Summer! It's the season to kick back, take it easy and perhaps go on a trip. And what better way to maximize your fun than to share your fondest moments with family and friends via an old-school printed post card? These five apps will handle everything from the printing and postage of a customized postcard to its delivery right onto your buddy's doorstep. Who says that the magic of nostalgia can't be invoked from physical keepsakes, even in this digital age?
Postagram (free; iOS, Android)
Send real-life versions of your online photos anywhere in the world with Postagram. Select a picture on your smartphone -- whether it's from your photo library, Facebook profile or Instagram account -- compose a short note, and enter your recipient's mailing address. The finished product is a postcard with a 3 x 3-inch pop-out print of your chosen photo, slapped onto thick, glossy paper at 300 dpi resolution. It's $0.99 to send the memento domestically, and $4.99 for international delivery. Best of all? The app is platform-agnostic, so it's the perfect solution for both iOS users looking for a cheaper alternative to Apple's official Cards app and for Android users just looking for an app with the feature. The app is free and available on the iTunes Store and the Google Play store.
Postcard on the Run (free; iOS, Android)
A postcard app that -- true to its name -- is just right for travelers, Postcard on the Run lets you send customized photos directly from your smartphone for 99 cents and up. Like other apps of its ilk, Postcard on the Run handles printing, postage and delivery, but this app lets you draw your own signature with your finger and incorporate a Scratch'n Smell scent for an additional fee. You can even include a map on your postcard using GPS location. The app is free to grab from both the iTunes Store and the Google Play store.
Postino (free; iOS, Android)
With Postino, you'll stop licking stamps. That's the mantra of the app, which lets you send both eCards and real, physical postcards in the mail, using photos from your handset. Choose one from your camera roll or snap a new picture. Then you can add in a message, draw a signature with your finger and tap out your recipient's address. While the app is initially free from both the iTunes Store and the Google Play store, it costs $1.49 to buy 1 stamp, and discounts grow as you buy stamps in bulk (5, 10, 15 stamps, and so on until 50).
StoryBoarder (free; iOS)
StoryBoarder is a unique postcard app. Unlike others that allow you to send a personalized missive with one measly photo, StoryBoarder does one better and lets you tell the story of your trip with multiple pictures, presented in collage format. Since the app was made by the same folks who developed Postagram, the steps to create your collage are quite familiar: Fire up the app, and select your photos from your phone. This time, however, you choose the segmented layout you plan on using first. Once you've picked it out, just tap on the different sections to add photos. Then hit Print & Ship. The virtual layout is transformed into a 4x6 inch postcard that can be shipped anywhere in the world for $1.99 apiece. Android users are out of luck for now, though--the app is iOS-only. But iPhone-toting masses can snap up the app from the iTunes Store here.
HazelMail ($1.99, iOS; free, Windows Phone)
HazelMail is a pretty straightforward app to send postcards to friends and family all over the world. But one hook sets it apart from the rest: It's offered on iOS and Windows Phone platforms. You'll have to buy HazelBucks credits from the company's official website, but since the delivery scheme sends postcards from remote locations local to the destination, HazelMail claims its notes are sent faster, cheaper and greener than any regular piece of international airmail. Postcards start at $1.50 apiece, or you can purchase 26 HazelBucks credits for $24 to get a better deal. Actually sending the postcard will cost a few dollars, but downloading the app itself is free from the iTunes Store and Windows Phone Marketplace.