Developer: Ryan Wegner
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
It's always fun to get mail. Whether it's regular old snail mail or a digital notecard, it's nice to know that someone is "Thinking of You." HiCard Suite is the best app I've seen to send electronic greetings. Not only are the e-cards beautiful, but they are so simple.
The problem with most e-cards is that they are a pain to send and often an even bigger pain to receive. To send an e-card usually involves registering at some site and going through the steps of choosing, customizing, addressing and sending — each time waiting for a web page to load.
Receiving cards — which should be the simpler part of the process — is worse. Click the link, or copy and paste it if the link doesn't display properly (which it usually doesn't), wait for the page to load while trying to ignore the ad-laden pages, watch or read your e-card, click the link to say "no, I don't want to perpetuate the problem by sending an electronic thank you card back."
My slightly tech-challenged mom usually can't do it without help. And me, well, I just don't want to be bothered. I figure it's the thought that counts and move on grateful to be thought of.
hiCards could change everything. The cards are super cute with modern color pallets, and crisp clean graphics — mostly flowers, swirls and geographic patterns.
hiCard Suite is also super simple to use. The first time you start the app you'll be asked to provide the name and email address for your "from" information. To change this info later, just tap the small "i" in the upper right hand corner of every page.
Once your personal information is ready you can starting sending cards right away. No website to sign up with, no opting in or opting out of a half-dozen "special offers."
The greeting card app is divided into 4 categories: birthday, thank you, holiday and hi & misc. The holiday section includes e-cards for the major holidays (Christmas, Valentine's, Mothers Day) and a few smaller holidays (Earth Day, Kwanzaa, Independence Day). In addition to "hello" cards, the misc category houses the sympathy, congratulations and afore-mentioned thinking of you cards. All in all there are 92 cards to choose from most with scrapbooky feel to them with layers of color and texture that really does feel handcrafted.
Pick a card (any card!) and write a message. You can type in an address or access an email from your contacts list. Then, tap the send hiCard button. It couldn't be simpler.
Receiving a hiCard is great. There are no links to click or paste. hiCard sends the recipient an email with two jpg files — for front and inside of the card. My email program shows images by default, you may need to download the pics to view them.
I love the simplicity of hiCard's app. It makes sending and receiving e-cards as easy as sending a photo from your iPhone. All you have to do is type and hiCard takes care of the rest.
My new year's resolution is to do a better job of staying in touch with the folks I care about. Between hiCards and Facebook it might actually happen this year.