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How to “gift” iOS apps now for delivery on Christmas day

Sections: Features, How-To, iDevice Apps, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPhone OS, SDK and hacks, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch

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The ability to “gift” apps has been available for quite some time now. And although the ability was dropped in the original release of iOS 6, it returned with a neat new feature…you can set the date on which the gifted app is actually delivered. If you plan to give an app for Christmas and don’t want to risk forgetting on Christmas day, here’s how to do it.

iOS App Store

  1. Launch the App Store app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
  2. Search for the app you want to give. It’s worth noting that if the app isn’t available for a specific device, it apparently will not show up on that device. For example, to give the iPad only “Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition” app, I had to search the App Store app on my iPad. It didn’t show up in the search results on my iPhone.
  3. Tap the arrow on the upper right of the app’s entry and select “Gift.”

How to gift an iOS app for future delivery

  1. Enter the appropriate information (note that you don’t need to know the email associated with the recipient’s iTunes account; he/she will simply receive a gift code).
  2. Under Send Gift, select Other Date, then choose the day on which you want the gift code to be sent.

How to gift an iOS app for future delivery

  1. You can then select the template for the email received by the recipient.

How to gift an iOS app for future delivery

  1. Confirm your order, and you’re finished. Although the gift won’t sent right away, you will be billed right away, so keep that in mind.

Unfortunately, it appears this functionality isn’t available in the Mac App Store, and you can’t select the delivery date of iOS apps when gifting them through the iTunes Store on your Mac. Odd omissions, but we won’t let that stop us from following this article up with our suggestions for apps that will make great gifts. We’ll be back soon with that. Right now, I’m heading out to purchase some actual physical gifts. Apple may claim “There’s an app for that,” but I’ve been told someone wants a spot cleaner, and I haven’t yet found that app.

Maybe it’s iPad only?

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