Apple shuts down Cards app ahead of iOS 7 launch

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has shuttered its Cards messaging application less than two years after the service went live.

Cards, introduced in October 2011 in association with Apple's iOS 5 operating system update, enabled iPhone and iPad users to design personalized letterpress greeting cards complete with text, photos and even location data, selecting from dozens of different design options. Apple handled all printing and mailing, even offering USPS delivery tracking on cards mailed within the U.S. and sending iOS users a push notification when their card arrived at its destination. Cards mailed within the U.S. were priced at $2.99, while Cards sent internationally were priced at $4.99, postage included.

Apple terminated Cards support Tuesday. "Cards ordered before 1 PM Pacific time on September 10, 2013, will be delivered, and push notifications will continue to work," an Apple support document states. "You can view your previous purchases by tapping Saved Cards in the app." Apple goes on to remind consumers that they may still order customized letterpress cards using iPhoto on the Mac desktop platform--iPhoto cards are shipped via carriers like Federal Express instead of USPS.

Apple will release the overhauled iOS 7 to consumers on Sept. 18. The revamp signals the elimination of skeuomorphism, the longstanding iOS design aesthetic that leverages real-world images and metaphors like linen-textured backgrounds, wooden bookshelves and spiral-bound notebooks. iOS 7 also heralds the launch of multitasking for all apps, AirDrop wireless file sharing and the iTunes Radio streaming music service.

Apple said iOS 7 will be free to download for users with the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch 5th generation. The computing giant has now activated more than 700 million iOS devices in all.

For more:
- read this MacRumors article

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