Shoot it! smartphone postcards app review

Shoot it! smartphone postcards app review

With the recent announcement of Apple’s new Cards service, it’s a good time to post about one of the original smartphone postcard services: Shoot it!

The concept is simple. Take a photo with your smartphone, upload it to Shoot it!, add a message, add a recipient, click “Shoot it!” and the service will deliver a real-world glossy photo postcard, for as little as $1.29 (previously a buck) for US addresses. The cost for delivering a to other countries is slightly higher.

These smartphone postcards are great for vacations, holidays, sending the parents or grandma a photo, sending a little something to a friend or for many other occasions.

So what do they look like? Here’s a sample.

Sample Shoot it! photo postcard – front

Please pardon the fatso photo. This was back in 2009, before I went vegan. Tera looks lovely as always, of course.

Sample Shoot it! photo postcard – back

Shoot it! postcards app review

Unfortunately, the Android app suffers from multiple issues, making it almost unusable. I tested the app using the Motorola Droid (original) with Android 2.1 and 2.2.

For starters, the screen layouts and design could use some help. On some screens you have to scroll past empty space for no apparent reason, just to get to the button that you need to press to proceed.

The biggest problems, however, are the session timeout and force close issues, which pop up frequently. If you’re taking awhile to prepare and submit your postcard order by adding multiple recipients or typing up your postcard message, the Shoot it! app often times out, dropping your session and completely losing everything you’ve worked on so far. It doesn’t even save work in progress cards to a draft section. The app crashes (Force close) and you have to start over again from scratch and login anew. Frustrating.

If you’re sending to someone in your contacts that has a second line in their address, like an apartment or suite number, the Shoot it! Android app will fail to import that part of the address and you’ll need to manually enter it in the app each time. Very annoying.

I have no idea how the iOS Shoot it! app performs, but if it’s anything like the Android app, I’d be surprised if they maintain any regular customers.

Shoot it! Positives

High quality glossy photo postcards
Send from anywhere in the world using a phone or computer
Support for mailing to numerous countries
Low cost
iOS, Android & web browser support

Shoot it! Negatives

Android app is buggy, unstable and almost unusable
No editing or crop control
Doesn’t support all countries (I could’t send to Peru)
Address book stored on website isn’t accessible in Android app
Can’t edit address book entries stored on the website
Postcard font size not adjustable to allow for more text

Disclosure: Shoot it! provided me with 50 credits for helping to beta test the Android app. I provided a lot of feedback on the many bugs & issues with the Android app, but they never did get them fixed.

About Wes Novack

Wesley Novack is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has a breadth of experience in online publishing, the consumer electronics industry, and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, skateboarding, hiking, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on Twitter @WesleyTech.

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