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Macintosh, Mac Apps, iPhone, Steve Jobs, Apple

Plaxo eCards versus .Mac iCards

by Jayvee on June 28th, 2006

Alright! This is indeed the battle of the century. On the left corner, wearing the signature iPod-white shorts is the .Mac account, a value-added PIM service and backup system exclusive to .Mac members.

On the right corner, we have Plaxo, the world’s most popular PIM synchronizing tool that’s compatible with almost all OS platforms.

But for today, we’re going to take a look at the lighter side of these two web tools as we see which one does it best when it comes to … greeting cards (!!!) An integral part of our online social life is remembering special ocassions and acting with an eGesture such as sending cards via email.

Plaxo calls them eCards. Apple calls them iCards (who would have thought?)

Price and Selection
So let’s assume that you paid the premium membership fee to send these electronic cards. By default, you have Plaxo as the winner. Even with basic free service, Plaxo lets you send a eCards, albeit with a limited selection. Premium services which cost roughly USD $30.00 per year allows you to choose from over 617 (and counting) designs and lets you upload photos for custom made cards.

.Mac iCards also lets you choose from a relatively smaller collection of 256 cards and allows you to make custom cards by uploading photos from your iDisk. Which is a little uncomfortable because it adds the extra step of uploading photos to your iDisk via drag and drop then refreshing your browser to find the picture you want to use. A .Mac account also costs 2x more.

Design and Impact
With the menagerie of photos available for Plaxo’s online eCard service, Plaxo takes the cake. In terms of UI, .Mac has the clear advantage because of the sleek appearance of the .Mac interface. However, this is one case where the end does not justify the means - and we really don’t care how good the UI looks as long as we made our special friend smile.

Plaxo can automate a birthday or anniversary reminder, allowing you to save your relationships by making a card which can be sent on that special day. This is Plaxo’s advantage as a highly efficient PIM and calendar tool.

In terms of customization efforts, Plaxo allows you to change card and text background colors as well as borders. Apple’s iCards are more straightforward, allowing you to choose from six different fonts and that’s that. If you’re in a hurry, .Mac is the way to go. If you’re up to some creativity, Plaxo’s eCards are much better.

Err, roowkay Scoob, are we taking this too seriously?

I have both a premium Plaxo service AND a .Mac account. Does it really matter which service you use to send these cards? I guess if you want to build your rapport with other .Mac users, you’d have to use your iCard service. This works the same way if you want to “impress” Windows users by sending them Steve Jobs certified greeting cards. With a picture of the new MacBook Pro on the card face.

But Plaxo - well, it is free. And that counts for a lot already. If you’re up for more card customization, this is what you can use. Plus the fact that you can auto schedule reminders - well, that’s a biug plus for forgetful jones.

POSTED IN: Jayvee's Posts, Plugins, Services, Software

6 opinions for Plaxo eCards versus .Mac iCards

  • Janice
    Jun 28, 2006 at 11:33 am

    Hey Jayvee,

    I’m glad you love using Plaxo’s eCards service! To compare us to Apple’s iCards is high praise :), but I also want to add a few more reasons you should love our service even more:

    1. Price: The actual price of eCards is not $30, but a mere $13.95 USD — that’s about a $1 a month. The brownie points and good karma you’ll get from remembering your friends’ birthdays will totally make it worth paying for.

    2. Birthday reminders: Plaxo members get free birthday reminders. It’s the best way to ensure you’ll never send a belated birthday card ever again.

    The birthday reminders also have a link to the eCards site. To save you time, we pre-fill all the information for the birthday person when you’re ready to send the eCard, including their name, email address, and their actual birthdate.

    3. Add a photo: Like iCards, you can also upload your own photo and customize the borders, fonts and colors.

    4. Delivered to your inbox: I use a Outlook and when I receive an iCard, it shows up as an attachment. The best thing about Plaxo eCards is that the card itself shows up right in your inbox — no links, no attachments, no embarrassing music, and no cheesy animations.

    5. Address book integration: Ready to send the card, but don’t know the person’s email address? Just click on “Add from address book” and the Plaxo address book widget will pop-up so you can quickly select recipients.

    I hope you continue to send eCards to your friends. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback to improve our product please let me know!


  • A Bugged Life » Blog Archive » eCard showdown!
    Jun 29, 2006 at 7:03 am

    […] Let’s get it on! […]

  • Aaron Brazell
    Jun 29, 2006 at 9:57 am

    Hmmm… iCards looks so much sexier than eCards. I think it’s all about the ‘i’. ‘i’ is the new black, eh? Must. Write. Post.

  • Jayvee
    Jun 29, 2006 at 10:14 am

    “e” is sooo 90’s dude. ;)

  • MacSmiley
    Jul 13, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Apple has sadly discontinued its iCards service!

    Don’t just say good-bye without a whimper! Have your say about the termination of Apple “.Mac” iCards at the Apple Discussion boards:


    Apple feedback:


    You can also try making a dent here,

    Save the .Mac iCards Petition:


    I sent my feelings straight to Steve Jobs, as well:


    You’ll find the email addresses I used in the comments thread.

    Thanks for your time,

  • MacSmiley
    Aug 16, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Apple’s Discussion moderators deleted this comment from an iCards thread, so I’m plastering it all over the Web:

    “Everyone, call Apple Customer Relations at this number to complain (I found it was the best # to call after trying several). They say number of complaints matters.:

    800-767-2775 ”

    — k2graphics

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