Last-minute-gifters rejoice! Back in December we explained how to buy email or printable gift certificates in specific denominations via the iTunes Store, but now Apple has added the ability to gift specific iPhone apps via iTunes, the New Zealand store included. This means you can now buy a friend or family member a specific paid-for app, which feels so much more personal than sending a monetary amount. After the ‘read more’ link we’ll look at how you do this, what the recipient receives and how they retrieve their gift.
To begin the process of gifting an app, simply click on the small arrow to the right of the price ‘button’ of the required app. This will reveal a dropdown box and you will see ‘Gift This App’ as one of the options. Click it.
Next, you’ll be taken to the ‘give a gift’ screen where you’ll be able to choose whether to print a gift certificate for the app or send the gift via email. Important to note here is that the gift will only be redeemable via the NZ store, so somebody with an account for a different country’s store will not be able to redeem it. You’ll also need to check that the app you’re gifting is compatible with the recipient’s hardware (for example, if you’re going to send someone a GPS app make sure their iPhone is GPS-enabled), however Apple does have a policy of allowing you to request a refund should you make a mistake here.
After filling in the form and hitting ‘Continue’ you’ll be asked to enter your iTunes password, and eventually you’ll reach an order summary screen at which point you must confirm your purchase or cancel it.
The recipient will receive an email from Apple with a graphic similar to the above. Clicking ‘Redeem Now’ will launch iTunes.
Once iTunes launches your recipient will be required to log in to iTunes. If they don’t have an account they can click ‘create account’ first.
And that’s it! The App will now download and your recipient will be gratefully enjoying their new app in no time!
Now I’m sure that most of you will realise this but it’s worth noting at this point that the gifting facility also works for other iTunes purchases such as Music (singles and albums) and Movies so it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that iTunes has become a very attractive marketplace for gift giving.
What I’d love to see in the next firmware update is gifting built into the iTunes Store and App Store right on your iPhone (or iPod touch). Seems to me that as well as ‘Tell a friend’ you ought to be able to ‘Gift a friend’ from your device so here’s hoping. It would also be nice if Apple enabled international gifting, so that somebody with an account for another country’s store could still receive a gift from the New Zealand store and vice versa. But hey, nitpicking aside, this is a great development that I’m sure will be used a lot.