You probably don’t send all of the cards you should, do you? It’s a hassle and sometimes you forget; that’s understandable, but no more! With Ink, the Android app from Sincerely, sending cards to your loved ones is simple and easy. And not those boring old e-cards, but actual physical cards. (It’s true, they still exist!)
There are many apps out there for sending virtual cards, but Ink takes that to another level by actually printing out a physical card for the user and mailing it. It’s as simple as it gets, and it only costs $1.99 per card, less than you would otherwise pay for a card and stamps.
Plus, if you’re in a long distance relationship, sending cards can be an adorable way of keeping in touch; in fact, technology can do a lot to help you spice up your relationship. Sure, Valentine’s Day is over, but what would make your significant other happier than a post-Valentine’s surprise?
What You Get
This is a service that I’ve used to send cards to friends abroad or in far away places, but I also sent myself an example card so that I could see how these turn out. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Below is the card I sent to myself, using a template that allowed the entire side of the card to be covered by my custom image and caption.
The quality of the image was impeccable. The card itself was 5 x 7 and thick and glossy, just as described in the app. It feels like a regular postcard, except that it’s glossy on both sides. My only complaint is that the caption text was white no matter what; there was no option to get a black outline around it or anything to make it more readable over the image. This obviously won’t apply to every template, but it was a minor annoyance here since the text is somewhat difficult to read.
Below is the image that I uploaded to Ink, before cropping it within the app to fit the postcard size.
It was relatively high resolution, having been taken by the 8MP shooter on my Galaxy S3, and it turned out crisp as ever on the postcard. From cards I’ve sent to others, I’ve even been told that images taken with the 2MP front-facing camera on my GS3 turned out well also.
The back of the card is pretty simple. I was able to choose the background color, and it gives you up to 300 characters to type your personal message. The back is the least customizable part, though, as you can’t choose the font or rearrange the imagery to be anything other than what appears to be a large white speech bubble. It gets the job done and looks nice and professional, but I can only hope for more personalization options in the future.
Designing A Card
Opening the app runs you through a few quick screens explaining the app briefly before dropping you at the Featured section. From here, you can swipe over to the Categories section if you don’t see anything you like. They’ve got all your basics, from Anniversaries to Birthdays to Get Well Soon cards.
After you’ve chosen your favorite card, you can customize it however you like. The card shown below only allows for changing of the color, but other cards allow you to insert your own picture or put a few words on the front. Clicking continue or swiping on the card will bring you to the backside of the card.
The blurred lines in the bottom right will contain the address of the person you’re mailing it to, and any text you enter will appear in the upper left. You are limited to 300 characters, or two tweets and change.
Creating your card is as simple as that. Once you’re done, it will give you the option to choose someone to send it to and review it one last time before sending it. While still creating it, you can also tap the arrows in the upper right to expand it into a larger landscape preview.
The card in its final form will be 5×7 and printed on thick, glossy paper. If you’re inserting your own pictures, make sure they’re high resolution because Ink says that they print at 300 dpi.
The design is that easy, but there are a few more helpful options in this app for you to explore.
First, go back to the main page with the 3 labels — Featured, Categories, and Saved — running across the top. Tap the Account button in the lower left corner to get to the page shown below with several grey and blue buttons laid out in a grid.
The first of these, Address Book, is just what it sounds like. Enter in the names and addresses of your loved ones, and you’re good to go. The second option, Birthday Reminders, will give you little alerts before people’s birthdays if you’ve either entered them into your address book or logged into Ink with your Facebook account (assuming your friends have their birthdays visible on Facebook). There isn’t an excuse for missing a birthday anymore!
Paying for your cards is done with credit which can be purchased here. The more you buy, the cheaper they are, but not by much. If you buy the lowest package, 50 credits for $9.90, that’ll grab you 5 cards (in the US) for $1.98 each. Outside of the US, this gets you 3 cards (with 5 credits left over) at a price of $3.30 per card. Still not bad for mailing a card internationally. You can also just pay for cards individually with a credit card.
The notifications can be turned off or on under the Settings section, but if you don’t want to miss anyone’s birthday, remember to keep that notification tab turned on!
Some people might balk at the idea of ordering cards through an app, but those people are missing out on a wonderful service. Ink provides such a convenient, inexpensive method for mailing cards that we might just see a resurgence in physical keepsakes instead of e-cards.
For iPhone users, there is an iOS version of Ink as well as a similar app called Inkly Cards that we have reviewed in the past and found to be a great way of sending handwritten cards while supporting independent artists.
Android users can download Ink Cards from the Google Play Store.
What do you think of this service? Is it a gimmick that will fade away, or will apps like this flourish in the years to come? Let us know in the comments.