Android iPhone and iPad Mac Windows

How To Send Your Friends Apps For Christmas

Chris Hoffman 12-12-2013

When you think about it, apps are the perfect gift. You can buy them online and instantly send them to someone – even if they’re far away – without having to mail anything or pay shipping fees. They’re nice and cheap, too. You can send an app and show someone you’re thinking about them without paying too much.


Every platform allows you to give the gift of apps in one way or another. Regardless of what platform your friends use, here’s how you can send them apps for Christmas.

iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Apps

You can easily buy an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch app from the App Store and send it as a gift. Open the App Store app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and locate the app you want to gift and tap it. Next tap the Share button – that’s the box with an  arrow pointing upwards – then tap the Gift option.

Enter your friend’s email address, type a gift message, and select the day you want to send them the gift on. You can even have the app arrive on Christmas Day. Tap the Next button and confirm your Apple ID password to buy the app.


It’s also possible to do this using iTunes on a PC or Mac, rather than an iOS device. To do so, open iTunes and navigate to the App Store. Locate the app you want to gift and open its page, then click on the downward arrow to the right of the app’s price. Click the Gift This App option, enter the recipient’s details before confirming and purchasing your gift.


If you have no idea which apps your friends or family members might want, you can always buy them an iTunes gift card instead. These gift cards can be purchased online and shipped, or you could pick one up wherever gift cards are sold. If you want to do it all online, you can buy iTunes Gift credit and send it via email. This gift amount can be used to buy anything from iTunes, including apps, music, and videos.

Mac Apps

Apple doesn’t yet provide a way to gift apps from the Mac App Store. If you want to gift Mac apps The Best Mac Apps to Install on Your MacBook or iMac Looking for the best apps for your MacBook or iMac? Here's our comprehensive list of the best apps for macOS. Read More  to someone, you can buy them an iTunes Gift Card. iTunes Gift Card balances can also be spent in the Mac App Store.


Android & Kindle Fire Apps

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t allow you to gift Android apps The Best Android Apps on the Google Play Store for 2019 Looking for the best Android apps for your phone or tablet? Here's our comprehensive list of the best apps for Android. Read More from Google Play. Amazon doesn’t allow you to gift apps from the Amazon App Store Google Play vs. Amazon Appstore: Which Is Better? The Google Play Store isn't your only option when it comes to downloading apps -- should you give the Amazon Appstore a try? Read More , either.


Luckily, this doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when shopping for the Android or Kindle Fire app user in your life. You can still buy Google Play gift cards from retail stores. The Android recipient can then enter the code on the card and get credit towards apps and other content from Google Play. You can also buy these cards online from select third party retailers, follow the “Buy Online” link on Google’s gift card page.


Amazon sells personalized Amazon Appstore gift cards on their website. You can send them via email, through Facebook, or print one and put it under the Christmas tree. If you’re sending this gift card via email, you can also have it arrive on a specific day like Christmas day.



Windows 8 & Windows Phone Apps

Microsoft doesn’t allow you to purchase Windows Phone or Windows 8 apps What Are The Best Apps To Get Started With Windows 8? Read More and send them as gifts, either.

Thankfully, Microsoft now allows you to buy Windows Store gift cards for the Windows fan in your life. The Windows Store gift card is available in $15 and $25 amounts and allows users to purchase apps from the Windows Store and Windows Phone stores after they enter the code on it.


If you want to personalize your gift card and really give the gift of apps, try including a list of apps you recommend – the recipient doesn’t have to purchase them, but your recommendations will be helpful and show you’re putting a lot of thought into the gift.


Image Credit: hj_west on Flickr

Related topics: Amazon Kindle Fire, Christmas, Google Play.

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  1. raucous
    December 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I heard that you can only do this for recipients in your own country. Buying itunes vouchers for someone in europe and rest of world wont work so I would assume the same of buying apps..

  2. likefunbutnot
    December 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Technically, you can in fact gift an Amazon App Store app. Go to Gift Cards and then to eGift an item. Of course, relatively few Android users will have the Amazon App store installed on their devices and there's a crap-ton of stuff the Amazon App store doesn't even HAVE, but most major games and entertainment-type apps are on there.

    Humble Android Bundle donations can also be gifted pretty easily, which is handy for Android gamers, but using the Humble Bundle app on a device requires third party app installations, which is still a bit of a security risk.

    With regard to iOS gifting, something that I really, deeply hate is that there's no immediate notification that payment has been charged. I've had issues where Apple billed my card over a week after I made a gift app purchase.

  3. Justin P
    December 13, 2013 at 3:07 am

    It's baffling to me that so many platforms don't offer a "Gift" option, but the Mac thing surprises me most. They already do this for iOS, how hard would it be to add to the Mac app store?