First Look: Postman 2.0

I hadn't really noticed, but it turns out there are lots and lots of postcard apps in the App Store. It makes sense, the iPhone (and to an extent, the iPod touch) is a great virtual postcard device. Snap a photo while on vacation, add a quick message and send it off via e-mail, all from within the iPhone itself. It's actually a neat example of old and new communication methods fusing together.

Yesterday, Steve looked at Postcard Express and today I'm looking at Freeverse's Postman 2.0 (iTunes link). Released just a few weeks ago, Postman was one of first applications to take advantage of some of iPhone OS 3.0's capabilities, Google Maps integration and mail sheets.

With Postman 2.0, Freeverse has redesigned the interface (using the talents of the Iconfactory's David Lanham), added themes, made it easier to position text and improved stability with other services.

The Basics

Like most other postcard apps, Postman 2.0 lets you take an image from your iPhone's camera, a stored image on your iPhone or iPod touch or use a pre-loaded professional image as the basis for the "front" of your card. Postman also integrates with Google's Location API and can use your current location to get a Google Map that can then be uses as your image.

Themes and Text Effects

Postman 2.0 now includes a bunch of pre-configured themes that you can apply to your image.

The themes are pretty nice, adding a bit of kitsch and polish to the digital postcard experience. My favorite was the retro TV set that frames your location. Clicking on the theme applies it to your photograph instantly.

You also have access to various text styles using a variety of fonts, including MarketFelt, Helvetica and Times New Roman. You can adjust the size of the text, as well as the color. You can then move the text around the front of your postcard to position at will. If you don't want any text, just clear the text form.

When it comes to the back of your postcard, you can adjust the font and sizing there as well. You can also change the weather indicator, depending on conditions or your mood.

You can disable the front or the back of the virtual postcard, which is nice if you just want to send a little stylized note, or you just want to share a quick vacation picture.


Sharing Postcards

The sharing features that Postman 2.0 offers are really fantastic. You can share your card on Facebook, post it to your Tumblr blog, send out a tweet on Twitter, e-mail to your contacts, or save the postcard as an image that you can download to your computer.

You can also upload your card directly to Postman's site.

If you choose to share via Twitter, your postcard is uploaded to the site and a shortened URL is automatically tweeted. Check out one I made to test Postman 2.0 here.

Other Thoughts

You can't crop or resize photographs to use with Postman 2.0, which is the apps only real deficit. It would be nice to be able to crop a photograph for a quick shot. The team behind Postman has been very attentive to making the app as good as it can be, so hopefully this is something we can see in future versions.

At $0.99US, I think Postman is a steal. It's a lot of fun to create and send off digital postcards and the integration with other services like Twitter and Facebook makes this a convenient way to share memories with other people quickly and with pizazz.

Do you still postcards using stamps? Sound off in the comments!