This app bets that you'll pay $5 to avoid having to go to the post office

ShypA Shyp carrier loads up his car with things to package and ship.

I want to give a birthday present to my mum. But she lives 800 miles away, so unless I order something online, I’ll have to package and send the gift myself.

In New York City, that process involves finding a box, packing it carefully so the gift won’t break, and then going to the post office or a UPS store and waiting in line to send it.

But for $US5, plus the cost of shipping, a service called Shyp fixes all of those problems, saving you a bunch of time.

For the uninitiated, here’s how Shyp works: you download the app, use your phone’s camera to take a picture of what you want to send, and a Shyp courier comes to your door within 20 minutes to take it from you. Shyp takes your item to a Shyp facility where it’s packaged and sent according to your delivery preferences, via the cheapest carrier available (FedEx, UPS, etc.).

The service is convenient, to say the least.

And after an update on Thursday, Shyp will get even more convenient.

Shyp is trying to bring the process of mailing stuff into the 21st century. And part of that vision is making sure you’ll never have to remember an address again.

Now the redesigned Shyp app will let users create usernames tied to their physical addresses. Think of it like what Venmo does for mobile payments — you enter your friend’s name, and she gets paid.

In the case of Shyp, you enter that person’s name, and she gets the package. So when I want to send that present to my mum, I just type her name into the app, and I’m all set.

If my mum has the Shyp app installed, she’ll get a notification that I’m sending her a shipment. She’ll also have have the option to send it to an address other than the default one she has on file with Shyp. Shyp thinks this feature will be particularly useful for those with a home and work address that prefer to have things delivered to both.

There’s also a built-in package tracker in the new Shyp app, which the company hopes will provide an incentive for recipients to download the app even if they aren’t able to use it for sending shipments.

A lot of people aren’t able to use Shyp because it currently operates in only San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and Miami. It has plans to expand to more markets, but those cities are the only places you can have a courier come and pick up your packages for you.

But if the new app catches on and gets people downloading it outside of areas where the service operates, expect Shyp to start working in establishing courier services in more cities around the United States.

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