Sending a postcard when traveling was once a big part of the experience. Never mind that the traveler often made it home first. Bringing along stamps and an address book to enable sharing the places we visited was part of it all. That was then, this is now and the Canvas Art of Living app enables iPhone and Android users a chance to make their own digital postcard.
Partnering with Hyatt Hotels, Canvas Wines has hotel guests looking for a QR code on their drink coaster at restaurants, bars and lounges. After scanning the code with their phone, users are sent to the Canvas Wines website where the free app is available for download.
Users can select a pre-made postcard design, upload a photo from their smartphone or take a new photo. A hand-written note is not an option but including a personalized headline and custom message is.
Automatically saved to each user’s personal gallery, the digital postcards can be shared via email, text message or on Facebook. iPhone users can convert their digital postcard into a printed postcard to be printed and mailed.
Shiny and new, the Canvas Art of Living app is getting a lot of attention but surely not the only way to send a postcard, digitally or otherwise. A number of services including Zazzle, Hipster and others use location-based photo sharing technology to enable postcard making.
Looking for something to collect? Need a break from digital?
Postcard collecting might be just what you need. Collectors of postcardsengage in Deltiology, the study and collection of postcards by specific artists and publishers, or by time and location.
iPhone travel apps were of no use to me just six months ago. Despite spending much of my time traveling across the globe, I held out on getting an iPhone for what seemed as long as possible. Once I finally did cave and walked into the Apple store with my wallet in hand, my undoing turned out to be much more fun and efficient than I had imagined it would be. So why did I hold out?
I’ve been working online for quite some time now. My first online article was published in 2000. Life has been a series of HTML adjusting and Internet comment treading for me since then. Until fall 2011, I avoided the iPhone and all other smart phones like the plague. I was convinced, for some reason, that having access to my email and all other sorts of toys in my pocket would distract me. I was sure this kind of access would lead to no other conclusion than me being constantly “at work.” The result of not having an iPhone was actually the very thing I feared, I realize now in retrospect. Without portable and constant access to my inbox, I spent a large chunk of my free time tethered to my laptop, hoping to catch emails from editors and clients as they rolled in. It was with great satisfaction that I learned the true benefit of the iPhone: the ability to readily respond to emails without having to be attached at the hip to my MacBook.Instant and continual access to my emails was just the beginning. While sitting in the Apple store for over 3 hours, eager to leave with my new iPhone, time passed remarkably quickly. The representative I was buying the phone from seemed concerned. He brought me an ice cream sandwich from the back. He apologized that the initialization process through Sprint was taking so long; he said it’s not usually so bad. Little did I care; I had already downloaded several free apps while waiting for the paperwork to go through.
Admittedly, I spend a lot of time on my phone these days. I’m sure I’m in good company when I say it’s a great device to have around during times of restless boredom. Long lines don’t bother me so much anymore.
But the iPhone has also been a remedy for many other now-retired daily pains beyond sheer boredom. When I went on tour prior to the iPhone, I actually printed off step-by-step directions from Google Maps. Embarrassing? Perhaps. Efficient? No way. I used to do things like ask strangers for directions, fruitlessly hunt down public restrooms and show up at restaurants that were already closed because I didn’t know their hours. I no longer carry any of these burdens.
Travel has been made easier because of the iPhone and its apps and everyone seems to know it. In fact, everyone seems to be blogging about it – including us. Rather than peruse a never-ending list of isolated iPhone apps that are good for travel, why not peruse a shorter list of roundups wherein the most useful iPhone travel apps are suggested?
Here are some lists I like, containing apps I have found useful in my own travel:
I like Renaissance Hotels. Although I tend to stay away from big hotel chains, I like Renaissance because it’s a boutique line and every hotel of theirs is different from the others. Another thing I like about Renaissance? They have Navigators in place of the traditional concierge.
Renaissance Navigators are, in short, employees who are locals and in the know. I once walked into the Renaissance Pere Marquette in New Orleans and picked the brain of a Navigator on staff. I liked his recommendations. As a point of reference, I own TheAntiTourist. I don’t like being shooed off in the direction of obvious tourist spots and this particular Navigator gave me a run for my money with his list of off-the-beaten-path things I might like to do.
Why is this useful information for you? Because Renaissance recently released the Navigator app. And it’s free for the taking for iPhone, iTouch, and iPad users until February 28th if you use the code ‘intheknow’ on iTunes. So look it up. Take it. See how you like it. And then let us know.