Even as the world of snail mail grows smaller and smaller, the world of greeting cards via snail mail continues to thrive here and across the globe. Who would have guessed that Americans send seven billion greeting cards each year? In other parts of the world it’s even more. And so it came to pass that Apple being a highly technological company decided that it could bridge the worlds of analog and digital in a most delightful way. With apps. Owners of the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can now send analog greeting cards via an app. Cards by Apple is free but it costs $2.99 to mail a card in the US or $4.99 to send it anywhere in the world. It’s nothing short of cool to be able to send Grandma a greeting card directly from your iDevice. But some who have tried it note that when you send multiple cards, the Apple “cashier” checks out each item individually, causing your bank security to kick in.
Beyond Apple Cards there’s Just Wink. This app allows you send a card from say your smartphone to someone’s e-mail, Facebook page or via SMS messaging. This one is available both from iTunes and Android Marketplace. Just Wink allows you to personalize the cards with photos and messages. Use your fingertips to add a signature, which is very fun. On the recipient’s device, the digital card looks like a scanned image of a personally, addressed envelope because everything digital has an analog history. Ah, but wait. There’s more. If you would prefer paper cards just like the digital ones, well, they’re available in stores also. Of course sending a digital card isn’t limited to apps. Among the plethora of options are traditional greetings card brands such as Hallmark and American Greetings. English artist Jacquie Lawson hosts one of the more creative digital card sites, where the privileges cost just $12 per year.