'Tis the season for holiday cards and gifts.
The digital photography revolution has made it easier than ever to upload and send our winter well wishes from our computers. Mobile photography enthusiasts can take this technology even further by sending glad tidings on the go.
Send season’s greetings from your smartphone
While you might have sent the majority of your mail through the Internet this year, snail mail is still the classic way to send holiday cards. But instead of transferring your photos from your mobile device to your computer to design a holiday card on a website, we 've got some apps that will let you design, personalize and send your holiday hello straight from your smartphone. If you want to save a tree, you can also choose to send your greetings digitally.
Cards for iOS
Apple’s Cards app was released last year to mixed reviews. Cards allows users to upload photos to one of Apple’s pre-made templates. Users can then add a message and send it straight to the physical mailbox of friends listed in their iPhone’s contacts. Cards is free to download and sends cards anywhere in the U.S. for $2.99 or worldwide for $4.99.
justWink allows users to customize greeting cards and send them through text message, Facebook, email and yes, even real mail.
After you have added your photo and personal message to the card, you can send it anywhere in the world for $2.95-$4.95. While you can make your own card on justWink, they also have a line of funny, pre-written cards to which you can add an extra personal message.
Christmas Cards for Windows Phone 8
Unfortunately for Windows Phone 8 device owners, the Windows Phone app store is lacking in snail mail holiday card apps. Luckily, the $1.99 Christmas Cards app has enough options to make you forget all about stamps and mailboxes.
Christmas Cards has frames and themes to create both serious and funny holiday cards. Some layouts have room for a rectangular photo in a snowflake frame with a special message. Other layouts put your face in an elf, angel or Santa suit. When the card is ready to send, users can either save it or email it straight from the app.
Personalize presents with photos
NicePrints lets you create photobooks and calendars from your phone and mail them to yourself or send them as a gift. While its normal version has a few holiday themes, the NicePrints Christmas app offers 30 different Christmas-specific themes.
Zazzle for iOS
If you want to make merch from your iPhone, Zazzle has you covered for most anything you can think of.
Zazzle prints your photos on everything from iPhone cases to pillows. Zazzle’s free app for iOS is basically a streamlined version of its website to make personalized gifts from iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Gifts for Instagrammers
Shopping for Instagram buff can be tough.
But wouldn't it make a great Insta-gift to have some of your friend’s photos printed? There are plenty of services to print your shots from your own feed, but it’s hard to find a service that lets you print photos from a friend’s stream. Printsagram and Hatchcraft both require a username and password in order to upload. Instead of trying to snoop for your Insta-friend’s info to print a sneaky gift, send them a gift voucher for an Instagram printing service. Casetagram allows you to gift a personalized case and Canvaspop sells gift cards for up to $200 of canvas-printed Instagram photos.
Deck your halls with silly photo apps
Whether you want to edit some cheer on a grinchy family member who refused to pose wearing a fabulous Santa hat or you have an urge to turn your cat into a reindeer, Santa Cam has you covered for funny holiday photo editing.
The app is free to download and comes with a limited array of holiday add-ons. For an extra $0.99, users can download dozens of extras. Reviewers of the app in the Android and iOS app stores round up uses for the apps—the best seems to be the ability to quickly add a photo of Santa into your house to troll your tiny tots.
North Pole Photo Booth for Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 8 users can download some free holiday cheer with the North Pole Photo Booth.
A great accessory for a holiday party, this app lets you take photos and add holiday-themed accessories. Users can add Santa hats, candy canes and snowmen heads to their fellow partygoers. Photos can be uploaded straight to Facebook from the North Pole Photo Booth app so your friends can share their new look.
What other jolly photography apps have you found?