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Vello – For When You Can Say It Without a Hallmark Card [Review]

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Sometimes a card, a bouquet or a live Mariachi band doesn’t quite illustrate the emotion you want them to express. Now you have another option from Vello, which lets you send a video greeting.

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Sending a Vello is a simple process and so is logging-in with your Facebook and Twitter accounts

Recording a Vello, then sending one is an intuitive process. The hardest part will be figuring out what to do or say. Once you’re done recording, you can select whom to send your Vello to by connecting to your iPhone contacts, Facebook or Twitter. Then you may also choose to send an invitation and Vello code to another contact so they can contribute their greeting onto your Vello. You can also select when your Vello will be delivered and if you live in the US and Canada (just added today!) you can send a gift card with it.

vello app

Vello is a fun idea and easy to use, but my experience with it was not without a couple annoyances. One was the gift cards, though many countries are listed I noticed all but American gift cards are unavailable. Actually, that has changed as today Canadian retailers have been added.

If other people don’t have the Vello app, they can still view videos via web links. One thing I do like is that people can contribute to your Vello, as I imagine some really fun and thoughtful videos could be made using this feature.

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You can add a title, set when the Vello will arrive and set who may contribute, but you can’t buy a gift card from any country other than the US

Check out the video below:

Frances Ho is the co-founder of Vello, a Canadian startup from the people at CardSwap based in Toronto. We asked her how large the file sizes were for Vello videos and she said the impact would be minimal at best. Also, more Canadian retailers are coming in 2014.

Videos that are uploaded to Vello are encoded in h.264 at the point of recording, allowing us to benefit from compression and hardware acceleration in the iPhone and iPod Touch chipsets. Each 480×480 resolution video is typically 500k-800k in size (about the size of a high-resolution web image), and Vello video segments are intelligently buffered so that only the content that is immediately relevant to you is delivered to your phone.

So if you don’t need a Hallmark card and your friends and family own iPhones you can download Vello for free from the App Store and say it yourself. Then, tell us how you prefer to send a greeting.

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