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APP REVIEW: POSTALE

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Tipped off by an incredibly reliable source (aka Starbucks Pick of The Week), I was introduced to the iPhone App: Postale. Given the racially insensitive undertones deeply embedded into older episodes of Looney Tunes, I naturally assumed the name of this app was meant to be said in an incredibly cartoonish italian accent, emphasized by grandiose hand gestures. (POE-STAH-LEE!) Several awkward situations later, I realized much to my chagrin that it's pronounced as "Postal".

While most postcards feature warm greetings, historical landmarks, or a Tyrannosaurus Rex wearing a pair of sunglasses, Postale is an app that allows you to take your own photographs and transform them into custom postcards. For this review, I'll be using a picture of Prints On Wood's most favorite 8 year old boy, Dash!

DASHI'm pretty sure that last sentence just landed this blog on some NSA watchlist.

P1

Right off the bat, Postale goes out of it's way to let you know it wants to keep things simple. I'm cool with that. As you can see, my options are limited to three: Create, Gallery, and Shop. Lets start with Create.

P2

After selecting Create, Postale prompts you to select one of it's four layouts: Portrait Side-By-Side, Vertical, Veritcal Side-By-Side, and Panoramic. Keeping with the less is more / I need to get this blog post done before I can go home theme, lets go with the Portrait Side-By-Side option. After selecting your layout, you can now select the theme of your postcard. Once again, not a huge selection of options. I selected the good 'ol fashioned red, white, & blue striped air mail theme, because y'know... 'MURCIA!

Now that we got our orientation selected, we can "customize" our postcard. I say that loosely because it's a fancy way to say we're going to add text and a picture. Working from left to right, click Photo to insert your picture.

P3

Once you select the photo for your postcard, you can can apply photo filters to the image. Postale offers the typical 5-6 photo filters with fancy sounding names, but they're what you would expect from default features. They do offer some more unique filters for $1.99 a set, which don't seem to be that much different from the default filters. The color of my original photo looks cool enough already so let's move forward.

P4

Now to add some text, click Message. Doing so toggles your iPhones keypad so you can write your message like you would a text. The UI for the Message feature allows you to change the style, size, and color of your text. Once complete, click on Title to add more text to the top of your post card. This space is more traditionally reserved for your salutation.

P5

After cycling through Photo, Message, and Title, Postale allows you to add a "stamp" to your postcard. You can select from Postale's limited stamp library, add more stamps for $1-$2 per set, or upload your own photo to use in lieu of a stamp. I decided to use this sweet almost-finished picture I drew of myself for the stamp on Dash's postcard.

P6Stud Muffin(top)

We got our picture, our text, our greeting, and some incredibly swarthy postage. Lets see how this bad-boy looks now that it's finished.

P7Meh. Cool I guess.

Sarcasm aside, one neat feature about Postale is that it takes the location data from your photograph and uses the city/zipcode of your photo for use in the post office stamp. When beginning this app review, I lacked the foresight to see if any of the offered post card sizes were proportionate to any standard photo sizes. Unfortunately, they are not. I had to skew the image a bit to fit a 6 x 4 canvas to print on wood. Speaking of which, lets see how that turned out.

P8

Not too shabby. The red and blue look pretty cool mixed in with the wood grain. So overall, is Postale deserving of first class rates, or should it get tossed out with the junk mail?

RATE

Junk mail.

At it's core, these apps are just an incredibly low budget / limited photo editor with a gimmick attached. Much like PicLab and Halftone, Postale falls into the category of an Instagram clone wrapped around a decent concept. Unfortunately it lacks quality content to make your purcase of the app itself feel worthwhile, let alone add-ons. The worst part is the paid image effects offered in Postale are incredibly similar to the ones offered in Camera 360, the only difference being they are completely free.

Halfway through this review it hit me. Aren't traditional postcards supposed to have a full image on the back and the mailing address / written content on the back? Well, Postale can send an honest-to-goodness postcard for $2 in the US, and $3 international. While the concept of taking a picture and turning it into a postcard sounds fun, Postale for lack of a better term, comes off as boring. For an app that offers so very little, $2 with additional add-ons offered for the same amount seems a little over priced. At this point, mailing an actual store-bought postcard from wherever you might be visiting would seem more frugal and exciting.

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