Apple's Card app Tried and Tested.
As with any Apple software offering the experience of virtual to physical is done in a typical Apple smooth fashion but misses out on one or two key areas.
Designing and a card couldn't be any simpler. Simply choose a template, a picture from your iPhone library (or snap one there and there), edit the text and then select the recipients of the card. The whole process for me took a little under 5 minutes and that included taking the time to write some witty text inside the card. Navigation between the Outside, Inside and envelope can be done via gestures or plain old fashion clicking.
The recipient is a location aware feature so it does try to check the postcode of the recipients when you select their address from your list of contacts. Recipient information can be entered manually along side choosing from the contact list and although its a basic feature it's welcomed.
However, no matter what I tried Cards/iPhone was adamant that my address was wrong even though I know it wasn't.
Before you complete your purchase you asked to enter some basic credit card security information which I assume is to stop anyone picking up your iPhone up and sending cards to anyone and everyone in your contact list. Wonder why it doesn't ask for your Apple id password instead of your cvv?
Of course with any Apple app there are always a few "missing" features, the biggest one is that when you order a card you really have no indication of when it's going to arrive unlike pretty much any other website but offers a similar service. The card designed, money taken and then you are left waiting for notification. Those of us in the UK know exactly the up and down side of our beloved Royal mail and now I think on it, I didn't read the terms of conditions of it a card goes missing.
The cost factor as well comes into play for example moonpig.com lets you use a similar type of card for £2.99 and Hallmark has a similar pricing strategy. It's worth noting that both of the aforementioned services do blaze their logo on the back of the car so people will know you are using the Internet, for all intents and purposes, to send someone a cheap gift card.
Yes it's a touch more expensive than the shops, the designs aren't the best BUT for sending a card on the go with the minimum of fuss there isn't anything out there to compete with it.
It seems that I'm not the only person who is wondering about the service and the lack of not only a delivery date but deliveries what so ever. It's now cracking on for 2 weeks and still no card has arrived. I'd be placing money now on the other card manufacturers in the UK to release a similar iPhone app with a bit more functionality.
Update 2. Its arrived
As of Saturday 22nd October the card had arrived and been put through the letter box. No signature needed or anything. It does look exactly like how the app pictures it. Will post a picture shortly.
Card ordered on 13/10/2011 arrives on 22/10/2011 9 days to go from sender to recipient. That's not too bad for overseas mail however I wouldn't be trusting my Christmas cards to this unless I wanted to start sending them at the start of December.
A picture of the said card and we've also published an article comparing Apple Cards to Hallmark and more.