Q. Do you know if someone can “gift” an app? Would they have to purchase an iTunes gift card?
A. Finding a great app is fun, but you know what’s even more fun? Sharing that app with others! Whether you’re looking for a gift for a friend or just want to brighten someone’s day, giving an app can be a simple way of letting someone know you care.
Giving an app isn’t as simple or obvious as you might think, but it is possible. Just make sure you know which device your friend has before you send an app. You don’t want to send an Android app to someone who has an iPhone.
I’ll explain how to give an app as a gift using the example of the app iRewardChart, not only because it’s The Best App Ever!, but also because the app is available on so many platforms.
Giving an App from iTunes for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
To give an app to someone who has an iDevice (an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch), you and your friend both need to have an iTunes account. You don’t need to have an iDevice to have an iTunes account, but anyone who uses an iDevice has an iTunes account.
If you don’t have an iTunes account and don’t want to sign up for one, you can buy an iTunes gift card instead from a local store or from Facebook.
To send an app as a gift, go to iTunes and search for the app you want. Open the page and look for the app icon in the upper left corner. Click on the down arrow below the app’s icon and a drop-down menu will appear.
Click Gift This App:
A form will appear for you to fill in to send the gift. You can send the gift via email or print out the gift. (Note that the email address you send the gift to does not need to be the email address the recipient has registered to an iTunes account.) You can include a personal message with your gift.
Your gift will be emailed immediately, there is no way to delay sending the gift unless you print out the gift and deliver it yourself.
Your friend will receive a code which they can then use in the iTunes App Store to get the app and download it to their iDevice. This code can be redeemed just like a code from an iTunes gift card.
To learn how to redeem an iTunes gift code, check out How to Redeem an iTunes Gift Card, for instructions on how to redeem a gift code in iTunes.
You can only send an app as a gift from your computer, you can’t send it from your iDevice. Make sure that your friend doesn’t already have the app before you send the gift as gift codes are for a specific app.
Giving an Android App from the Amazon Appstore
The easiest way to give an Android app is to give it from the Amazon Appstore. Apps from the Amazon Appstore work on Android devices and Kindle Fire tablets (not on Kindle ereaders though).
Although you can’t purchase an app directly for someone, you can purchase an Amazon gift card for the price of the app. You can state in the gift card the name of the app you intend to give, though your friend can use the gift card for any Amazon item.
To purchase a gift card on Amazon, go to Amazon.com Gift Cards and choose how you want to send the gift. You can select email, Facebook, or print at home as your method of delivery. If you choose Facebook or email you can include a video you create with your gift. You can also use a custom photo with your gift card if you email it.
You can add the app icon to your gift card if you are sending it via email (see Smile! It’s Awesome Screenshot Time for how to download an image from the Internet onto your computer.)
Amazon lets you set the delivery date so if you can send the gift instantly or delay delivery until a future date.
Giving an Android App from Google Play
The only way to give an app from Google Play is to purchase a Google Play gift card. The cards come in $10, $25 and $50 denominations and are sold in retail stores such as Target, Walmart, RadioShack and GameStop. Find out more information about Google Play gift cards at Google Play.
Giving Apps for Windows and Blackberry Phones
If you’re looking to give a gift of an app to a Windows or Blackberry phone owner, you can’t give the app directly. You could give a Visa gift card instead, and place it inside a greeting card suggesting the app that you want to give.
Apps make great gifts to brighten a friend’s day, as stocking stuffers or to share great tech. If you’re looking for a thoughtful and unexpected gift, consider giving an app to a friend!
Have you ever given an app as a gift? Have you ever received an app as a gift? Do you have any apps you would recommend as great gifts? Let us know in the Comments section below!
*Gifts image by Harsh Patel.