App gifting makes a return to iOS, ahead of the holidays

By Swapnil Mathur | Updated 14 Dec 2012
App gifting makes a return to iOS, ahead of the holidays

The 'gift app' feature has finally returned to iOS 6, after being mysteriously removed from the iTunes app just before the launch of iOS 6. However, even though the feature is back, it’s not very obvious and takes a little digging around to get to.

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The feature was present in the beta builds of iOS 6, but right before the official launch of the firmware, it was pulled from the list of features. Apple has reintroduced it, making it a lot easier to send apps as gifts to friends and family. However, Apple hasn’t made it all that easy.

If you want to genuinely send an app as a gift to a loved one, then you must first access the app’s page in the App Store (through your iOS device) and in the top right corner, you will see a curved arrow. Clicking on it will open up a context menu, with a nifty “gift app” button placed at the bottom.

We’re not sure why Apple removed this feature in the first place, but we can hypothesize about why it’s back and why it’s still somewhat a tongue twister to get to. We feel that the return of the gifting feature can be attributed to the fact that the holiday season is upon us, and Apple is trying to tap every avenue it can to maximize sales of its apps. It would make sense given that not everyone might have access to a computer at the time they decide to “impulse-gift” some apps to loved ones.

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Now, just why this is a difficult feature to get to is rather obvious. You don’t want someone picking up your phone and going on a gifting spree. You also don’t want to accidentally hit the “gift app” button, charging your card with some pretty expensive apps. So, it could be considered a safety feature.
 

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Swapnil Mathur
Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor
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