as possible. At first he didn’t think there was a way to print their addresses nicely, so he switched to the good old clipboard, then stumbled upon a way to print all his friends’ information with his return address as well. Read his illustrated tutorial here:

And now, on to the apps.

iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Cards

apple Cards

The Cards app from Apple lets you create and mail real greeting cards personalized with your own text and photos right from your iPhone or iPod touch—and now from your iPad too. Cards 2.0 takes advantage of the iPad’s additional screen real estate, making it even easier to customize cards with your own photos and text. Just choose one of your photos, and with a few taps and swipes a card is on its way to any mailbox in the world. Choose from dozens of designs, including six new holiday themes, then customize your card with a personal message and photo. You can even send multiple cards at once by selecting up to 12 recipients, personalizing each card, and sending them off as a single order to be mailed individually to your friends and family — perfect for the upcoming holidays.

Custom letterpress cards:

  • Cards combine a centuries-old letterpress technique with your digital text and photos
  • Each card is crafted from 100 percent cotton paper and imprinted with an elegant debossed design
  • Choose from dozens of designs for eight occasions: Holiday, Thank You, Get Well, Baby, Birthday, Love, Travel and Mother’s Day
  • Customize the placeholder text for any occasion, such as an anniversary or graduation
  • Add up to 3 photos to your card or send one with just text

Location integration:

  • If you select one of the Travel designs, your card automatically displays the name of your current location
  • Choose a photo with GPS data, and the card shows the name of the place where the photo was taken

Prepaid postage included:

  • Send a card anywhere in the world for CA $4.99 including postage
  • Select addresses from your Contacts and easily personalize them — from Mr. Johnny Appleseed to The Appleseed Family, for example
  • To place your order, simply enter your Apple ID password
  • In the U.S., your card will include our own Apple-designed postage

Delivery notification:

  • Cards mailed to U.S. addresses make use of the United States Postal Service Intelligent Mail® barcode
  • On the day your card is to be delivered, you’ll receive a notification on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad

Card history:

  • All your cards are automatically saved and can be viewed in a history list
  • You can resend any card to another recipient—perfect for when you have a lot of friends to thank or you want to spread the word about the newest member of your family

Price: Free

Product [Cards]

Paper Snow 2

Paper Snow 2

Features:Paper Snow 2 gives you the ability to make handmade snowflakes and your own custom design of greeting card. Now you can send the best handmade cards in the world straight from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

  • High quality elements and tools from DemSt team for unique Snowflakes
  • Create personalized Greeting card for everybody to show your love, respect and concern
  • Greeting Card builder: choose from different backgrounds, ornaments and messages to create and personalize a one-of-a-kind card.

Just tap the app to send quick note to say, “I’m thinking of you” to Facebook/Twitter friends or anyone with an email address.

This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad.

Price: Free

Product [Paper Snow 2]

Christmas Pictures – Mustache Bash Holiday Edition

Christmas Pictures

Bright Newt Apps, has released Christmas Pictures, the Holiday Edition of Mustache Bash. Christmas Pictures lets users turn any picture into a holiday greeting, complete with Santa hat, beard, glasses, and other festive designs. Christmas Pictures brings together several key aspects of the coolest iPhone apps: It looks good, it works well and is easy to use, and most important of all, it’s a lot of fun.

Christmas pictures has a variety of great features. After the user takes a new photo or selects one from Facebook or the device’s camera roll, the app “automagically” drops a Santa beard and glasses on it. Some of the available designs are surprisingly realistic, and others lean more toward the whimsical. Users can decorate pictures to their heart’s content with reindeer, snowflakes, and the like and then share their season’s greetings via Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can even have the picture printed as a postcard and mailed anywhere in the world.

Christmas Pictures – Mustache Bash Holiday Edition 1.0 is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.

Price: $0.99

Product [Christmas Pictures – Mustache Bash Holiday Edition]

helloCards

Holiday season may be better financially than last year but many are still feeling the economic restraints. Luxury items, such as the traditional Christmas card mailing, is out of the question for people who are busy trying to make ends meet. As a viable alternative, they are turning to inexpensive ways to send seasonal wishes. Use helloCards to send Holiday greetings this year. helloCards is an iPhone and iPod Touch app with a databank of 170 stock cards—something for every occasion.

helloCards isn’t just about price. With everyone finding less and less time for themselves and their families, it is also a fast alternative to hand-writing cards and envelopes, applying stamps and going to the post office. People are able to personalize the helloCards with text and stock images or their own embedded photos quickly and easily, which is a huge selling feature. Once the card is made, it is sent to the recipient’s inbox via the built-in email application.

To sample this product, there is a free version for people to try, called helloCards Lite. It works the same as the full app but has a smaller card library.

helloCards is an iPhone and iPod Touch app with a databank of 170 stock cards across 20 different categories, plus you can add your own photo, enter your personal message, and send via email. They have something for every occasion. To customize the greetings, personal text and images can be embedded very quickly and easily. There are no usage limits on helloCards, they can be sent everyday, all day long. The $1.99 price tag is all you need to pay, send as many cards as you like—there are no hidden fees or usage limitations.

Price: $1.99

Product [helloCards]

iCarol 2.0 – Send Virtual Carols To Your Friends

Portable Arts’ popular iCarol application now lets users send virtual Christmas carols to other iCarol users or to friends through eMail. Each iCarol contains high quality music, and provides lyrics (in case you want to sing along). Holiday images flash in the background, and users can also set up their virtual yule log while the music plays.

In addition to sending virtual carols, users can turn off the music and use iCarol as a source for lyrics, or turn off the lyrics and simply use iCarol to play the music during the holidays. Users have a choice of over 20 high quality recordings including; Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Deck The Halls, Angels We Have Heard On High, Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies, Silent Night, The Wassail Song, Joy To The World, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Christmas Tree, The 12 Days Of Christmas, and many more.

Features:

  • Over 20 High Quality Recordings
  • Ability to send virtual Carols through eMail and to other iCarol users
  • Lyrics
  • Holiday Slideshow
  • Virtual Yule Log

Price: $0.99

Product [iCarol 2.0]

Macintosh

Christmas Free Mail Stationery 1.0 And Christmas Stationery Pack

aMac Island’s € 2.85 Christmas Pack 2010 contains six new models to announce Christmas. These themes are variable length and are also multilingual, as the title may be changed as you wish.

The companion € 2.85 Christmas Stationery Pack contains 10 fully new models to announce Christmas time.

Product [Christmas Free Mail Stationery]

HappyHolidays!

HappyHolidays

HappyHolidays! makes it easy to create personalized photo cards. Use your digital photos, add a personal message and you have the perfect photo card! Use HappyHolidays! to create your annual holiday card for family and friends. Create unique photo cards for any occasion: birth announcements, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, birthdays, party invites and Valentines Day, and they can be great thank you cards as well as get well cards. Be creative, have fun and make a HappyHolidays! photo card.

Save money using HappyHolidays! over ordering pre-designed photo cards from a photo center. You can print your HappyHolidays! photo card at any photo center that prints digital photos because HappyHolidays! allows you to save your photo card as a 4×6 jpeg photo file. Printing 4×6 prints is very inexpensive—as low as $0.12 each with no minimum order. Pre-designed Holiday Cards can cost as much as $0.84 per card with a required minimum 50 copy order! You can save over $35 by printing your own HappyHoliday! designed 4×6 photo cards. In addition, you can create many variations of your holiday photo card—personalize the photo or the message for each card!

With HappyHolidays! you are not limited to a set number of characters and lines for your personalized message, unlike most pre-designed photo cards that you order from photo centers. Stylize your message any way you want. HappyHolidays! works like a word processor allowing you to set text attributes (font, color, size, alignment) of your message. HappyHolidays! provides you more freedom than when you order pre-designed photo cards from photo centers. HappyHolidays! also offers image manipulation controls which allow you to crop and resize your image.

Export your photo card as a hi-res JPEG file and print as a normal print at any photo center. Print your photo card on any photo printer. Email your photo card to family and friends.

With HappyHolidays! you are not limited to having your personalized text message in English only. You can write part or all of your text message in any language supported by Mac OS X.

Price: $10.00 Shareware

Product [HappyHolidays!]

Sophie’s Cards 6

Sophie’s Cards 6 is a powerful greeting card creation software application., incorporating an extensive database of photographs and greeting messages (including extensive libraries of 792 photographic images and 730 text greeting messages, many of them original), in eighteen categories (with some crossover), plus 20 informal fonts. Sophie’s Cards also allows you to import your own photos or art images and compose your own text. Imported pictures should be about 8 x 10.5 and no more than 72 dpi.

However, you probably won’t want to import photos because one of Sophie’s Cards’ most impressive features is the incredible library of photographic images. The photography is generally spectacular, with a wide selection of genre themes. You should be able to find a suitable card image for any occasion in the library, but if not you can also easily import your own images and add them to the libraries. Occasion types that may be selected include Anniversary, Announcement/Invitation, Apology, Birthday, Congratulations, Engagement, Farewell, Father’s Day, Friendship, Get Well, Holiday, Just For Fun, Miss You, Mother’s Day, Riddles For Kids, Sympathy, Thank You, and Valentine love, providing plenty of attractive and tasteful choices that can be mixed and matched using the card format pane, which is arranged in four columns representing the front, left inner, right inner, and back panels of the card.

The beauty of a program like Sophie’s Cards is that making your own greeting cards with a computer and color printer can save you money if you send a lot of cards, and perhaps more importantly, allows you to create personalized cards with just the right image and sentiments expressed.

Sophie’s Cards Version 6 has been completely re-mastered, with an easier to use, tab-based interface, that has been reduced to two unified modules: one for Design and one for Saved Cards. All in all, there are more than 20 new features and hundreds of minor changes according to the developer, making this the most radical makeover Sophie’s Cards has had yet.

The program’s photo library has been expanded with new content. There’s now direct address import from the Apple Address Book, and the addition of support for business cards and gift cards, which the program didn’t previously support, including to the ability to build individual content cards that can later be printed on an entire sheet.

A major interface improvement is that you can now directly enter, edit and format text right on the card preview, rather than having to switch to another interface module as was necessary in previous versions. Also, any font installed on your computer under your user name is now available for formatting a card.

There’s a newly expanded Preferences section, that is now available from any Design screen of Sophie’s Cards, that gives you more control of Program options. You also now have the option of deleting any stored any text or image in the program’s libraries, including default Sophie’s Cards text and images that you would never choose to use.

Another new feature is that you can now choose from a collection of borders or small graphic embellishments to use on the inside and/or outside of cards – a nice enhancement. You can also now email cards in addition to or instead of printing them, and emailed cards also offer page colors and textures not available in printed cards.

The cards created by Sophie’s Cards are very classy and professional-looking, complete with thumbnails and information about the front panel image on the back, along with attribution of the verse/text selections used, and a Sophie’s Cards logo.

The program will print to standard 8-1/2 x 11 paper, but of course will work best with proper card stock paper such as available from Avery or Epson, for which size configuration options are provided in the menus. You can keep track of cards that you have sent with the Card History feature.

You can specify landscape or portrait oriented cards with full or small photos, and with or without cover text. There is also a custom envelope printing template with fields in which you can enter “to” and “from” addresses with your specified font, size, font color, and text alignment. You can also import addresses.

The built-in content library makes Sophie’s Cards one of the biggest applications you’re likely to have on your Mac. The online installer file download is 525 MB, which makes it impractical for bringing down on a dial up connection, which the developer explicitly does not recommend. The installer fits nicely on a CD, which is how my review copy was delivered. Demo CDs are available. Of course, if you have broadband, online downloads will be no problem.

Price: $29.95

Product [Sophie’s Cards]

Funtastic Photos

Funtastic Photos is Ohanaware’s amazingly easy to use photo editor for Apple Macintosh computers. Funtastic Photos features some of the most advanced photo editing technologies, such as Non-destructive Photo Editing. This amazing technology allows non-permenant manipulations to made to a photo, these changes can then be altered or removed at any time. The edited photo can easily be “rewound” back to its original state, regardless when or how much editing has taken place.

Funtastic Photos makes photo editing simple with 1-Click Styles. A single click can fix problems and enhance the photo in ways never imagined. Funtastic Photos ships with 50+ 1-Click Styles which provide some original, unique and cool photo effects. Printing photos at home will never be the same. Funtastic Photos offers a range of inspiring layout designs, including amazing picture collages (or photo mosaics to some), addictive photo cubes and… greeting cards.

Funtastic Photos is a combined Photo Editor and Photo Sharing tool. Having the Photo Sharing built-in to Funtastic Photos makes it real easy to quickly edit a photo and share it online using e-mail, attractive Fun Cards, and direct uploads to the most popular photo sharing sites such as Facebook, Picasa Web Albums, MobileMe & Flickr. A trial version of Funtastic Photos can be downloaded from Ohanaware’s website.

For the entire month of December Ohanaware are offering 20% off everything in their online store. This includes Funtastic Photos Single User, now $27.99 (USD and before tax). The family pack is now $57 (USD and before tax). Ohanaware are also offering a 3 for 2 Gift Card Pack, where you can get 3 gift cards for the price of 2, and then 20% discount on top of that! Happy Holidays From Ohanaware. Funtastic Photos 1.0.2 is a FREE update to all existing Funtastic Photos customers. This new release can be downloaded from Ohanaware’s website.

Price: $29.99

Product [Funtastic Photos]

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  • http://www.ecardexpress.ca Irene

    New Christmas Cards & Frames for eCard Express iPhone/ iPad Apps

    eCard Express application enables users to create and customize greeting cards with high quality stickers, frames, pre-written text templates, and personal photos or images from the iPhone / iPad photo library or camera. eCard Express now offers a total of more 300 greeting cards and frames in 19 categories. All cards can be shared via Email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Evernote and Flickr at no extra cost!

    You can download free iPhone application:
    eCard Express Lite – Greeting Cards and Frames
    http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/ecard-express-lite-greeting/id449500889?mt=8

    eCard Express Lite is a fully functional version of the full eCard Express application:

    iPhone:
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ecard-express/id412637180?mt=8.

    iPad:
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ecard-express-hd-greeting/id419673803?mt=8

    eCard Express:
    http://www.ecardexpress.ca

    Video (Demo) – iPad:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlpyPTM8crg&list=UUm0his6iGGNuBo219eawgAA&index=7&feature=plcp
    http://blip.tv/appshrink/ecard-express-hd-for-ipad-app-review-6337968

    Video (Demo) – iPhone:
    http://blip.tv/appshrink/ecard-express-for-iphone-app-review-6337970

    Screen shots:
    http://www.ecardexpress.ca/samples.htm

    Feature Highlights:
    * Over 300 high quality greeting cards and frames to choose from
    * Add photos from the device library to a selected frame
    * Spice up, customize and personalize eCards with the best quality clip art “stickers”
    * Add a personal message in color and with an artistic font
    * Pinch and drag the text to place it on card or below the card
    * Pre-written text templates for all occasions. There are 55 free text templates to start off and more than 330 phrases are available via In-App purchase
    * All cards can be saved to the in-app MyCards library and edited later on
    * Save eCards directly to device photo library
    * Share cards over Email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Evernote and Flickr! Facebook fan can now post it directly to a friend’s wall
    * eCard Express employs an in-app card library so the creations can be saved on the go and sent when a Wi-Fi connection is available
    * Optimized specifically for iPad retina display, and recipients that will be receiving cards by email on their Mac’s and PC’s
    * More cards, frames and stickers are already on their way for new updates

    Device Requirements:
    * iPhone, iPod touch, iPad (Android tablet and phone versions also available).

    Pricing and Availability:
    eCard Express 2.0 for iPhone and eCard Express HD 2.0.1 for iPad are $1.99 USD each (or equivalent amount in other currencies).

  • Amiks123_76

    Thanks for great list! I really enjoy making postcards for all my friends and already have helloCards and Paper Snow. Apart from that I like creating greeting cards using CuteShot app.