John Gruber recently highlighted Google searches for “finally” and “iOS5″. It seems a lot of people think iOS has now hit a point where it has matured into a really solid platform.
I’ve been using the new version of Touchnote’s iPhone app – out later today – and I feel exactly the same. All the niggles that I complained about before have been worked out.
If you’re not aware of Touchnote, it allows you to send postcards – real, physical ones, not eCards – using photos from your iPhone. I loved the idea when the Touchnote app came out in 2009, and used it to send a few cards on holiday.
Unfortunatey, using Touchnote’s app was always a bit of a hassle. Creating the postcards was fine, but paying for them was a complete faff. You were directed to a mobile Paypal gateway with a tiny font, so it required zooming and panning. I remember I tried to send a card while I was in France, and the just as I’d pained my way through Paypal to pay for a card, the wifi crapped out, and I had to start all over again. And if you wanted to send another card – same process. I gave up sending Touchnote postcards after that.
But the new version of the app? Superb.
There’s a very simple interface to add a photo, caption, text, address (more than one if required), and an optional Google map showing where the photo was taken. The interface has been simplified and expanded – so you can now crop, zoom and rotate your photos.
However it’s the payment that’s way easier. You can now log in with your Touchnote account, just as on touchnote.com. So if you’re in credit, there’s zero friction to sending cards. It just depletes one credit per card. You can also buy credits from within the app using Paypal or credit/debit card, both with native interfaces. This alone means I’ll be sending quite a few cards. At £1.49 a pop, it’s not much more than the cost of getting a photo printed out and posted, and certainly a lot less hassle.
I would love to see Touchnote continue to improve:
* You can send cards to multiple people, but sometimes it’s not just a case of adding another address – I’d like to be able to edit the text. So I want to be able to re-open a postcard that I’ve already sent.
* You also can’t save a card in draft to edit later, unless you hit Send then Cancel.
* The ability to move the caption around and resize it would be good
* There’s no in-app purchasing, which would make payment even easier, but Apple doesn’t allow physical goods to be purchased in-app.
* Maybe integration with Facebook or other sources to print and send photos from there? EDIT: I’ve just found out that Facebook integration is coming soon. Result.
It has been a long wait for a decent upgrade since the app was released, but the new version is great. The only real problem I have with Touchnote now is that I may never have to say “Deux timbres pour l’Angleterre” again!
Version reviewed: v2.0
Developer: Touchnote Ltd.
Price (at time of review): Free to download, £1.49 per card
Platforms: iPhone (version reviewed), iPod Touch
UK App Store Link