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Summary:

Realizing there is no chance of getting your traditional paper-based holiday card out this year, your only recourse is to explore electronic options. You may find just what you are looking for in one of the following three iOS app-based solutions.

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Realizing there’s no chance of getting your traditional paper-based holiday card out this year, your only recourse is to explore electronic options. You may find just what you are looking for in one of the following three iOS app-based solutions.

A word of caution: Some of the e-card solutions utilize a server-side service to send the cards. I’ve noticed some of these solutions ended up in recipients’ spam folders, so if you’re not sure whether the message will get through, use the solutions that let you do the sending.
For the Truly Lazy Among Us
What you’re looking for is the quickest and easiest way to let your friends and family know that you’re ready for the holiday season this year. If this is what you want, then ISBX’s Build-a-Card Holiday Edition for $0.99 is just the app for you. Simply snap a photo, choose one of the design patterns, add some props, and tweet the results to all of your followers. From app store to instant online gratification in less than five minutes.

For the Slightly More Creative

Perhaps you’ve been more than a little busy this year, and you’re still looking to add the personal touch to a holiday card. But you still want to get it out to everyone before the holidays are over. Then I’d recommend Vivid Apps Christmas Lifecards for $0.99. The workflow is very closely related to that of Build-a-Card, but you have a much greater degree of control as the templates are much more involved. Where the goal of Build-a-Card is quick and easy, Lifecards provides a much deeper and more customizable result.

The sharing options are a lot more involved, too, including the ability to email a PDF version of your Lifecard. You can also save your results in high or low resolution, post to Facebook, and even upload to Flickr or Twitpic.  With more than fifty customizable templates to choose from, you should be able to get exactly what you wanted out of this holiday card app.

For the Kid at Heart

There are several holiday entertainment apps for kids that will let you email an image of the artwork they create.  But sticking to the theme of holiday card photo apps, Oceanhouse Media’s Dr. Seuss Camera – The Grinch Edition on sale for $0.99 is a great outlet for the kid in each of us. While not quite as extensible as the other two apps (you cannot modify the text), and your only sharing options are to save the resulting image into your photo library, email it, or copy it to the clipboard, this app does have style.  It’s just as well put together as are the other Dr. Seuss apps that Oceanhouse has created.

So don’t bother ordering a set of those new fancy letterpress cards that were made available in the recently released iPhoto ’11. And forget about printing out address labels this year.  From quick and easy, to deeply creative, to childishly entertaining, these three holiday photo card apps will suite almost anyone’s holiday needs.

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  1. This is the best thing about Apple. The need to give a christmas card actually occurs at the last moment and i can guarantee a record purchase of this app. The idea is instant and like a wild fire which will break out in the whole world in no time.

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