Holiday print cards are always a nice gesture, and they make for great decorations around the house. But e-cards are just as delightful, far more convenient, and environmentally-friendly. Plenty of website and smartphone apps allow you to create e-cards that are personalized and shareable on social networks. So if you’re looking to mix up the season’s greetings, consider our three favorite apps below.
Which apps or websites do you recommend for creating and sending holiday ecards?
1. JibJab (Free or $12/year for premium membership)
JibJab has been one of our longtime favorite websites for e-greetings. The eCards and videos are funny, and they can be customized to include photos of your recipients. Card and video themes cover the gamut of occasions, including: holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, thank yous, and everything in between. The greetings, many of which are free, include audio, e.g., songs, dialogue, and/or animation. Once you’ve created a card or video, you have the option of sending via email, posting to Facebook, or downloading. We highly recommend the $9.99/year membership, which gives you unlimited access to JibJab’s entire library of creatives, discounts on any videos you wish to download, and the ability to schedule the delivery of a greeting for a later date/time. Members also receive priority customer support. Check out our JibJab holiday video featuring a few of our merry employees (note: we downloaded the video file for $1.99 via our annual membership).
2. Red Stamp for Apple iOS Devices (Free via Apple iTunes, compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 4 or later)
Red Stamp recently re-focused its greeting card business from old-fashioned print cards to virtual cards. The app is easy to use, with many customization options. Choose from over 500 designs and color schemes to create greeting cards, invitations, and announcements. Include a photo by uploading from your camera roll or photographing a new image within the app. Send your Red Stamp creation by email, text message, Facebook, or Twitter — the app conveniently pulls contacts from your device’s address book. And if you really want to snail mail your card, you can do so straight from the app. Note: this requires an in-app purchase to cover postage. For now, the app is available only on Apple mobile devices. As far as we know, Red Stamp has not disclosed whether or not they will eventually support other mobile platforms (we hope so!). Below is one of our Red Stamp creations, featuring Boingo’s Hoppin’ John.
The user interface for Pho.to Lab isn’t as simple and elegant as we’d like, but there are a lot of fun, even goofy, effects you can apply to your photos. You’ll find holiday stickers and photo frames, as well as a variety of photo filters. Also, you can add text to complete your holiday ecard greeting. Here are a couple of effects we applied to a photo of handsome Dale, our network operations analyst.