With all of the talk about sending physical cards with the Apple Card app and postcards from Postagram, an iOS app called Howdy decided to stick with the good old e-card digital model.

The free app was built by Dutch Giraffe Communications, a developer which is focused on design and digitizing magazine content.

Creating a Howdy card

Howdy for iOS is absolutely beautiful. No physical card will be sent to your friend or loved one, just an email with a link. The Howdy app lets you create a customized card using its templates and photos from your library in seconds. You can choose a type of greeting from categories like “Love”, “Get Well”, and even “Video”. Video is a huge differentiator for Howdy, as all other e-card apps stick to flat card styles.

photo 226 520x346 E cards live as Howdy tries to refresh a stagnant market
photo 318 520x346 E cards live as Howdy tries to refresh a stagnant market

Once you’ve chosen your template, you can write your own message on the “outside” of the card, as well as the “inside”, with a nice animation flipping from one to the other. The inside of the card is where you can add your own photo, at which point you can crop and resize it to fit perfectly.

photo 413 520x346 E cards live as Howdy tries to refresh a stagnant market

As with any service, if Howdy can keep the app fresh with new templates and options for card creation, it can have longevity. E-card provider “someecards” is a master at this, which brings back its users in droves.

Sharing your Howdy

What makes Howdy really neat is that you can make your card social by posting it to Twitter and Facebook, letting the world know that you really do care. Beautiful Instagram-style landing pages are created if you choose to share your card, and it can be re-shared from that page.

Convofy 92 520x328 E cards live as Howdy tries to refresh a stagnant market

The thing lacking with Howdy is a missed opportunity to build a community and social network around these public digital greetings. I’d really love to see what friends are sending to other friends, and since Howdy lets you get creative with your cards, it would be easy to find new people to friend based on what catches your eye.

I’ve discussed the lack of innovation around photographs, and it seems like greeting cards and customizable postcards are the hot space right now, since its very easy and quick to use the photographs you’ve taken and turn them into something else.

Howdy has an absolutely beautiful design, and if it keep updates coming, the app could gain a huge user base. As I mentioned though, without any type of social features, it will be hard to gain solid adoption and return stickiness. There are a lot of “one and done” apps in the app store, and it would be sad to see Howdy go that way.