Shyp for Android is now shypping

Shyp, an app that helps making shipping goods easier, is now available for Android. The app has been on iOS for the past eight months or so (though it was in beta for awhile before that), and is currently live in San Francisco, New York and Miami, with plans to expand to Los Angeles. The way the app and service works is this: You snap a picture of the thing you want to send, enter in the relevant shipping and payment details and request a pickup. A guy from Shyp will pick it up -- you can even track his or her movements with the app -- package it and ship it for you. The cost is $5 plus the retail rate of the shipment, which is often on par with what UPS or FedEx would quote you.

I tried the new Android app out recently, and it seems to be pretty similar to the app on iOS. I logged in with my Facebook credentials, entered in my payment info and then took a picture of the Sony Smartwatch 3 review unit that I was returning. I didn't even bother packing it. Then I entered in the recipient's address along with my current location plus whether I would prefer an "economy" shipment, which would typically take three to five days, or an "express" shipment, which is a little faster. I then requested a pickup.

Within seconds, the app notified me that my "Shyp Hero" had been summoned, and that his name was Patrick. I was able to track his movement towards the building, similar to the way you would track a delivery person on Postmates or a car from Uber or Lyft. In 15 minutes, he was at the door. I simply gave him the watch, told him the box needed a bit of taping together -- he bundled the watch in a bag for safety -- and that's it. The whole process was really easy, and I can see myself using the service again.

Kevin Gibbons, Shyp's CEO and co-founder, tells us that Shyp manages to keep prices competitive by sheer volume. Additionally, he tells us that if you're just returning an item from Amazon or another e-commerce site, all you have to pay is the $5 and they'll pack and ship it for you using your pre-printed return label. "It's a courtesy," he says, adding that it's a nice little bonus to help spread the word of Shyp. However, if you're the sort to print your own shipping label from FedEx or UPS for non-return-related shipments, they won't accept it. After all, you paying for the shipping is how they make their money. Oh, and each shipment is automatically insured for up to $1,000, just in case you're concerned.

So what took the company so long to get an Android app? "For us, it was important to get the business down first, and then look to expand," he says. In the end though, he says the demand for it was so high that he couldn't ignore it. "Our goal is to remove the hassle of shipping for everyone." So if this sounds like something up your alley and you live in one of the aforementioned cities, you can go ahead and download it and try it out -- whether you're on iOS or Android.